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Biblical: How We Know the Red Wave Building in Florida Is Going to Be Breathtaking

AP Photo/Gaston De Cardenas

I've made reference to this in multiple posts over recent weeks, but at this point, I think it merits its own post.  Everyone seems to understand that Republicans are going to win in Florida this cycle, but I'm not sure people appreciate exactly what we're looking at in the Sunshine State.  First, some context: Barack Obama won Florida twice.  A decade ago, when he was fairly comfortably (by Florida standards) re-elected in the state, registered Democrats outnumbered registered Republicans by roughly 800,000 (Republicans now lead on this metric by about 300,000, a swing of 1.1 million).  That gap quickly started to close, but Florida remained the definition of a battleground state.  In fact, it was and is America's most populous and diverse swing state.  In the GOP wave year of 2014, Republican Rick Scott barely defeated Democrat (and former Republican and Independent) Charlie Crist in the gubernatorial election.  The margin was a shade over one percentage point.  


Two years later, Donald Trump squeaked past Hillary Clinton in the state, by a nearly identically slim margin (though Sen. Marco Rubio coasted to re-election).  Two years after that, statewide Republicans defied the polling and won white-knuckle, hyper-close victories in the US Senate and gubernatorial races, despite the national winds blowing leftward.  Then came the pandemic and the 2020 election, in which Republican voters overwhelmed a large 'banked' Democratic lead in the early voting by showing up in force on election day itself.  President Trump went from trailing to racing ahead thanks to the 'blue mirage' (the opposite effect happened in places like Pennsylvania), and he carried Florida by three points.  Which brings us to this cycle.  Days ago, registered Republicans took the lead over registered Democrats in the early voting, and they haven't looked back.  As of yesterday, GOP-aligned voters led over Democrats in the early vote -- in ballots returned, an imperfect metric -- by more than six percentage points (the lead grew further later in the day)


In recent years, Democrats have built up a 'firewall' in early balloting, then waited nervously to see how big the red election day wave was (just big enough, in several cases).  This year, Republicans will likely have a sizable lead in the early voting, before the even redder election day wave crashes ashore.  Translation: Political bloodbath.  You may have seen stories about Democrats fretting that they might lose the longtime blue haven of Miami-Dade County.  Al Gore won a majority in that county in the infamous 2000 election.  Barack Obama rolled over John McCain in Miami-Dade eight years later, by 16 points.  Hillary Clinton trounced Donald Trump by 30 points there.  Thirty points.  Well, guess what just happened?

Yes, registered Republicans surpassed registered Democrats in the Miami-Dade early vote.  If they continue to lead through the conclusion of early voting, and normal election day patterns hold, the GOP will win this county outright, en route to an epic statewide blowout.  And I do mean epic.  Look at this.  That's all great news for Gov. Ron DeSantis, who deserves much of the credit for this astounding political shift in the state, Sen. Marco Rubio, and the whole ticket.  It's also meaningful in an array of House races in Florida, impacting the balance of power in Congress' lower chamber, too.  I asked Rubio about what's happening in his state yesterday.  Here's that discussion:


I particularly enjoyed this response about Charlie Crist, who isn't Rubio's opponent...this time around, at least:

I'll leave you with this:

...Which relates to this:

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