Why “Florida is an increasingly red state”

Senator Marco Rubio who retains his seat. And especially Ron DeSantis, possible rival of Trump for 2024, reappointed as governor with nearly 20 points in advance… Against the general resistance of the Democrats, Florida leaned largely on the Republican side, Tuesday evening, during midterms.

Although considered a “swing state”, the “sunshine state” therefore seems to have become a red bastion. How to explain it? Mathieu Galard, director of studies at the Ipsos institute, sheds some light on this.

How to explain such a victory for the Republicans in Florida?

You have to understand that Florida is very special sociologically. It is a State where the average age is much higher than in the rest of the United States, because many retirees will settle there. However, the generational divide has been very strong in the United States for several years.

This helps Republicans a lot, because not only do retirees vote for them, but they also vote a lot more than others.

And what about the Hispanic vote?

There is a large Hispanic population in Florida. Generally, it tends to favor the Democrats. Not as much as African Americans, but still two-thirds. But the particularity of Florida is that this Hispanic population is half of Cuban origin. They fled the Castro regime and are rather hostile to any form of left-wing politics… And will therefore be hostile to the Democrats. Especially since the left wing of the Democrats has risen lately.

All of this makes Florida a “swing state” on paper. But in fact, it is an increasingly red state. I also think that, in the years to come, the Democrats will stop investing so much money in it.

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Should we see in this victory a Ron DeSantis effect, hyperconservative Republican governor triumphantly re-elected?

The problem for Republicans elsewhere in the country has often been to present candidates led by Donald Trump. They were on his ideological line, his type of communication, but didn’t really have an image of competence. They are often businessmen and TV presenters with no political experience. And that, we know, puts off the most moderate electorate, which decides at the last moment.

Ron DeSantis is on the same ideological line as Donald Trump, but he has been able to build an image of relative seriousness, competence, on the Covid-19 and the economy. Which helps him win over Florida moderates.

Did the economy, precisely, play a role?

There is indeed a more structural aspect: the American economy is not doing well. But in the Sun Belt, which includes the southwestern states of the United States, the economy tends to do a little better than elsewhere. And therefore governors who have a more flourishing economy have more budgetary leeway in the face of inflation, which benefits them.

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