SOUTH FLORIDA — Florida Republicans are connecting with more people in Palm Beach, Broward, and Miami-Dade Counties as the region struggles with high inflation, a recession, and illegal immigration.
As reported in The Florida Standard, a growing number of counties are flipping from blue to red, and registered Republicans now outnumber Democratic voters statewide. In August’s primary, Miami-Dade’s school board flipped to a conservative majority with the help of endorsements by Governor Ron DeSantis.
PALM BEACH COUNTY
Today, in Palm Beach, seven candidates met with voters at a forum, including U.S. Rep. Lois Frankel (D), Dan Franzese (R), and Florida Rep. Mike Caruso (R).
Voters heard from county officials about new election laws in Florida, and ballot measures, including three statewide constitutional amendments placed on the ballot by the Florida Legislature.
The event was organized by the Palm Beach Civic Association, a seventy-eight-year-old nonprofit on the island of Palm Beach, the third-wealthiest zip code in the nation. “I’m concerned about the recession,” said Jean, a resident of the island. “Some say it will be worse than 2008,” she told The Florida Standard.
Several candidates, including Franzese and Caruso, spoke about the importance of this year’s midterm election. Caruso said he’s happy with the state Legislature’s progress this past session but noted that more work needs to be done.
“I want to create minimum standards for school safety – not just for public schools, but for all schools: private schools, parochial schools, Jewish schools – they all deserve school safety, and they deserve to have the state protect them because they are all Floridians,” he said.
Voters in Broward, the most democratic party in the state, are suffering from high inflation along with the rest of the country. A critical factor in South Florida elections has always been which party’s voters are most motivated to turn up at the polls.
State Rep. Chip LaMarca, the Republican incumbent in House District 93, won the last election in what became the most expensive State House election in 2018. In a campaign ad, his wife Eileen said, “when he’s not busy working hard for our community, Chip’s been helping families and businesses recover from coronavirus, and he got higher teacher pay and funding for school safety. Trust me, Chip will do whatever it takes to keep Broward safe and clean.”
Many of Broward’s upscale communities included in the district are more interested in historic inflation and the economy than social or cultural issues. Consequently, voter enthusiasm and energized Republicans may determine the election’s outcome as Democrats struggle to justify massive spending in Washington.
On Tuesday, U.S. Representatives Mario Díaz-Balart, Carlos Giménez, and María Elvira Salazar joined Senator Rick Scott and Lt. Governor Jeanette Nuñez in Doral for a public rally to encourage Miami-Dade residents to get out and vote.
The event is part of the Republican National Committee’s “Take Back Our Country Tour.” Held at a Hispanic Community Center, the event is a final push to bring a strong voter turnout on Election Day. With just three weeks left before the Midterm election, Miami-Dade’s early voting will open on Monday, October 24.
“In the Hispanic community, we know what socialism means – misery, exile, and death: for our children and for our future generations,” said Salazar to her constituents. “We are all in the same fight with the same values and principles.”
SALAZAR LEADS TADDEO
The 27th District has flipped back and forth over the past election cycles. In 2020, Salazar beat Democrat incumbent Donna Shalala by nearly 3 points. In 2018 Shalala surpassed Salazar by close to six points. Most projection sources, including FiveThirtyEight and Cook Political, show the race in Salazar’s favor.
Salazar has a much larger base than Taddeo, and according to Cook Political, the undecided voters are focused on the economy, inflation, and national security - issues that should benefit Salazar.