Last month, Florida Democrats appeared to wave the white flag when it comes to the gubernatorial race. According to Politico, the Democratic Governors Association “has no plans to give significant financial help to Florida Democrats” looking to take out Gov. Ron DeSantis. While the DGA has “bristled” at those reports and insists they are putting up a fight, one number certainly isn't helping boost confidence.
“For the first time in modern history,” according to the Associated Press, “registered Republican voters outnumber Democrats” in the state.
“Florida voters are choosing the Republican Party over the Democratic Party because we value freedom and liberty and reject Democrat-led government control,” DeSantis said last month. “This milestone moment reflects years of hard work, combined with the success of our common-sense conservative policies.”
According to the latest figures from the state election agency, there are 5,120,076 registered Republicans in Florida, 5,095,008 Democrats, and 3.8 million unaffiliated voters.
The numbers have Democrats on edge.
When Democrats met recently for their annual strategy conference, Annette Taddeo, a Democratic state senator running for governor, said there was a clear sense of the difficulties ahead for the party.
“Of course this fight will not be easy, but it’s about so much more than any one of us, and as Florida Democrats, we have lost so many times that donors and pundits have given up on us,” Taddeo said. But, she added, “I believe and I know we can win if we create the coalition of voters that are needed to win in a state where these decisions are made by 1% or less.”
With the 2022 election approaching, Democrats are confronting a host of disadvantages as they work to rebuild campaign networks and try to reignite excitement in their party. There is a growing worry that big donors and the national wing of the party may consider Florida to be GOP territory after years of bruising losses.
“In the current state of American politics, and especially in a state with as many major television markets and population centers, you’re going to need more help,” said state Rep. Evan Jenne, a Democrat. “It’s not as if Floridians can’t be swayed one way or the other. We need more coordination with the national party.” (Associated Press)
But going back to the Politico report, whether that support will be there remains to be seen.