Florida Democrats Don’t Have A Clue How To Win Next Election





Democrats, forget about Donald Trump. You’ve got other problems.

All the tea leaves at this point indicate a massive Democratic defeat next year.

It’s the age-old problem for Florida Ds: No message.

Democrats are also plagued with a tiny bench of proven candidates, poor fund raising and a lack of statewide professional campaign talent. Their biggest problem, however, is being unable to give voters a reason to vote for a D.

Just what do Florida Democrats stand for?

No, no, no. In a few words.

Trump summed up his campaign in four words, “Make America Great Again!”

Gov. Rick Scott’s was propelled into office with the help of the simple sentence, “Let’s Get To Work.”


All they can say at this point is, “We are Not Donald Trump.”

That’s not enough.

Perhaps Trump will self-destruct and the nation will be so angry at him they will vote in droves for Ds. Don’t count on it.

No one knows what will happen in the world and to Donald Trump between now and next year’s election. Don’t be fooled by the hair-on-fire tone of some of the media or the frenzy of your Democratic friends.

All the anti-Trump demonstrators on the streets of Florida amounts to a rounding error in a statewide election. If Florida Democrats have any hope of victory, they need a Plan B where Trump is only part of the equation.

Democrats need say what they stand for in addition to what they are against.

A party that must depend on the other guy to fail is not much of a party.

In a superb critique of the Democrat’s dilemma, Kartik Krishnaiger in the Florida Squeeze points out another looming problem.  He blames the party’s emphasis on ethnic politics for much of the Ds misfortune:


Kartik Krishnaiger


“…Progressives should be talking about economic inequality and how it impacts people of all races, ethnicities and genders rather than basically saying if you are not a minority or a liberal white millennial we don’t want you.

“Again this might seem harsh but this appears to be the undertone of much of the left’s push in recent years.

“Why is identity politics so dangerous?

“Besides pitting ethnic groups and races against one another it allows a party to essentially stand for NOTHING.” (I included Krishnaiger’s bold facing and capitalization. The piece is linked here.). 

I agree with Krishnaiger.

Ethnic politics — A tactic of Hillary Clinton, who was crushed in Florida despite an almost unlimited bankroll which off-year election Democrats won’t have? —  assumes that blacks and Hispanics will always vote in a bloc for Democrats.

Some political scientists say Democrats are foolish to build a future based on ethnic politics.  They theorize that as increasing number of blacks and Hispanics become well off economically they could become Republicans.

Most of all, Democrats can’t win statewide Florida elections by writing off the bulk of white voters. Just look at the Republicans.

The Republicans have done very well courting white voters.  The GOP has had a lock on the governor’s office since 1999. Democrats haven’t elected a non-incumbent U. S. Senator from Florida since 2001. (The last one was Bill Nelson, who faces a very tough race probably against Gov. Scott next year.)

It’s time for Democrats, if they ever want to win, to shape a simple message. They must tell voters why to vote Democratic.

Sean Phillippi, a Broward Democratic activist, explained it this week in the Florida Squeeze:

“A lot of people who voted for Trump are emotional voters as they wanted someone who they thought would look out for them with no detailed policy agenda in mind.  Also, “Hope and Change” has nothing to do with being President of the United States and has nothing to do with issues, but was an emotionally charged phrase that was the centerpiece that voters associated with the Obama Campaign back in 2008 more than anything else.”

Sean Phillippi

Ds need a message and candidates who can get votes, not just in liberal Broward. Ds also need votes in Pasco, Duval and Sumter Counties, home of the GOP stronghold The Villages.

Building a Democratic campaign in liberal Broward is relatively easy compared to rounding up votes in Republican parts of Florida.  Establishing an organization and pitching whites who traditionally vote Republican is hard work.

It is much easier to sit around with other Democrats debating how long Trump will last.

Democrats are wasting much too much time wringing their hands about Trump and hoping his presidency will blow up.  Its time for Democrats to find a simple reason to vote for their candidates. Its time for Democrats to leave the anti-Trump echo chamber and start working.

Because only hard work wins elections.

5 Responses to “Florida Democrats Don’t Have A Clue How To Win Next Election”

  1. Karen Kirchen says:

    I was a legal poll-watcher in a mostly minority community in Broward Co on election day 2016. Very, very slow. Spent much of the day chatting with D candidates for local office handing out info to the few voters who showed up. Despite the supposed big $$/big push by the Clinton campaign, they said the “get out the vote” effort in their precinct was non-existent compared to previous elections. No door to door, no fliers, no car with loudspeaker going through the neighborhood to get out the vote/offer to arrange rides. Said they had been unable to get attention/resources from the campaign.

  2. Sean Phillippi says:

    The one thing that Scott, Obama, and Trump have in common is that none of them had the support of their political party before they won their respective nominations. They all ran against other candidates who the political parties preferred. I agree that Democrats need to do better in having a simple message that resonates, but election messages are candidate driven. So, the question isn’t whether the Democratic Party has a message. It is whether Graham, Gillum, and the other Democrats running have a positive message of what they will do to make the lives of voters better if elected as it can’t just be anti-Trump.

  3. lostsoulsbeach says:

    “The Republicans have done very well courting white voters.”

    Yes, and Obama, Hillary and the entire democrat party with their constant harping about white privilege nonsense and their very wedge issue party platform made it very easy for the republicans to succeed.

  4. Chris says:

    Why do we keep fighting each other. There’s no viable dems running for any of the other cabinet positions and all of them are up for election. As long as we keep fighting each other for a few seats at the table we will never win anything. Not sure who is running either campaign, but listen to me carefully, Graham and Gillium won’t win unless John Morgan or Phillip Levine is on the ticket with them. Hate to say it, but FL runs like a business and has so for almost 20 years. They are very successful businessmen and voters will feel confident they will keep the economy on the upswing. I don’t want to put down Gillum, but watch out, his experience will come into question, he makes $200k as a youth leadership director. He has never had a real job in his life and neither has Graham for that matter. This entire article is about messaging, I blame everything on dysfunction and internal BS, if you want to know what’s wrong with the party just look at how they treated Bernie Sanders.

  5. Talks like a politician says:

    Where is the surprise in this article? The Democrats at the national level self destructed under the leadership (term loosely used) of Debbie Wasserman Schultz, former lackey of Obama. Debbie tried to tear Bernie to shreds while supporting a candidate who millions of people were just plain tired of. End result, Democrats turned out to be the definition of the word “loser”.