Columnist: Florida keeps moving right, will be red state going forward

For decades, Florida has been regarded as one of the country’s most critical swing states. However, Democrats were stunned by what was “effectively a landslide” for President Donald Trump in the state this election, as the New York Times reported.

Washington Examiner reporter Naomi Lim believes Florida, with its 29 electoral college votes, will be known as a solidly red state going forward, something Trump deserves significant credit for.

In an article published last week, Lim argued that Florida’s reputation for oscillating between Democratic and Republican candidates is “a thing of the past.”

Lim began her piece by recalling the election of 2000, a hotly contested race that was decided in Florida by a mere “537 votes out of nearly 6 million cast.”

Fast decision in Florida

In contrast, she noted how Trump “defied poor polling to dispatch President-elect Joe Biden quickly in Florida, an electoral treasure trove.”

By winning the state two cycles in a row, the president has illustrated “an emerging Republican trend in the state” that could see it “slipping away from Democrats, at least for the foreseeable future.”

Specifically, Lim focused on the growth in Republican support compared to how the country as a whole voted in 2016 and 2020 versus the decline that President Obama encountered between 2008 and 2012.

Florida is growing more Republican than the country as a whole

“This year, Florida was also about 3.5 points more Republican compared to the national popular vote as it stands on Thursday,” she wrote. “In 2016, the state was roughly 3 points more Republican than the popular vote. And while former President Barack Obama won Florida by 1 point in 2012 and 3 points in 2008, the state was 1 point and 2 points more Republican than the popular vote, respectively.”

Lim concluded by quoting University of South Florida communications professor Joshua Scacco, who suggested that Florida’s political make up could leave future Democratic presidential nominees with tough choices.

“Democratic presidential campaigns going forward will need to continue to weigh the cost of competing in the state with the slight Republican lean in the past few elections,” he explained, alluding to Florida’s famously expensive advertising market.

Yet despite “knowing that the state may be tough to win in the aggregate,” Scacco says its sheer size means Democrats cannot “afford to leave Florida uncontested in an election.”

This is good news indeed for Republicans.

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