A great deal has been said about Florida politics from being a “purple” state to the insanity of “hanging chads”. But one thing that is hardly mentioned in national coverage of Florida is the fact that Republicans continue to win at the state level. This past midterm election Rick Scott(R) was re-elected in a very close battle with former Republican, nor Democrat governor Charlie Crist. This race was the marquee fight for sure. what was missed was the under card.
The Florida senate has 40 seats. 26 of them are held by Republicans. This midterm was a chance for Democrats to push forward in a hotly contended governor’s contest. But Republicans pressed their advantage even with Scott at the top of the ticket. Scott has never had more the a 50% approval rating but Republicans held serve in the senate.
The Florida House has 120 seats and Republicans hold an overwhelming majority in the house as they hold 80 seats. The Republican advantage actually increased though the midterm elections by 5 from 75 to the current 80. It seems that even with the Democrat advantage in registered Democrats they have not been able to translate that into an advantage in state government.
Florida Republicans flexed the political muscles on the state-wide level. Lets take a look at the cabinet level positions. The most controversial seat is help by attorney general Pam Bondi. Bondi became a target of the gay lobby due to her continued stand for tradition marriage. Bondi, countered this criticism by maintaining she was simply upholding the current Florida law, which is her job. Bondi was the only cabinet office that faced any real opposition from Democrats. An elderly George Sheldon was pressed into service to face Bondi. Bondi won the seat back by a comfortable margin however, 55% to 42% over Sheldon.
Jeff Atwater, the Chief Financial Officer truly with the least glamorous race managed not only to win but, become an amazing campaign voice to Governor Scott. Atwater traveled the state trumpeting the accomplishments of Scott and the Republican led legislature. Many credit Atwaer with the successful Get Out To Vote effort that led to Republican victories. Atwater won his race easily over Democrat Will Rakin 59% to 41%.
The last cabinet seat is held by former US congressman Adam Putman, Sec. of Agriculture. This seat is always voted party line as few people understand of care about the duties of this office. Putman cruised to victory over Thad Hamilton 59% to 41%.
These results are remarkable because Democrats outnumber Republican in Florida by over one million registered voter. It seems that the Florida Democrat party is losing their voters.