Florida’s Governor’s race is the most consequential we’ve ever experienced

Why Florida’s Governor’s race is the most consequential we’ve ever experienced 

Bottom Line: These are stories you shouldn't miss and my takes on them...  

Excerpt: Several aspects of the face-off between the Democratic nominee for governor of Florida, Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum and, as of Monday, former Republican Rep. Ron DeSantis are likely to be bellwethers signaling America’s political future. 

Chief among the policies advocated by Gillum is "Medicare for all" (one step short of single-payer health care) with a corresponding increase in Florida’s corporate tax rate from 5.5 percent to 7.75 percent to foot the bill. Gillum also favors raising the minimum wage to $15 and abolishing ICE. 

Since the day after Gillum’s surprise win, DeSantis has branded his opponent’s policies as “socialist.” Perhaps not surprisingly, a recent Gallup poll found that Democrats view socialism more favorably than capitalism. 

Gillum is on record saying his campaign can reach voters who are "blacker, browner, younger and poorer."  Does that mean he is reducing Florida’s electorate to identity groups who vote in lock-step for policies that provide more benefits? Bloc voting means more power. But the larger question is how a “blacker, browner, younger and poorer” electorate will impact the direction of our nation. 

While Gillum unabashedly represents the left wing of the Democratic Party, DeSantis is considered far right with a voting record that places him among the 30 most conservative members in the House. In addition, the Miami Herald reportsthat DeSantis has voted 94 percent of the time with President Trump, who has proudly called the nominee one of his “warriors” -- a compliment DeSantis used in his primary fundraising. 

All this begs questions: Where will Florida’s middle-of-the road voters go? And do moderate voters even exist in our polarized national political environment? 

Men back DeSantis by a margin of 52 percent to 45 percent. Women support Gillum, 55 percent to 42 percent. White voters support DeSantis, 52 percent to 45 percent, while black voters overwhelmingly are voting for Gillum, 93 percent to 2 percent. 

A bright spot for DeSantis is that Hispanic voters, who constituted 18 percent of the electorate in 2016, are backing the Republican by 56 percent to 43 percent. Florida’s traditionally pro-GOP Cubans voters account for most of this tilt.  

Gillum vs. DeSantis serves as a backdrop and testing ground for the 2020 presidential election

Hot Take: Those are just highlights, I pulled from the most comprehensive and objective breakdown of our Governor’s race I’ve read yet. The entire article is well worth-while. There’s not a lot I have to add. I’m reminded of what I’ve been warning of for awhile. In this environment of increased partisanship and growing political divides we have actual Socialists winning elections. While the affable Gillum told me that he didn’t identify with Socialism when I asked him the question, I’ve yet to find any differences in his positions and those of Bernie Sanders. The stakes are especially large in this race given that we’re Floridians and the political divide between candidates for our top executive have never been greater, but as was cited, what happens in Florida won’t stay in Florida. Especially if Andrew Gillum wins. Socialists and the hard left will become emboldened and Nancy Pelosi and Hillary Clinton will suddenly seem conservative by comparison.  

There’s also a lesson for independents. The largest voting bloc in Florida isn’t registered to any party. Some do it for professional purposes, others don’t want to pledge support for a party even if they tend to break towards one in particular, still others truly aren’t ideological voters. The potential downside of the largest voting bloc not participating in the partisan primaries in what’s staring us in the face. Not having a vote in who the leading candidates for office will be. If you’re concerned with what you perceive to be politically extreme candidates in either party, you might consider registering in the party you lean towards generally, so you can help shape who future candidates will be.  

 

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