We’ve been fed rhetoric for years now that if the Democrats can turn around rural North Florida or other peripheral counties we can begin winning statewide again. Considering the track record of Florida Democrats is about as bad as it gets, it is no shock that the vast majority of legislative and congressional seats in urban areas outside of southeast Florida are held by Republicans. Some swing districts are left virtually uncontested, as the Democrats continue to manufacture excuses.
For this study, we eliminated the two outlier US Senate races (2006 & 2010) and generously for the Democrats did not look at Cabinet offices. That is a study for another day, but in general Democratic performance in large counties gets worse and worse as you go further down the ballot. What we found was that Democratic performance in statewide elections in urban counties is far from satisfactory and Gubernatorial candidates face far worse than Presidential and US Senate candidates. Even in Hillsborough County, home to the last three Democratic Party nominees for Governor, Federal candidates have run stronger. In some counties, such as Orange and Volusia the difference between Federal candidates and state candidates is striking. Keep in mind we have yet to look at cabinet offices where Democrats have fared even worse.
Even in heavily Democratic southeast Florida, the gap between Federal statewide success and failure to maximize turnout and performances for Governor & Cabinet has had a dramatic effect on the continued defeats by Democrats at that level. Despite being a national battleground state in Presidential and US Senate races, the performance of Florida’s Democrats for state level office is the worst in South since the turn of the century and the third worst in the entire nation.(Only Utah and Idaho are worse.)
In this study we looked at eight selected races:
2000 US Senate
2004 US Senate
Note: Only two party vote counted. Votes for third party or NPA candidates were eliminated for this study.
|Pres Avg||US Sen Avg||Gov Avg||Pres minus Gov|