Flight to Florida: Can the Sunshine State Survive?
TALLAHASSEE, FL – November 6, 2018
The day of reckoning is finally here. Today is a historic day, which is not so much Election Day as it is the finale of Election Month.
The name of Donald Trump is not on any ballot, but the President himself considers the vote a "referendum on trust" to him personally. If the Democrats succeed in wrenching one or both houses of Congress from Republican control, it will put the Trump Administration totally on the defensive for the next two years. The President’s unfinished agenda will likely be stopped in its tracks.
Meanwhile, more than 5 million Floridians have already voted, a record for early ballots that probably means more than 7 in every 10 of all likely votes were already cast. Registered Democrats have cast slightly more votes than Republicans so far, but Republicans in recent elections have cast more votes on Election Day.
"The Democrats have done a pretty good job compared to past years, but I tell you our guys are fired up," said republican candidate DeSantis Monday afternoon after a "get-out-the-vote" rally at Quaker Steak and Lube in Clearwater with Sen. Marco Rubio. "We have voters who don't like doing early voting, they don't trust the mail. They want to go in on Election Day. We've got hundreds of thousands of them, and if they vote we win."
This year is likely to be the highest midterm turnout since 2002, when 55% of all voters cast a ballot. By comparison 75% of Florida voters turned out in the 2016 presidential elections.
Polls open at 7 a.m. and close at 7 p.m. Voters should bring a valid photo and signature ID with them to their polling place. People with a completed mail ballot can drop it off at their county supervisor elections office before 7 p.m.
"Given that voters are more energized and engaged than in previous midterms, we expect a strong election day turnout," said Pasco County Elections Supervisor Brian Corley. "Voters should be #ElectionReady by ensuring that their address is up to date, that they know their polling place location and that they have studied the candidates and amendments, as it's a long ballot. When in doubt voters should contact their respective Supervisor of Election's office via online or by the toll free number."
The candidates fanned out across the state Monday exhorting supporters to turn out if they haven't yet and to drag their friends and neighbors to the polls.
Joined by Rubio and Lara Trump, the president's daughter-in-law, DeSantis also made stops in Jacksonville, Vero Beach, Orlando, and Fort Walton Beach,
Also on Monday, Democratic gubernatorial nominee Andrew Gillum campaigned across north Florida before an election eve concert with Sean "Diddy" Combs, DJ Khaled, and Tiffany Haddish at Florida A&M.
His running mate, Chris King, made a final pass through the vaunted Interstate 4 corridor. King, local leaders, and former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley rallied dozens of last-minute canvassers at a south St. Petersburg campaign office. The message: The numbers look good, but don't count on it.
"It's going to be a tight election," King said before heading to Sun City Center and Kissimmee. But he added: "We are very inspired by the voter turnout. We have not seen anything like this in statewide elections in 20 years."
Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson followed his long-standing, analog tradition of waving campaign signs in Orange and Brevard County, while his opponent, Florida Gov. Rick Scott campaigned in Brevard County. He and DeSantis joined President Trump at a rally in Pensacola Saturday, and on Monday the President fired off several tweets urging Floridians to vote for DeSantis and Scott.
However, we have to wait a bit more. It will soon become clear whether the Republicans were able to keep one of the key states or if we will see the confirmation of the long-term trend, according to which since 1842 (the year of the first primaries), the midterm elections have been consistently won by those who oppose the incumbent President. Out of the 44 election cycles, there have only been three exceptions! In 1934, 1998 and 2002, the ruling party won. Thus, according to the theory of probability, the score is clearly in favor of the Democrats. Nevertheless, the results of the midterm elections can be examined from every angle, but in the meantime, we can only wait.