Voters clearly stood up to incivility and cynicism. Not in Florida.
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Voters clearly stood up to incivility and cynicism. Not in Florida.

Voters clearly stood up to incivility and cynicism. Not in Florida.
President Donald Trump, shown greeting Ron DeSantis and his wife Casey at a campaign rally in Fort Myers on Oct. 31, was not on the 2018 ballot but his presence still loomed large in Florida during the election. [Doug Mills/The New York Times]

So, this was enlightening. Not just the results, but the implications.

Basically, this election says that Florida is a purple state in theory only. The truth is you live in a Republican stronghold, and it is folly to argue otherwise. That goes for the state Legislature, the congressional delegation and the Governor’s Mansion, too.

Florida Democrats have a sizable lead in registered voters, and a fatal deficit in enthusiasm. Or brains. Or money. Or all three.

Elsewhere, voters clearly stood up to incivility and cynicism on Tuesday.

Not in Florida.

President Donald Trump called Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum a “stone-cold thief’’ and voters did not blink. He made immigration sound like a zombie apocalypse and the crowds cheered. He told Republicans to show up at the polls as if he were on the ballot, and in Florida they listened.

Let’s face it, this election wasn’t about Ron DeSantis. Or Rick Scott, for that matter.

This election was a referendum on Trump’s presidency. And judging by the number of congressional seats flipped, much of the nation decided to send Trump a stern warning.

Not in Florida.

DeSantis, your new governor, ran a campaign that was comically bereft of vision or details. And it didn’t matter. He beat a more charismatic candidate. He beat a candidate who had led in most of the polls.

It’s true that Gillum is a small-town mayor with a flimsy resume who may, or may not, be in trouble with the FBI, but that was practically an afterthought in the DeSantis campaign.

He basically beat Gillum by running on the platform that Trump can do no wrong. That was the theme of his earliest ads, and that seemed to be the opinion of his supporters.

Democrats may have outdone themselves when it came to voter turnout in this midterm, but Republicans turned out to be even more energetic.

In other states, voters took a stand against a president’s lies.

Not in Florida.

The state that handed Trump a victory over Hillary Clinton by 1.2 percentage points in the 2016 election, just reconfirmed its commitment with a 1.0 percentage-point victory in the 2018 gubernatorial race.

And this isn’t about parties or policies. We’ve disagreed about those for years, and still managed to maintain some semblance of camaraderie and propriety.

This is about a president whose only loyalty is to his own glory, and who thinks nothing of attacking anyone who disagrees with him. And Florida voters are seemingly okay with that. In fact, they seem oddly infatuated with the idea.

The state has been trending more and more Republican for the past two decades, and that’s fine. There are arguments to be made that lower taxes and less regulation have boosted the economy. And eight years of Scott’s leadership have actually solidified his popularity, not to mention softened his edges.

But this election wasn’t about partisan ideas. There was little in-depth discussion of policies in either the governor’s race or Bill Nelson’s vanishing Senate seat.

This election set a new standard in Republican domination. This election says Democrats can’t win in Florida even when they have momentum.

In races all around the nation, voters rejected the politics of fear and anger.

Not in Florida.

[H/T Tampabay]

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