Now that Primary Day is over, who are the big winners and who are the big losers? Here we go!
Pro-Public School Democrats – If the vote in the Senate for the Parent Trigger bill were to happen today, there would be two more solid “no” votes in the Chamber. Both Dwight Bullard and Geraldine Thompson have been able to turn back two opponents that would have possibly voted for the bill if they were in the Senate. Also, the Senate Democratic caucus just got a little more liberal.
Alan Grayson – Going into the race, Grayson must have known that John Quinones was the biggest threat to his chance of winning the race. Maybe his campaign was reading the analysis that I had written about the race a few months ago. Whatever the cast, Grayson ran a number of attack ads on television and radio against Quinones which might have been the deciding factor. Still, Quinones had to get a number of white votes in order to win this primary. Also, with most of the voters living in Orange County, any Osceola or Polk candidate wold have had a tough time.
Anti-Corruption – Unfortunately, in many African-American neighborhoods, a politician being accused of corruption is more of a badge of honor than a blow to the candidate’s credibility. In Central Florida, that changed. Voters overwhelmingly picked Geraldine Thompson over Victoria Siplin by nearly 12%. It was predicted by many that Siplin would win this in a close one, but the voice of reason prevailed.
Early and Absentee Voting – Early and absentee voting numbers shot through the roof yesterday. Is this trend because the campaigns and political parties were successful in pushing early voting or are voters just more educated on early and absentee voting than they were before? Whatever the case, many races were decided once the early and absentee votes were counted.
Central Florida Hispanics – While us liberals are thrilled that Todd Long won, Central Florida Hispanics will not have a Hispanic candidate to vote for in the general election for Congressional District 9. Honestly, if one were to have entered the race as a NPA, they would do quite well. Even so, a district that has a plurality of Hispanics will not have a chance to have Hispanic representation.
The Tea Party – While the news is trying to spin the Todd Long and Ted Yoho wins as showing that the “Tea Party is strong”, it is actually quite the opposite. In those races, the primary vote was split four ways, and anyone could have won. But in races that there were two defined Tea Party candidates, the Tea Party didn’t do well. Sandy Adams was killed by establishment candidate John Mica. Dave Weldon’s right-wing policies didn’t help in a statewide primary. And looking at the State Senate, establishment candidate Tom Lee easily defeated Rachel Burgin. Weldon finished 4th in Miami-Dade and 3rd in Duval. Is the Republican Party in Florida starting to reject right-wing conservatism? I’m sure the first legislative session back will confirm that isnt’ the case.
Jack Latvala – This one is easy. While Latvala won his own seat, his candidates to help him become Senate President did do as well. In fact, Joe Negron’s supporters took commanding leads over their opponents and never looked back. The “Latvala for President” charge might have died yesterday.
Election Day Voting – While a lot of voters voted early, the polls in many places were quite empty. Here in Central Florida, the Adams vs. Mica race brought a lot of people to the polls. But in other races, traffic at the polls was light. Most of the people seemed to have taken advantage of early and absentee voting. The rate of those of those were considerably up from 2008. This has to make Democrats in the state feel quite confident.