National Democrats are scratching their heads over what’s happening in Florida. It’s as if Joe Biden doesn’t want them to win. He didn’t consider any of the political ramifications a few of his recent decisions would have on the heavily Latino-populated state.
Especially in South Florida, Biden lit a match by easing restrictions on Venezuela and Cuba, the very two nations that many of them or their relatives were forced to flee.
This, coupled with Democrats already struggling in the state, has put a huge damper on campaign donations for the party. Who wants to invest in a losing deal?
Plus, there’s this cat by the name of Ron DeSantis who’s been shining a bright red light in the faces of Florida’s blue Latinos, and they like what they’re hearing. It’s also looking like this guy might be the next el Presidente, so all the better.
Chris Korge, the Democratic National Committee Finance Director, painted a bleak picture. “If you were to ask me, does Florida give you as good a return on investment as other places? Clearly right now it does not. We got our butts kicked in Florida recently. Our butts kicked.”
Even so, Korge believes it would be a mistake for donators to not even try to make up some swampy ground. “I think the White House absolutely thinks we need to be engaged there now rather than waiting until 2024 when it becomes more expensive to stop [DeSantis].”
He added, “We are going to be engaged in the midterm and, you can quote me on this, the DNC is absolutely not giving up on Florida.”
A look back shows that it was Obama who tipped Florida’s scales to the right. When he was elected in 2008, Florida’s Democrat voters outnumbered Republicans by 700,000. In 2012, the number dropped to 550,000. Then came Donald Trump who whooped Joe Biden in the Florida presidential election by 175,000 votes, and the rest is history. Florida is now one of the strongest red states in the nation.
The only recourse Biden has found for turning the state back to blue has been a confrontational approach toward DeSantis. Biden lashed out at Florida’s governor for not preordering pediatric Covid-19 vaccines as every other state had done except his. Ashish Jha, the coordinator for the White House Covid response team, obviously under Biden’s direction, called DeSantis’s lack of falling in line, “unconscionable.”
Biden sent his wife Jill to Palm Beach County to share a stage with DeSantis for a memorial honoring those who perished in the Surfside condo collapse. The First Lady took Housing and Urban Development Secretary Marcia Fudge with her as the two made a few additional stops in the state to discuss affordable housing with anyone who would listen.
Chief strategy officer for Biden-affiliated group Building Back Together, Mayra Macias, said the Biden team hasn’t as yet given up on Florida. “The administration has been very, very present in the state,” she said. “Be it the first lady in Palm Beach or Cabinet secretaries in other places, so I don’t think it’s a fair assessment to say the administration has written off Florida. You are seeing visibility at the highest levels.”
Here’s what the Biden administration has gotten wrong. While they’re sending big guns into the state to speak at the highest levels, DeSantis has taken his message to the street where the real citizens live, work, and play. He knows their wants and needs, and his goal is to let the people who pay his salary have their way.
What the Democrats refuse to acknowledge is that Florida, for them, is indeed a lost cause.