The Democratic Party has all but thrown in the towel on the November midterm elections in Florida as national groups and major donors have abandoned their candidates in droves.
Critics within the party now believe that they are no longer competitive in the Sunshine State. And some leaders are hopping mad at being abandoned — both for the coming midterms and possibly the 2024 presidential election.
As Evan Ross, a prominent South Florida-based Democratic consultant predicted, “it’s going to be ugly.”
DeSantis is favored by most Hispanic voters — even some Florida Democrats, new poll shows.
— Support Ron DeSantis2024 (@Desantis2024S) October 24, 2022
And state Democratic fundraiser Greg Goddard lamented that the almost complete retreat is “short-sighted.” He further worried that the implications for 2024 are dire, asking “where do we think the pathway to winning a future presidential election lies?”
The evidence that party bigwigs have all but given up on the state could not be more stark.
Over the two previous governor’s races, the Democratic Governors Association poured $14 million into their candidates’ coffers. This cycle’s total is only $685,000.
Billionaire Michael Bloomberg in 2020 pledged $100 million for the effort in 2020, but for this year’s races the sum contributed is a paltry $1.5 million. Further, for the four non-federal statewide contests in 2022 Republicans have brought in nearly $200 million in donations.
The Democratic Party has countered that haul with only $29 million.
Many party faithful point towards the lack of momentum garnered by the left’s messaging over abortion and gun control. However, the consensus both within the state and nationally is that the rise of Gov. Ron DeSantis is leaving challengers in the dust.
The Republican won his 2018 gubernatorial race over now-indicted Democrat Andrew Gillum by less than half a percentage point. And former President Donald Trump prevailed in Florida in 2016 and 2020 by 1.2 points and 3.3 points respectively.
Times have changed. The popular DeSantis is trouncing Democratic challenger Charlie Crist by an astounding 14 points in the latest polling. It is no wonder that national leaders decided to focus elsewhere from suddenly-red Florida and avoid throwing more good money after bad.