Today has been a glorious day, one of the best this author has experienced in a long time.
What seemed impossible happened, as Andrew Gillum, the African American Mayor of Tallahassee, Florida (the state capitol), overcame the disadvantages of no money, no winning of any polls, no advertising to speak of. He triumphed over four other candidates, all with tons of money, and polls and advertising on a large scale.
So now we have three African American candidates for Governor, with Stacey Abrams in Georgia, and Ben Jealous in Maryland, along with Andrew Gillum.
Gillum was an unknown, and this author did not vote for him, assuming he had no chance to win, but now that he has won, this author is thrilled beyond belief, and ready to help Andrew Gillum win and bring a Democratic government on the executive level to the Sunshine State, the third largest behind California and Texas.
Andrew Gillum is educated, intelligent, a great orator, with great charisma and presence, a sense of humor, exudes confidence and has had executive experience, and displays a humility that is very appealing.
Gillum is someone to take seriously, as since independents could not vote in Florida for either party’s nomination, the potential for a “blue wave” is there, with not only independents, but also moderates in the Republican Party who are unhappy with the Donald Trump led Republican Party and its candidate, a nasty, mean spirited, arrogant three term Congressman, Ron DeSantis, who already the day after the primary, is using the word “monkey”, appealing to white supremacy and white racists.
Additionally, the fact that Gillum is only 39 will appeal to African Americans, young people, educated suburbanites, and the growing Puerto Rican population after Hurricane Irma, and with them being citizens of the US, and able to vote against Trump, who was shameful in his treatment of the hurricane disaster on that island. Now we are learning that 2,975 died in Puerto Rico, 60 percent higher than died in Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans in 2005.
To make the situation even more impressive, the Attorney General nominee for the Democrats is also an African American, Sean Shaw, and the candidate for State Agricultural Commissioner is Nikki Fried, who is Jewish. So we have a truly diverse ticket, and all this should help Senator Bill Nelson hold off Governor Rick Scott, who is spending three times what Nelson is able to raise, for his campaign.
But the belief is that Gillum, Shaw, and Fried could carry Nelson on their backs, and lead to an all Democratic victory in Florida in November.
The last Democratic gubernatorial win in Florida was Lawton Chiles, with his second-term re-election, in 1994. He died in office in December 1998. But just before that, Jeb Bush won a Republican pickup in November 1998 and was re-elected in 2002. Charlie Crist made it three-in-a-row for the GOP in 2006. Rick Scott, with margins of +1.15 and +1.07 percentage points, won in 2010 and 2014. So, the Democratsâ€”in what should be a midterm elections wave here in 2018â€”are looking to end their losing Florida governor races in what is also a presidential bellwether state (since 1928, minus 1960 and 1992). It is alarmingly overdue.
Andrew Gillum won the 2018 Florida Democratic gubernatorial nomination with 34.3 percent of the vote to Gwen Grahamâ€™s 31.3 percent, Philip Levineâ€™s 20.3 percent, and Jeff Greeneâ€™s 10.1 percent.
When you get four people seeking a partyâ€™s nomination, and the lowest of four still reaps 10 percent of the vote, it is remarkable the winner can prevail with that 3-point margin, over oneâ€™s top runner-up, and also win key counties.
Here is the map: http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2018/08/28/us/elections/florida-primary-elections.html?action=click&module=Most%20Popular&pgtype=Homepage .
Gillum carried the southeast populous counties Miamiâ€“Dade (Miami), by +6 over Levine; Broward (Fort Lauderale), by +12.1 over Levine; and Palm Beach (West Palm Beach), by +0.5 over Graham. In the middle areas of the Florida map, along the Iâ€“4 corridor, Gillum also carried Hillsborough (Tampa), by +5.4 over Graham, and Orange (Orlando), by +9.9 over Graham. In the northern region, Gillum naturally carried his home county, Leon (Tallahassee), by +7.5 over Graham. He also won Duval County (Jacksonville), by +27.6 over Graham.
Given the Republican side, with the nomination won by Donald Trump-endorsed Ron DeSantis (in a two-person race over Adam Putnam), Gillum had a better Duval County margin than DeSantis: DeSantis won Duval County by +26.6.
Duval County, at the presidential level, has trended away from the Republicans over the last five elections: In 2000, it was +16 points more Republican than Florida. In 2004, it was +11. In 2008, as Barack Obama flipped the state by nearly +3 percentage points, Duval County was +5 points more Republican. It was that level, again, in 2012. And in 2016, as Trump flipped the state by +1.19 points, Duval County was +1.36 for Trump. So, this county is trending away from the GOP. If Andrew Gillum wins a 2018 Democratic pickup of the Florida governorship, Duval County may flip with the state of Florida.
This may be a tough race to win. I have encountered opinions on terms like â€œsocialism,â€ â€œdemocratic socialism,â€ and â€œsocial democrat.â€ One person I came across said â€œsocial democratâ€ would be best used. But, what I think transforms the ability to win has to do with this period we are living in and what capitalism has been doing not only to the U.S. but globally. Outside the U.S., I find the United Kingdom fascinating. And the people who have held the power, and have had it for generations, are doing all they can to hold it. One can see that with prime minister Theresa May and the false attacks against Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.
If the Democrats are going to win back power, with these midterm elections, they are likely not going to achieve that without Florida. They cannot expect to flip the U.S. Senate if incumbent Democrat Bill Nelsonâ€”re-elected to his third term in 2012 by over 1 million votes and +13 percentage points (while Barack Obama was re-elected with Florida by margins of nearly 75,000 votes and +0.88 points)â€”gets unseated by Republican challenger and current governor Rick Scott. The Democrats are not likely going to flip the U.S. House while no seats in Florida come along for the ride. (It has been polled, for more than a year, that retiring Republican Ileana Rosâ€“Lehtinenâ€™s 27th Congressional District will flip Democratic.) So, the Democrats are going to have to absolutely go after flipping the Florida governorship.
These historical voting patterns and midterm elections outcomes, at least to considerable extent, tend work in tandem. After all, and I have mentioned this before, there is this fact: Since 1995, the party which had the majority in the U.S. House also the majority number of governorships.
I am going to share a 16-minute video. On â€œThe Young Turks,â€ published August 9, 2018, Cenk Uygur interviews Andrew Gillum. What struck me is that Gillum comes across very focused on his approach to winning over the electorate. This obviously applied first to the primaries. Those are now done. But, he also speaks of this with the general election.
Thanks, D, once again, for your insights, and I agree totally!
Possible winning strategy for Dems?
The GOP candidates are following in Trumpâ€™s racist footsteps.
Nailed it, Leia!
The Democratic candidates are diverse.
The Republican candidates are xenophobic mini-me’s.
The Republican Party is no more. It died in 2016. Now, it’s the Party of Trump.
The Trump administration is now denying passports to American citizens.
This Is Fascism, Pure and Simple