Reporters and pundits from across the country agree: Florida is ready for a blue wave — and Margaret Good has shown that even in Trump country, Democrats can win big.
As Politico Florida’s Marc Caputo reported, in the wake of Good’s victory, there’s “a sense that the GOP’s political grip is slipping in the nation’s largest swing state heading into President Donald Trump’s first midterm election.” The Sarasota Herald-Tribune, the hometown paper in HD-72, noted that voters sent a clear “message that the GOP leadership in Tallahassee and Washington D.C. is going down the wrong path.” Republican commentator Rick Wilson tweeted that Good’s win represented a significant Democratic victory in “one of the most Trump areas of Florida. They had Corey Lewandowski there doing MAGA rallies. The R was the son of a Congressman and raised a MILLION DOLLARS for a state house race.”
Overall tonight was a loss not just for James Buchanan, but Rick Scott, Vern Buchanan, Ron DeSantis, the entire GOP Congressional delegation, Adam Putnam, Republicans in Tallahassee — and especially House Speaker Richard Corcoran. As The Tampa Bay Times’ political editor Adam Smith tweeted“Maybe @richardcorcoran shda spent less time on debate prep and donor shmoozing in Vegas and more on trying to hold a GOP state House seat in Sarasota??”
Tonight’s national and local reaction to Margaret Good’s victory:
By night’s end, Democrat Margaret Good had waltzed into Trump territory and trounced James Buchanan, the son of a GOP congressman, to take the special election for Florida’s House District 72. But the ballot might as well have read Republicans vs. the Blue Wave.
“For the third Florida bellwether election in a row, the Republican candidate lost to the Democrat, giving activists and elites in both parties a sense that the GOP’s political grip is slipping in the nation’s largest swing state heading into President Donald Trump’s first midterm election.”
“Despite Trump carrying District 72 and Republicans having 12,060 more registered voters in the district than Democrats, Good pulled out a convincing victory with a message that the GOP leadership in Tallahassee and Washington D.C. is going down the wrong path.”
‘Not only did Democratic women really come out, the fact that so many Republicans and independents voted for Good says to me that there is a good chunk of these swing voters who are just frustrated by the direction of the administration, and sent the only message they could,’ Schale said.”
“What also makes the race notable is that Good remained competitive throughout, despite HD 72 having about 13,000 more registered Republicans than Democrats or unaffiliated voters — and has been reliable GOP territory for more than a decade.”
“Democrats’ recent wins in longtime Republican districts bear the markings of a forthcoming wave in the midterm elections this November.”
Marc Caputo @MarcACaputo: How big was the Democrat’s win in Florida’s bellwether HD72? It was held by an R in a GOP county Rs outnumber Ds by 12k voters, or 10 percentage points there Trump carried it by 4.6% (but won FL by 1.2%) Good just won by 7.4 points [8:09 PM – 13 Feb 2018]
Adam Smith @adamsmithtimes: Trump won this district by 4 + pnts….another in a string of FL spec elex that bodes badly for GOP this yr [7:49 PM – 13 Feb 2018]
Peter Hamby @PeterHamby: Anyone who’s ever covered a GOP event in Sarasota knows how extraordinary this R>D swing is. Republicans are in deep, deep trouble and Trump is the reason. [7:43 PM – 13 Feb 2018]
Ali Schmitz @SchmitzMedia:Trump won this district by 5 points in 2016. Huge news for Florida Dems hoping for a blue wave this fall. [7:42 PM – 13 Feb 2018]
Rick Wilson @TheRickWilson: 1/ It was our party before it was Trump’s party. Trump’s party gets their asses beat like a rented mule in an R + 5 District http://enight.elections.myflorida.com/ElectionResults/default?Election=02/13/2018 … [7:31 PM – 13 Feb 2018]
Patricia Mazzei @PatriciaMazzei: A Democrat has claimed victory in a special state House election in Florida, in a GOP district that Trump won where her opponent was a congressman’s son. Florida Dems feeling pretty good tonight. [7:38 PM – 13 Feb 2018]