FL Primary Upset

Author: Imabench ,

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  • Imabench
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    (I know its a vox article but bare with it, im just using it cause it was the first thing that came up in the search results)


    For those of you who don't pay attention to decisions that Florida makes, which is perfectly excusable thanks to the craziness of the state, something quite remarkable did happen recently that from what I could tell no one saw coming

    In the Democratic party's primary election for governor Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum came out on top, beating out Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine, and former congresswoman Gwen Graham. Andrew Gillum can be characterized as pretty far to the left on the political spectrum, since he has gone on record saying he wants to Abolish ICE, Have Medicare for All, Go with Single Payer Healthcare on the national level, and a $15 minimum wage (though given the expensiveness of all things Floridian, this last one may seem quite tame) 

    He beat out Philip Levine, not surprising, and also beat out Gwen Graham, who was considered the front runner for the longest time and is also the daughter of former Florida Senator + Florida Governor Bob Graham. Gwen Graham right up to election day led over Gillum by 7 points. No independent poll even had Gillum close to the lead by the time the election came around either. 

    This sets him up with the heavily Pro-Trump GOP candidate Rob DeSantis in the general election for FL Governor, essentially making the contest a proxy campaign between Trump and Sanders, who endorsed and celebrated the corresponding candidates' victories. Given how senile and disconnected from reality some of the older members of Florida can be, it would be stunning if Gillum managed to go 2 for 2 and win the governor race for Florida. 
  • Vortex86
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    Candidates always go to the center after primaries for a reason. Going further left is going to alienate the independents that are needed to shore up a victory in the primaries. Not a good strategy. Seems like an easy win for the R
  • Imabench
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    --> @Vortex86
    I'm not sure he'll go further left in the general election and will try to move closer to the center, but the thing is he has started so far from the left in the first place that any substantial movement towards the center could very well piss off his own support base, unless Trump's approval record suddenly nosedives by 20 points right before midterms actually take place
  • Vortex86
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    I agree. There's not really any room for movement to the center because it would alienate his base. I feel like his policies are going to push away moderate democrats and independents. I don't really understand the choice. Graham was a very strong candidate. She was an upset candidate before, that was able to beat an incumbent Republican deep in red territory in the state. She is far more center leaning and had a good chance of drawing people away from the Trump backed candidate. Parts of his message that may have drawn independents or even moderate Democrats she exhibited. I actually voted for her in the primary.
  • 1harderthanyouthink
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    --> @Imabench
    I thought about this last night:

    Medicare-for-All is probably his biggest point - that probably plays better with old people in Florida, all things considered, than TV pundits will tell you. The ICE thing probably worked because young Latinos in Florida are more Democratic than their parents/grandparents, etc. He might talk less about the ICE thing in the general election - it's not very popular (increasingly, but still like in the 25-35 range depending on the state). But don't expect him to drop healthcare. Medicare-For-All is polling I'd guess 65-80% of independents voting in the midterm election based on the recent poll that showed 52% of Republicans supporting it, even after it was explained to them by pollsters. It's just not a fringe idea anymore, even beyond what my hopes and dreams were when Bernie was running.

    I hate doing things like this, but I think Andrew Gillum could end up something like the south's Obama. More to the left, but similar in voting effect.

    Considering that Bill Nelson was probably asleep when Andrew Gillum started winning last night, Gillum could end up saving the nation from having to see Senator Rick Scott in the near future, which I think is something most of us agree we never want to see. Because now the Republicans have nominated someone from their crazy fuck wing of the party for Senate against a moderate, abd someone from the just-out-of-the-asylum section of that wing for governor. The Democrats have a centrist on their Senate ticket and a leftist who seems to be a much better option at campaigning than the money other Democrats just threw at that primary.

    So now, there's no reason for the left-wing to really turn out for Gillum. They won't be talking about holding their nose to keep Bill Nelson, because that won't be the first thing on their mind anymore. Centrists will go the poll, vote Bill Nelson, and think about the fact that Ron Desantis' existence is not an old Onion article, and vote Andrew Gillum.

    It's like the old nominated a moderate President/firebrand VP idea, except it can actually work, because the passion of the leftward voters is being rewarded with an actual position of power, and the centrists still get to keep the far-right from having two Senate seats in their state.
  • Greyparrot
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    --> @Imabench
    Do you think the media blitz on Ocasio-Cortez has something to do with the outcome?
  • 1harderthanyouthink
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    I expect Gillum to win. This was Desantis' reaction to the primary win:

    "The last thing we need to do is to monkey this up."

    It's tough to get in the 0-5% range for black vote, but this guy might just do it.

  • Vortex86
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    Yes, a commonly used idiom is going to shore up the moderates and independents that we just talked about. If anything it's going to push people away that this is trying to be framed as racism. I am not at all surprised to find out that he is financed by George Soros
  • Imabench
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    --> @Greyparrot
    Do you think the media blitz on Ocasio-Cortez has something to do with the outcome?
    I cant think of any other reason tbh.

    Gillum has went on record saying he was the only non-millionaire candidate running for the governorship, which in Florida is almost a suicide move because television advertising in this state is crazy expensive. On top of that, the fact that the left-leaning Miami corridor had their own local candidate (Philip Levine is the governor of Miami Beach) with Graham infiltrating everywhere else means that Gillum had to have gotten attention via proxy of something else, which could very well be the Ocasio-Cortez saga.


  • Greyparrot
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    --> @Vortex86
    It's so disgusting that a man like Soros isn't vilified by the entire country when he meddles in elections. A large part of his fortune was made betting on a bad economy (hedge funds). Why would anyone knowingly support this man who actively wants to destroy the country for personal profit? 
  • Imabench
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    Actually wait, I was wrong....... Gillum managed to clean up in Miami Beach and got all the heavily populated areas like Tampa, Orlando, and Jacksonville, while Graham picked up the more rural counties in between..... Levine only grabbed a few counties in SW Florida: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2018/08/28/us/elections/florida-primary-elections.html

    He either had some sort of mega-effective grassroots campaign in big cities, or was carried by the Ocasio-Cortez saga. Given how he had support in major cities, I'm more inclined to think the former now. 
  • Greyparrot
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    --> @Imabench
    Yah, I have been having my thoughts about this. It's like the media desperately wants to select the kryptonite to Trump by selecting populist left candidates and supporting them with no thought to the policies. The media is still in shock that they were not able to dictate the outcome of the 2016 election, so it seems like they want to double down and make damn sure they will fight harder to influence the 2020 election.

    Instead of rejecting the claim that they are an arm of the Democratic party, they fully embrace the role. The problem with that is that the media has the same problem Hillary did in 2016, they really don't understand the people that watch their news shows.
  • Vortex86
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    Adam Corey will be the Paul Manafort of Gillum.