ICYMI: A historical battleground in Florida, the Orlando metro area, is turning “bluer” by the minute
This week two reports came out that focused on game-changing Democratic growth in the Orlando area. The first was an ABC News report on how Seminole County, a historically red county just north of Orlando is turning blue. Democrats won in Seminole for the first time in years in 2018 and that momentum has not slowed down.
The second was a Politico report that noted how in must-win Florida, the increasingly Democratic Orlando region, with a deep bench of Democratic leaders and a grassroots organizing infrastructure to match, could help deliver the “crowning blow to Trump in November.”
The stories speak to the Democratic enthusiasm and growth in the entire Orlando metro area, not just the suburbs or the urban center. And notably, Trump’s relentless criticism of vote by mail (despite voting by mail in Florida during last month’s primary) is only hurting his party in the Orlando metro area, where the recent primary elections “showcased Democrats’ growing mastery of vote-by-mail absentee ballots amid the pandemic.” Democrats are continuing to educate voters on vote-by-mail in Florida, amassing a 700,000+ vote by mail advantage to Republicans.
POLITICO: ‘A heart pumping blue blood:’ How fast-growing Orlando threatens Trump’s reelection
Marc Caputo | September 15, 2020
- “The president must win Florida to capture a second term. But the increasingly Democratic Orlando region stands in his way as one of the few places in Florida with a bench of Democratic officials and a grassroots infrastructure to go along with it. As a result, the Biden campaign and Florida Democrats think it can help deliver the crowning blow to Trump in November.”
- “Orlando’s Orange County has voted Democratic in five consecutive presidential elections. But last month’s primaries provided ample evidence that the county is ready to turn an even deeper shade of blue after the party won two county commission races and nominated a rising star in Democratic and Florida Puerto Rican politics, state Rep. Amy Mercado, to become countywide property appraiser.”
- “Driving the leftward momentum: explosive urban growth, fueled by young voters and those with Puerto Rican roots, like Mercado. They are spreading from Orlando and Kissimmee throughout the swing state’s swing area, the Interstate 4 Corridor, which the Orlando media market anchors in the middle of the state.”
- “Recent Orange County elections — which showcased Democrats’ growing mastery of vote-by-mail absentee ballots amid the pandemic — served as a warning sign to Republicans who worry that the county could run up the score so much that it puts Biden over the top in this closely fought state.”
- “The primary was a dry run for what we’re going to do in November,” said a Biden campaign official who was not authorized to speak on record about strategy. “What Orange has is a new and emerging Democratic population — Latinos, progressive whites, working-class voters — that we could not turn out before. We can now. We have more tools in the toolbox.”
- “Four years ago, when I ran, my district was the last Republican stronghold of Orange County and there was only one Democrat on the [seven-member] board of county commissioners. Now there will be just one [Republican] left,” Pedicini noted. “The Democrats are clearly energized. If the Republican turnout in November mirrors what we saw in the primary, it doesn’t bode well for Trump in this county.”
ABC News: Historically red, this Orlando-area county is Florida’s surprising new battleground
By Will McDuffie | September 14, 2020
- “No Democratic presidential nominee has won Seminole since Harry Truman in 1948, and the county appeared firmly in Republican hands as recently as 2016, when registered Republicans there outnumbered registered Democrats by more than 13,000. But that gap has closed — and quickly. As of last month’s primaries, Democrats trailed Republicans by only 1,000 voters.”
- “After Trump won Seminole (and Florida) in 2016, Democrats’ attitudes there changed, according to [Rob] Bial, [former Chair of the Seminole DEC]. “There was a huge outpouring of desire to get involved,” he said.
- “Paul Finnegan moved with his wife, Jean, to Winter Springs, just off Lake Jessup, in the mid-1990s. Paul, a Democrat in the couple’s previous state of Virginia, registered with the Seminole County Republican Party and Jean, as a no party affiliation voter. Paul, who describes himself as a “liberal Republican or a conservative Democrat” spent his political energy trying to bring more conservative Republicans to the center.”
- “Last year, [Paul] gave up. A year after Jean, disgruntled by Trump, switched her registration to the Democratic Party, Paul joined her. Jean now volunteers for the Seminole Democrats.”
Congresswoman Wasserman Schultz Statement on Women for Trump Event in Weston
In response to today’s Trump Campaign stop in Weston, Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who represents parts of Miami-Dade and Broward, including Weston, issued the following statement:
“Just a day after Senate Republicans blocked Temporary Protected Status for Venezuelans, the Trump campaign has the gall to visit one of the largest Venezuelan communities in South Florida, my hometown – often affectionately called Westonzuela. If Trump wanted, his administration could provide TPS protections today for so many of my hardworking constituents; instead, he deports Venezuelan refugees back to a country in crisis and touts his willingness to meet with dictator Nicolás Maduro. Actions speak louder than words – las acciones hablan más que las palabras – and Floridians will remember that Donald Trump’s cruel immigration agenda has caused pain and suffering for our community here in South Florida.”
Florida Democratic Party | 201 South Monroe Street, Suite 300, Tallahassee, FL 32301
DemCast is an advocacy-based 501(c)4 nonprofit. We have made the decision to build a media site free of outside influence. There are no ads. We do not get paid for clicks. If you appreciate our content, please consider a small monthly donation.