Republicans lost a seat big in the Florida Legislature Tuesday that carries ridiculously outsized implications — because everything since November 2016 is DefCon 1 Armageddon for Democrats.
In this era of The Woman and #MeToo, the race pitted a female Democrat against a male Republican in a fairly even district. Republican James Buchanan, son of Congressman Vern Buchanan lost to liberal Democrat lawyer Margaret Good. The House District covers northern Sarasota County, including the Democrat-dominated City of Sarasota, and has flipped between Republican and Democrat over the years. Most recently it was held by a Republican who chose to resign half-way through her two-year term, setting up this election.
The Florida Legislature boasts a veto-proof Republican majority and a Republican governor, so this race had no meaningful impact on Tallahassee politics or state governance. It was viewed by desperate Democrats nationally the opportunity to prove a mid-term “wave” coming.
So Democrats, mostly from outside Florida, poured well north of $1 million into the Democrat’s campaign for a seat that will be up for election again in just nine months. Further, former Vice President Joe Biden made robocalls for the Democrat, who raised $541,000 in her campaign, but more than $500,000 more was spent on PACs. Most of this money was from around the country, particularly California.
At the end of the day, with record turnout and gaining most of the No Party Affiliation votes and a small percentage of Republican crossovers, the Democrat won by a substantial 8 percentage points.
This is not a panic moment. But it is one to take seriously and learn from.
Here are five lessons Republicans should take from this loss.
→ 1. Everything is nationalized for Democrats. Therefore Republicans need to continue to get solid, conservative wins in Washington, such as the tax reform package, originalist federal judge appointments and immigration. And President Trump needs to continue leading in the fashion of his home-run State of the Union address. Holding the House, and maybe several state houses, may depend on it
→ 2. This race is not repeatable in November. And this is true with some other special elections recently. Because the entire U.S. House is up for election, one-third of the U.S. Senate and literally thousands of officeholders at the state and local levels. Leading national Democrats cannot make robocalls for each of these and Democrats will not be able to spend enormously out-sized amounts on every race.
→ 3. Maintain the deregulation train. Trump and Republicans need to continue the de-regulation that has been ongoing and that started helping the economy in 2017. A strong economy where American voters feel prosperous and secure can go a long way toward blunting the traditional knockdown of the party in power during a midterm election.
→ 4. The woman thing is real. Numbers don’t lie. The Florida House race saw the highest percentage ever in a special election of women from both parties voting. And it is clear analyzing the numbers that most of the independent women voters and too high a percentage of the Republican women voters filled in the oval for the female Democrat.
→ 5. The scandal wildcard. The growing Obama-FBI-DOJ scandal and diminishing Trump-Russia collusion scandal remain a wildcard. While the public evidence shows the shift in the balance of evidence now pointing at the Obama-Clinton camp, we don’t know what Special Counsel Robert Mueller will do. If he finds more indictments within the Trump camp to hand down in late summer or early fall, that could have a huge impact on the investigation. If Trump appoints a Special Counsel to investigate the Obama-FBI-DOJ scandal, it could have an opposite impact. Or not. Too much unknown and therefore a wildcard.
What is for certain is that the GOP better not take anything for granted in November. Currently improving poll numbers can turn around any time.
Rod Thomson is an author, TV talking head and former journalist, and is Founder of The Revolutionary Act.
Today’s news moves at a faster pace than ever, and a lot of sources are not trustworthy. Whatfinger.com is my go-to source for keeping up with all the latest events in real time from good sources.
Get more stuff like this
Don’t miss a single act of Revolutionary Truth... delivered to your inbox!
Thank you for subscribing.
Something went wrong.