National organizations and donors have abandoned their Democrat candidates in Florida, a sign that they no longer view the state as competitive – and signal of an impending Republican landslide.
Florida was once a swing state but now has a Republican stronghold, making it almost impossible for Democrats to steal the votes.
As Politico reported:
Less than two weeks before the election, Democrats signal that key races are slipping away. They point to ominous signs and missed opportunities, including the party’s message on abortion rights and gun control that isn’t resonating and a lack of coordination between the campaigns of Rep. Val Demings, who is vying to unseat Sen. Marco Rubio, and Charlie Crist, who is challenging Gov. Ron DeSantis.
“If Democrats follow this building national narrative and decide not to compete in Florida in 2024, it will be one of the most short-sighted decisions of the last 30 years,” said Greg Goddard, a veteran Florida Democratic fundraiser. “Where do we think the pathway to winning a future presidential election lies?”
According to Democratic operatives, consultants, and elected officials, there is little reason to be optimistic ahead of the midterms.
As Politico notes:
- 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.
- Polling shows Republicans making headway in Miami-Dade County, which has long served as a blue stronghold.
- Democrats have collectively raised $29 million in the four non-federal statewide races. Republicans raised nearly $200 million.
Meanwhile, some Democrats are scrambling to hold on to the last bit of hope about the looming election.
“Conventional wisdom is that DeSantis and Rubio had this locked up, but it wasn’t long ago that conventional wisdom had Joe Biden dead in the Democratic primary and Trump losing to Hillary by double digits,” said Juan Penalosa, former executive director of the Florida Democratic Party.
“Anyone who can say with certainty that they know the election results ahead of time is reading a crystal ball but not a poll,” Penalosa added.
This is going to come down to turnout, and right now, with more than 800,000 votes cast, Democrats have the edge.”