Look Beyond Voter Registration In SFL

In a weekend message to the group he found, Concerned Citizens of Broward County, John Daly – whom I greatly respect, had this message.

Message to members: In the SS article (Scott Israel isn’t done yet), Anthony Mann clearly lays out the political landscape. While many in this group are angry about local reps from Broward supporting the reinstatement of Scott Israel, replacing them is a monumental task. If you are a Republican, just turn your head and forget about it; Ronald Reagan couldn’t win a state Senate seat in Broward. The numbers just aren’t there. In Lauren Book’s district, the numbers are even more daunting. While it is possible for a Democrat to win the seat in a primary, the odds always favor the incumbent. Keep in mind that state Senate seats are term-limited; Kevin Rader is officially a lame duck after the next election. Also keep in mind that given the makeup of the Florida legislature, Democrats have no power whatsoever.

There was more to it including elections they’re seeking to recruit local candidates for heading into 2020. There’s one assumption that’s been commonly accepted that I want to address. No South Florida race or seat is beyond a Republican or a Democrat’s ability to win. The reference to Reagan provided me with the perfect example of why no political party should stare at voter registration figures and decide how elections will go. In 1980, 64% of Florida’s voters were registered Democrats while only 30% of Floridians were registered Republicans. A 34% registration advantage. Ronald Reagan won that election in Florida by 17 points. Reagan also carried Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach Counties in that election. Fast forward to today and South Florida’s voter registration stand at 50% Democrat in Broward and 42% Democrat in both Miami-Dade and Palm Beach.

There are 14% fewer Democrats in Broward and 22% fewer Democrats in Miami-Dade and Palm Beach Counties today than in 1980 when Reagan dominated the state, including South Florida. Remember, conventional wisdom held that Trump couldn’t win either. He not only won but won states like Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin that hadn’t voted for a Republican since 1988. Conventional wisdom occasionally proves to be unwise. 2020 is a year ripe for anything being able to happen politically, from school board races to the White House. Don’t take anything for granted and John's right. Good candidates are needed to challenge in many races. South Florida media is often complicit in creating an incumbency advantage for Democrats by discouraging competition from would be independent and Republican challengers. If people looked to news media for political odds before making key decisions the founders wouldn’t have fought the Revolution, Reagan wouldn’t have even visited Florida and Trump wouldn’t be President of the United States. I assure you it’s possible for non-Democrats to win local races.

Photo by: Getty Images North America

 

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