Democratic Florida Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services Nikki Fried’s latest attempt to dunk on state Republicans quickly fell apart when people noticed her Twitter biography.
“Florida isn’t a red state,” she tweeted last week.
Florida isn’t a red state.
— Nikki Fried (@NikkiFried) May 27, 2021
But her Twitter biography, which proudly declares her “the only statewide elected” Democrat in Florida, contradicts her point.
In addition, Republicans hold decisive majorities in both chambers of the state legislature.
Florida also went red for former President Donald Trump in both 2016 and 2020, due in large part to the gains Trump made with Hispanic voters.
“The governor has not been rational from day one. He has taken this very dogmatic approach to the pandemic. Opened up the state of Florida, never closed it down at the front end, never mandated a mask ordinance,” Fried told MSNBC in March.
“He then tells our local governments to take ownership of the issue and then comes in and went, ‘Well, never mind, we’re not going to allow you to enforce your mandates and get rid of your fines and fees,'” she added.
DeSantis has become a controversial figure on the national stage due to his unconventional — but highly effective — approach to the coronavirus pandemic.
Florida imposed minimal restrictions throughout the pandemic — a policy that received sharp criticism from Democrats, although the state generally tended to rank in the middle of all pack in terms of case rates.
While Florida could still arguably be considered competitive when it comes to specific races, Democratic hopes that they will make major gains are expected to fade away.
The Sunshine State gained a congressional seat following the 2020 census, as there was a 14.6 percent population increase from 2010, the Miami Herald reported.
“So it’s interesting with Florida, like, the media at the beginning of this said, ‘Florida is bad,’ and I think it’s because they wanted to damage Trump in Florida, wanted to damage me, so they just kept saying it was bad, even though the facts didn’t say it,” DeSantis said during a town hall with other Republican governors on the Fox News program “Hannity” last week, according to the Washington Examiner.
“And so I think what it did is, the people that buy those phony narratives for these media, they probably aren’t coming to Florida. But most people see through it, but the people that see through it, they think like us. And so, I think a lot of these people are coming. I think they’re registering as Republicans overwhelming.
“And I also have come across a lot of people who, quite frankly, were Democrats,” he said.
“The lockdowns turned them into Republicans because they say, ‘I cannot fathom,’ people say, ‘I was a Democrat because of education, and I’m in California, and they’re locking my kids out of school. I come to Florida, they’re in school, people are free, people are happy.’
“So, I think this whole process has caused some people to re-evaluate some of their prior commitments. And if you have a political party that puts the interests of teachers unions over the interests of kids being able to just access an education at all, that tells you all you need to know about the modern Democrat Party,” DeSantis added.
Meanwhile, a poll conducted by the Florida Chamber of Commerce and released earlier this month showed the Republican superstar with a 55 percent approval rating, Politico reported.
Unless Fried wants to become a bipartisan leader or is somehow able to counter the rising red tide in the state, her political ambitions may be short-lived.
Florida is gaining a national reputation as a bastion of freedom to conservatives (and a hellscape to liberals), so it will take a lot of grunt work from Fried to flip the state’s political trends.
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