Florida Has Red Storm, But It Doesn’t Spread
Florida Has Red Storm, But It Doesn’t Spread
Tonight’s election results in Florida were downright amazing. Ron DeSantis squashed Charlie Crist, and Marco Rubio easily cruised to victory over Val Demings. So… why didn’t that red hurricane in Florida trigger a red wave everywhere else?
Sadly, a lot of the races that were looking competitive for Republicans to actually pick up seats in the Senate are either too close to call, or broke for the Democrat. Maggie Hassan won her race easily in New Hampshire. Michael Bennett was declared the winner of the Colorado race within minutes of the polls closing. Republicans tried breaking into blue areas in the House, and came close in a couple of cases, but fell short right at the end.
The red hurricane in Florida was decisive and huge. Ron DeSantis won triumphantly, especially as compared to his 2018 win.
And DeSantis was absolutely the top of the tidal wave. It was an absolute disaster for the Democrats in Florida.
MSNBC's Alex Wagner on early Flordia results: "What is the lesson you are drawing here in terms of the Hispanic vote? How alarmed should Democrats be?"
David Plouffe: Well, In Florida, it's catastrophic…The Obama coalition in Florida is gone. pic.twitter.com/VPDbzisvwf
— Kevin Tober (@KevinTober94) November 9, 2022
So, what the hell happened across the rest of the country? Florida was supposed to be a bellwether for the rest of the country. There have been some good moments, like watching Beto O’Rourke and Stacey Abrams lose in Texas and Georgia. But Kathy Hochul and Gretchen Whitmer have won in their states, and New York and Michigan get to reap the consequences of that.
The difference between Florida and the rest of the country? Florida had better candidates who ran better campaigns. There were good candidates in other states, but too many of them carried too much baggage, but so many of them were handpicked by… Donald Trump. And this is the major problem. Trump loves the attention and the campaigning, and he wants the credit for winning, but not the blame for the losses. And don’t take my word for it.
with a completely straight face https://t.co/M2jfNZb4yH
— Matt Wilstein (@mattwilstein) November 8, 2022
And it’s particularly telling – and galling – that the first message that Trump put up on Truth Social is this one.
Trump’s first post on the election is celebrating a Republican Senate loss. https://t.co/67PyRRhVYb
— AG (@AGHamilton29) November 9, 2022
Joe O’Dea was not his chosen candidate in Colorado, and so he’s going to gloat about his loss? Why does this feel like the Georgia runoff all over again?
Now, the election is not over, and there are lots of votes to still count. But Trump, who as the former president could have been a real kingmaker by choosing the best candidates instead of the ones who just groveled the most, is looking weak. Does that mean Trump is simply too radioactive for 2024? The question is now out there, and tonight is not looking like a convincing argument for Trump 2024.
Trump has 0 shot at 2024 general. After tonight, this isn’t up for debate. I was around in 2015 when he had “no chance,” and accurately said he’d win. Threw biggest inauguration event in 2017.
Times change or he changed or whatever.
DeSantis in 2024 or accept total defeat.
— Cernovich (@Cernovich) November 9, 2022
Now, the GOP has at least a full year before considering actual candidates for 2024. Has Trump taken himself out of the conversation? Not by a long shot, because he won’t be willing to go away quietly. But after winning 2016, the winning did not continue. The Republicans can complain all day long about the media bias, about voting machine shenanigans, and about voter turnout, but unless we actually produce candidates that can win, and then get out the voters to cast their ballots, we will be stuck. And stuck as losers.
There will be a lot of virtual ink spilled over the next week or so about what went wrong, and how the polls are basically useless now. This election was supposed to be about how Biden had failed the country. And while that is still true, the conversation seems to have shifted to how Trump hurt the midterms. And shifting the conversation away from the failures of Biden cost the Republicans.
We can’t all live in Florida, but we are going to have to look at the wins there and figure out how to spread them out across the country.
Featured image: Governor Ron DeSantis of Florida, official portrait, public domain