The 2018 Florida Midterms: What happened?

By Lynda Bell, President, Florida Right to Life

Editor’s note. This appears in the December digital edition of National Right to Life News. Please read as much as you can of this 45-page issue and pass stories along to your pro-life family and friends.

Florida Governor-elect Ron DeSantis

This year, in the 2018 midterms, pro-abortion Democrats were salivating at the possibility of gaining congressional seats across the nation. A typical midterm election customarily results in losses for the party in power.

Democrats were thrilled at the possibility of electing a Democrat governor in Florida for the first time in 20 years and winning another term for incumbent pro-abortion Senator Bill Nelson.

This didn’t work out for the Democrats in Florida. Republicans not only won the race for Governor (Ron DeSantis ), the U.S. Senate (Rick Scott), but also for Attorney General (Ashley Moody). In fact, for the first time since 1875, Florida will have two Republican United States senators.

But what happened with the expected Democrat sweep? Florida has become more blue in recent years, meaning it is a true swing state. Our Sunshine State has many northern transplants who flee the cost of liberal policies but bring their liberal philosophy with them, a true enigma!

Democrats nominated Andrew Gillum, an extreme pro-abortion left wing, “progressive” candidate for governor, Gillum, the first Black gubernatorial candidate in Florida history was backed by and benefited greatly from none other than self-identified socialist Senator Bernie Sanders. Gillum was favored to beat pro-life Republican Congressman Ron DeSantis.

Florida Senator-elect Rick Scott

Early in the race, Gov. Scott held the lead against Sen. Nelson. But by October almost every poll had Nelson ahead. Leading up to the midterms, Real Clear Politics had Nelson up by 2.4 points, Quinnipiac had Nelson up by 7 points. Only a couple of polls had Scott up—and by a very slim margin.

So what happened? It is a truism in Florida politics that Cuban Hispanics tend to be more conservative than non-Cuban Hispanics and vote in larger numbers. A contributing factor is that Sen. Nelson didn’t excite his base and many didn’t bother to cast a vote in that race.

Frankly, many voters, including Democrats, thought it was time for the three-term incumbent to go. They saw in Gov. Scott someone who could help to accomplish the Trump agenda.

Some Democrats were also disgusted, along with Republicans, with the horrific treatment heaped upon now-Justice Brett Kavanaugh by the Democrats during his confirmation hearings. The Democrats certainly overplayed their hand and this came back to bite them, and not just in Florida.

Senator Nelson voted against Kavanaugh’s confirmation!

But what happened in the governor’s race? The Democrats had in Gillum a charismatic black candidate who could certainly excite the college age voters and minorities in Florida.

But again, Democrats chose a far to the left pro-abortion candidate who alienated middle of the road Democrats. This did not sit well with pro-life, church going Democrats, especially those in the Panhandle in the northwest part of the state.

Had they nominated someone like Gwen Graham, the daughter of Bob Graham, the former United States Senator and governor of Florida, we could have possibly seen a different outcome or even more of a nail biter!

If the Democrat Party continues alienating voters by nominating candidates such as Gillum and Nelson, pro-life Republicans will keep winning in Florida.