As a red wave splashes all across the Sunshine State, Democratic organizational and individual donors have essentially waved a white flag of surrender, reports Politico.
The report draws on conversations with more than dozen Democratic operatives, but nothing speaks more clearly about the dire situation for Democrats than the numbers:
- "The Democratic Governors Association spent just $685,000 this election cycle. It gave $14 million to Florida in the past two governor races.
- Big outside donor money has almost completely dried up. New York billionaire Michael Bloomberg contributed only $1.5 million to Democrats this cycle. He vowed $100 million to Florida in 2020.
- Democrats have collectively raised $29 million in the four non-federal statewide races. Republicans raised nearly $200 million." -- Politico
Voter registration is a huge story too. In 2018, Democrats held a 263,269-voter lead. Just four years later, Republicans outnumber Democrats by 292,533 -- a 556,000-voter swing into the red. And they're turning out. While Democrats traditionally dominate early voting, Florida Republicans this week overtook Democrats in 2022 voting, and were up nearly 27,000 on Thursday.
Perhaps most strikingly of all, some Republicans think they can not only carry the long-time Democratic stronghold of Miami-Dade County, but perhaps dominate it. If so, it would seemingly cement the GOP's hold on statewide offices and Florida's prized 30 electoral votes.
It's not just Republicans who are bracing for a stunning flip of Miami-Dade, where 60% of voters are Latino. “I think Ron DeSantis will win Miami-Dade County," South Florida-based Democratic consultant Evan Ross tells Politico.
To fully appreciate what a sea change a GOP victory in Miami-Dade would be, consider that Governor Ron DeSantis lost it by 20 points in 2018, and Trump was crushed by 30 points in his 2016 Florida victory.
In the Senate contest, Republican incumbent Marco Rubio is up 7 points statewide in recent polls, though one has him leading Democrat Val Demings by 11. Of 28 U.S. House of Representatives districts, Republicans are currently on pace to win upwards of 20 or more.
However, the GOP's state-wide strength starts with DeSantis, who's expected to win easily. Currently up by a dozen to 14 points, he built a strong national profile by defying public health "experts" and blazing a trail out of lockdown-and-vaccine-mandate dystopia, which many other governors then followed. He's also made attention-getting moves against liberal agendas in classrooms and has gleefully joined other governors in shipping immigrants to northern cities and towns -- most notably, Martha's Vineyard.
DeSantis has leveraged his profile to the tune of more than $150 million in campaign contributions. That's enabled him to spend more than 10 times as much on general election ads as Democrat challenger Charlie Crist.
Emblematic of Democrats across the country, Crist also has a major enthusiasm problem: A survey of Miami-Dade voters found only 57% of Democrats like Crist, compared to 93% of Republicans who approve of DeSantis.
“The only thing that might give Charlie Crist a chance of becoming governor would be DeSantis aggressively campaigning for him over the next two weeks,” South Florida-based Democrat Ross tells Politico. “Translation: It’s over. And it’s going to be ugly.”