Monday October 29, 2012

What's up with the Florida electorate?

florida map It’s election season, and time to talk about election things. And since Florida is going to decide this election, it’s worth doing a deep dive into what’s happening here. In Slate, a pretty bold headline: The Fraud That Failed: How the GOP’s voter suppression laws may have inadvertently cost them Florida. The gist of the article is a little weaker than that: seems that the movement to get the word out about Republican voter suppression efforts was effective, and it’s a mobilizing force for Democratic voters.

“I think that this whole thing is gonna backfire on ’em,” says Curry. “If they had left it alone, African-Americans may have been less excited about this election than they were about 2008.” Take the fear of disenfranchisement away and they might have been skittish about voting for a president who endorses gay marriage. In other states, like Maryland and Washington, there are campaigns directed at black voters that straddle the line between patronizing and true. But in Florida, where the Obama campaign is running an ad to remind people of the 2000 election, it doesn’t play. “Just because he says he’s for gay marriage doesn’t mean he’s going to implement it,” says Rev. Gary McCleod of the nearby Mount Sinai church. “That doesn’t concern people.”

(Special note to anyone who opposes legalizing gay marriage: fuck you. See me after class.) Also:

Democrats are proud to say it: If they win this election, it’ll be because a superior ground game turned out their base and overcame a Mitt Romney comeback. In Florida, they have twice as many campaign offices as Romney-Ryan. “With absentee ballot requests, usually the Republicans have a pretty significant advantage on us,” says Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the DNC chairwoman who represents a liberal slice of the Miami sprawl. “We’ve cut the advantage by 85 percent.” This is true.

Meanwhile, Molly Ball traveled around Florida and reports all the ways voters are upset with Obama. Predictably, it’s the economy, stupid:

They all promise a lot, Romney too,” she said. “I just want a better economy. Gas prices going down. Someone who can fix it for the long term.” The polls currently show Florida looking more hostile to Obama than almost any other swing state. (Only North Carolina looks worse for the president.) If he loses here — indeed, if he loses the 2012 election — it will be because of voters like these: the ones who refused to take him back.

So you see, the forces they are strong here in Florida. Meanwhile, the polls are pretty much evenly tied, and the election still rests on us. Stay tuned.


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