Florida is the most important state in American politics, because it is a changing state in demographic evolution with the fourth largest electoral impact in the nation , behind three others (New York, California, Texas) who are locked up. even before the elections begin. Notable changes in Florida since 2016 may result in the Republican Party's Waterloo in 2018 and 2020 and beyond.
In 2018, the top three issues facing the Republican Party are Hurricane Maria, the generic ballot, and the end of Rick Scott's tenure. One of the less reported seismic effects of President Trump's mishandling of the current tragic crisis in Puerto Rico is the acceleration of mass migration to the mainland, particularly to Florida. The New York Times recently reported that more than 100,000 Puerto Ricans have already arrived in Florida, and more than 200,000 may arrive before Election Day next year. Unlike other Latino immigrants, Puerto Ricans are U.S. citizens and can vote once they become residents of the state, and the new and energized Democratic voter registration groups that emerged after the loss of Hilary Clinton are already aggressively registering them. for vote. While the Latino takeover of Florida has been falsely reported more than once, now may be the time.
The second problem facing the Republican Party is the strong unpopularity of President Trump and the Democrat's biggest advantage on the generic ballot. According to Five Thirty Eight, Democrats have ranged from a 7-10 point generic vote advantage for most of the past six months, and historically this metric is worse for the ruling party in its second year in office. Recent elections confirmed these statistics: Virginia elected Northam Governor almost +9, while Clinton was +4 in 2016. In 2016, the overall popular vote was +2.5 Democrat, putting Virginia 2 points above the national median. so Virginia's 2017 performance equates to roughly +7 Democrats nationally. Florida is almost as close to Network 0 as you can see, going from + 1-2 Democrats in 2008 and 2012 to + 1-2 Republicans in 2016.
If the generic ballot is +7 next year, or worse, I'd expect it to be a comfortable victory for Democratic governor in Florida, with more raises in the state legislature. To return to Virginia as an example, Republicans entered this month's election with 64/100 seats in the legislature and ended the day with a virtually uniform legislative division. Florida state Republicans currently hold 77/120 seats, and could reasonably be expected to lose 10-15 of them in these types of elections. If that happened, in addition to losing the governorship, essentially following Virginia's results minus Virginia's current Democratic lean, then the Republican Party would not be able to regain control of the House and House districts in 2020 because his Democratic governor would veto it.
This brings us to the last major issue facing Republicans in 2018: Governor Rick Scott's term limits. Scott has been a relatively popular governor and it would be very difficult to remove him even in a poor national environment. But since it came out, Republicans have lost their incumbent power, and the gubernatorial election is much more likely to resemble the national mood.
For 2020, the importance of the Florida gubernatorial election really cannot be overstated. Florida has been ruled by Republicans (starting with Jeb Bush of 2000 electoral fame) since the late 1990s and has both strict voter identification and voter discrimination laws and is one of the few states with a lifetime ban on voting for criminals. Currently, more than 20% of African American men in Florida cannot vote, more than enough to influence an important election, even leaving Puerto Rican immigrants out of the equation. If a Democrat were to win governor of Florida and overturn this law or begin manually restoring the ex-offender's voting rights, as Terry McAuliffe did in Virginia over the past two years, he could restore more than a quarter of a million voters, in its majority Democrats, to vote. in 2020. In fact: in Virginia, which is far less than Florida, there is evidence that Democrats added nearly 50,000 votes in this year's election as a result of McAuliffe's pardons.
If Florida were to become a trusted democratic state beginning in 2020, it would in turn radically alter the presidential map for decades to come. That would put Democrats in more than 267 electoral votes even without the states of Ohio, Arizona, North Carolina, Iowa, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania combined, which would make it very difficult for Republicans to win future national elections with their current coalition, even giving them almost the entire Midwest exempting Michigan.
Plus, if you were looking for a bonus round, that's Michigan. Like Florida, Michigan has a pathetic Republican governor, and unlike Rick Scott, he's unpopular. Michigan is also traditionally more Democratic than Florida, becoming a Democrat in every presidential election except 2016, which was decided by about 10,000 votes and was marred by discrimination and voter repression in the Detroit metropolitan area. With a Democratic governor, that would likely change in time for 2020.
So if you're a Democrat in 2018, watch the Florida and Michigan gubernatorial elections closely and make a donation. Florida is without a doubt the most important race in the nation.
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