South Texas & South Florida: New Red Wave Twin Sisters?
The following article with excerpts appeared recently in The New Yorker magazine (Jan 25, 2023) on how the Democrats are losing the Latino vote in South Florida. There is a parallel here in geopolitical terms with South Texas. There has been so much success in South Florida that we, in Texas, might pick up some valuable tips and inside operational knowledge. It is obvious that the South Florida GOP:
- Outworked the Florida state Democrats year around
- Invested more money in their canvassing efforts
- Had better messaging
- Had more networking sessions year around
- AND, basically, forced the Democrats to campaign from behind.
–V. Lance Tarrance, Jr.
Republicans’ sustained and successful courting of Latino voters in South Florida could be a road map for the G.O.P. in 2024.
by Stephania Taladrid, Jan 25, 2003. The New Yorker
“…When Trump ran for President in 2016, his resort was seen as a Republican island in Miami-Dade County, an area that has been a Democratic stronghold for decades. That year, Hillary Clinton beat Trump by thirty points there. In the midterms of 2018, Governor Ron DeSantis lost Miami-Dade by twenty points. Democrats’ hopes of flipping Florida long rested in the southeast of the state. But the Democratic Party’s dominance in Florida’s most populous county has been slowly eroding. In 2020, Trump cut the Party’s lead, losing to Biden by a mere seven points in Miami-Dade.”
“State Democrats issued a clarion call to the Party’s national leadership, urging them to double down on their investment in the county. The opposite happened: after investing nearly sixty million dollars in the 2018 midterm election, Democrats spent less than two million in last year’s race. For the first time in twenty years, Miami-Dade went Republican, with Ron DeSantis beating his Democratic opponent, Charlie Crist, by eleven points. It was clear that the Democrats’ passivity had come at a cost, but also that the G.O.P. messaging on everything from parental rights to the threat of communism was appealing to a growing segment of the electorate.”
“In the midterms, Florida proved to be the only state in the country where the red wave fully panned out. Along with DeSantis’s trouncing of Crist, Republicans flipped three House seats, and the number of registered Republicans in Florida surpassed that of Democrats—a historic first. Andrea Mercado, who leads the liberal advocacy group Florida Rising, estimated that Republicans had outspent Democrats by more than three hundred and fifty million dollars. Some losses, as in Doral, where Republican turnout far exceeded that of Democrats, were particularly hard to process. Mercado saw them as an unmistakable sign of entrenched G.O.P. gains, and she said that Democrats had only themselves to blame. “The reality is,” Mercado said, “you just don’t win the races that you don’t run.””
“…These shortcomings seemed apparent to the Democratic Party’s leadership in Florida. A veteran political operative characterized his Party in an open letter as, “practically irrelevant” in the state. Its strategy relied on building “field operations only around elections” and expecting a vote without engaging voters…”
“…Today, he said, Florida was no longer a part of the Democrat’s victory map…the Party had deemed it too expensive to compete. It’s a case of demolition by neglect.”