Dear Charlotte County Democrats,
As I depart the Charlotte County Democratic Party, I offer a few observations about the 2022 mid-term election.
First, I want to thank you for all of your hard work to get Democrats and left-leaning NPA voters to vote for our candidates. What went wrong in Florida will take some time to decipher; however, Charlotte County Democrats did everything possible to get our voters to the polls. Your tireless work to get out the vote was admirable considering the hardships many suffered as a result of hurricane Ian. Thank you.
Across the state, Democratic voter turnout was abysmal. There wasn’t enough money coming into the state to showcase our candidates and their message, and Democrats lacked a unified and compelling message that resonated with the spectrum of Democratic voters. National donors that sunk money into Florida in 2018 took their money to other states in 2022, which proved costly for Florida Democrats.
Gov. DeSantis had one of the biggest GOP wins of all while embracing various anti-abortion views. Thus, for Florida Democrats, abortion did not drive them to vote. In other parts of the country, it appears that abortion did not propel Democratic candidates to win seats they would not have otherwise won. In other words, it was a combination of issues – primarily economic -that led to Democratic victories. However, the power of women voters should not be overlooked as DeSantis continues to put forth unpopular abortion bans.
Going forward, Florida Democrats need a long-term strategy that includes voter registration, issue identification, unifying messages, and fundraising. They also need to get out in front of issues and not be placed in defensive positions.
Taking a helicopter view of the mid-terms, however, gives me hope. Democracy prevailed! The election dealt a decisive blow to Trumpism. In state after state the former president’s slate of candidates lost bigly and Americans rejected hate, Big Lies, fascism, and xenophobia. Trumpism was defeated and Democrats had one of the strongest showings in the past century for a mid-term election. That is cause for celebration.
Those are my thoughts following this election and I hope that all of you will share with one another your views and your ideas to make real change in Florida. I hope you will take some time to relax, and enjoy time with friends and family. Whoever is elected as your new Chair needs your support, your energy and your ideas.
Happy Thanksgiving. My best to all of you.
Editor’s comment: Teresa Jenkins and her husband have very recently relocated to Tucson, AZ and hence will not continue as our Chair in 2023. We thank Teresa for her dedicated service and contributions in this role since 2018 and wish her continued success and good health in her new home. We will certainly miss her.
Elections of new officers will take place at our December 5th meeting via Zoom. Please click HERE to register to attend that meeting.
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