Barring any Asteroid Hits, Florida Democrats Believe 2024 'Back Into Play' for Them

Barring any Asteroid Hits, Florida Democrats Believe 2024 'Back Into Play' for Them

Jim McCool
Jim McCool
September 9, 2023

While the past several election cycles have been defined by historic wins for Republicans in the state of Florida, Democrats are not to be forgotten.  In a debate-styled event this week in Tallahassee, Florida sponsored by the Capital Tiger Bay Club and moderated by POLITICO's Gary Fineout, Leon County Democratic Party Chairman Ryan Ray challenged Leon County Republican Party Chairman Evan Power over the future of the Florida Democratic party.

"I got to say, Evan and his folks have done a really good job.  They have elected Republicans, they have supermajorities in both chambers of the legislature.  There is no doubt about it that Florida performs like a red state, it certainly did in 2022 and thats just what it is," said Chairman Ray.  "I do think that in the presidential cycle in 2024 with an abortion initiative on the ballot, protecting something that 70%+ Floridians believe in, I think that's going to be a serious game changer.

Ray called the issue, "much needed," and said the issue "puts Florida back into play."  Power, however, had a forecast that starkly contrasted Ray's argument.

"First of all, he brings up the abortion issue.  They tried that in 2022 and lost the vote by 19 points, so I'd love them to campaign on that issue and make it their thing because what 80% of Americans actually care about is the economy under Joe Biden, and Bidenomics is failing the country," said Power.

Power restated that he believes Florida will only be in play for Democrats if there is, " an asteroid hitting everyone because we have done a solid job."

Florida Republicans have crushed their Democratic counterparts in voter registration ever since Governor Ron DeSantis moved to Tallahassee.

Currently, Republicans lead Democrats by an astronomical 500K+ voter registration advantage.

"I expect 2024 to absolutely be in play for a Democrat to be elected [to the US Senate seat] I'm here trying to clean up our side of the street.  Democrats have done an anemic job, no question about that, thats why I stepped up," said Ray.

Ray's rhetoric seems to be the constant narrative Democrats across the state of Florida are pushing.  Florida Democratic Party Chair Nikki Fried (D) has echoed this talking point at the Leadership Blue gala on Miami Beach.

"Let me say this loud and clear: I am tired. I am tired that conservatives think they have a trademark on the American flag,” Fried said as she pointed to the half-dozen U.S. flags behind her onstage. “Well, they do not."

Evan Power and Ryan Ray
Evan Power and Ryan Ray

Fried has also been active on her Twitter, posting an eerie video portraying how conservative the state has become, with the caption, "Not on our [expletive] watch," followed by a recording of the chairwoman being arrested in protest of women's abortion access earlier this year.

The Florida party has also allocated $1 million to voter registrations across Florida, challenging the GOP's significant gains in this specific field.  #TakeBackFL has been the operation responsible for trying to flip voters in Florida back to Democrats.

Although Republicans have, for all intents and purposes, made Florida a blood-red state among the likes of Tennessee or Kansas, the party should be weary.  As the DeSantis era ends either in 2024 with a presidential nomination or terming out in 2026, the long-beaten Democratic party is ready to pounce on any opportunity they can to at the very least return Florida to its status as a swing state.

Florida Democrats have hit rock bottom and have nowhere else to go but up.

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Jim McCool

Jim McCool

Jim is a graduate of Florida State University where he studied Political Science, Religion and Criminology. He has been a reporter for the Floridian since January of 2021 and will start law school in 2024.

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