Democrats bet that Andrew Gillum's historic candidacy can change the electorate in Florida - Vox

On Tuesday, no state may be more important for Democrats to win than Florida.

Democrats must stick to every seat of a Senate that they can – and Florida Sen. Bill Nelson is in the fight of his life against the Republican Rick Scott. A Democratic governor could have a huge impact on the redrawing of state congressional cards and the continuation of Medicaid's expansion, and Democrat Andrew Gillum encourages young and minority voters in Florida.

The enthusiasm for Gillum is palpable and some people believe that it could stimulate the entire democratic ticket.

"He will probably raise turnout among democratic constituencies that traditionally have not turned out to be," said Mac Stipanovich, a lobbyist and former republican strategist in Florida. "At the end of the day, it is the way it always will be, it will come down to appear.

Mathematics is fundamentally difficult for the Democrats. They have to mobilize voters who usually do not vote in the meantime – young voters, black voters, a typically more conservative latino base and recently transported Puerto Rican voters. Meanwhile, Republicans can also count on the upsurge of older white pensioners who have moved to the state to vote for their candidates.

Stipanovich says it is worth the effort heavily Democratic Broward County on Tuesday night. If there is change, there is such a thing as it is in presidential elections, that is very good for Gillum. If the turnout is high in the provinces of Miami Dade and Palm Beach, it is even better for the Democrat.

Florida's always-changing, complicated demographics, briefly explained

Florida is one of those states that seems to be a primary territory for the Democrats, but that often is not. Trump won the state with a single point in 2016.

The state has a huge, shifting population that includes 64 percent white registered voters, 16 percent Spanish voters and another 13 percent black. It has a large retired population, but also a large number of young people. (Older voters tend to vote for higher numbers than younger ones.)

"I think in the last 10 to 12 years, Florida has worked as a self-correcting scale," said former Democratic consultant Steve Schale. In other words, as soon as one force seems to shift the Sunshine State in a more democratic direction, another force seems to be pushing back.

Here, these demographic forces are divided and briefly explained.

Wit is retiring

Florida is a retired paradise, which explains why President Trump (relatively) remains popular in this swing state, certainly more than in many of the other swing states such as Arizona, Iowa, Ohio, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania or Michigan, which he also won. in 2016.

The thing that pushes back against the Democrats' profits is a considerable population of white pensioners who contributed to Trump's victory in 2016. The approval rate of Trump has dropped slightly in Florida since 2016, but it is still a net positive, according to Morning Consult & # 39; s approval rating tracker.

Because pensioners from across the country come to Florida, it is important to remember that older, white, retired & # 39; voters in Florida & # 39; actually only conservative voters from all over America. And they are reliable at the voting booth; a blessing for Republicans and a problem for Democrats.

The white voter number is that of Schale every election night, and at the moment he is optimistic. Gillum can get what he needs to win.

"He is also doing very well with whites," Schale said. "He's doing better than Obama in 2012."

The black voice

Race has become a flashpoint in the Florida governor's race. Gillum is a young, black democrat with local ties and an inspiring story. And he accuses both Trump and his Republican opponent Ron DeSantis of racing during the elections.

Trump recently referred to Gillum as a "thief" in connection with an FBI investigation into corruption in the Tallahassee city government (Gillum is the mayor of Tallahassee), and DeSantis urged voters not to "swallow" this by a vote to bring out for Gillum. That has enraged many in Florida's black community, and it could boost the turnout.

Black voters tend to vote overwhelmingly to vote blue, so they are an important demography for Democrats. It is usually a question of turning them off, and there is evidence enough to suggest that they have been fired to go to the polls this year, both to vote on Gillum and to punish Trump and his rhetoric. There was already evidence for this in the primary, per the Tampa Bay Times.

In the main title of 2010, only 14 percent of registered black Democrats cast votes. In 2014, 18 percent did so. In August the turnout among the black democrats rose to no less than 32 percent – higher than that of other Democrats.

Dwight Bullard, political director of grassroots group New Florida Majority, said that while the black voters in Florida are traditionally underexposed, the enthusiasm for Gillum is everywhere.

"People adopt their own style of campaigning for Andrew Gillum," he said. "We've seen murals coming in. Someone has made a Gillum mixtape, these are voters who are generally not questioned … they have no fixed lines or they ignore these calls."

The Latino voice

The Latin American and Latino population of Florida is an important part of the state electorate; they constitute about 16-17 percent of the registered voters of the state. However, attendance and party dependency can be difficult. Despite the conventional wisdom that Spanish voters tend to vote democratically, the heavily Cuban-American community of Miami tends to lean more republican, and some of the state's main home seats are represented by moderate republicans.

Republican Rick Scott, the current governor who now runs for the US Senate, is making a big game for the Spanish electorate, and two polls released in early September showed him in front Sen. Nelson with one of the group opinion polls later in September showed Nelson back in charge under Hispanics.

And in the governor's race there is a reason that DeSantis Gillum calls a socialist and makes comparisons with the dictatorship of Venezuela; he tries to frighten older Latin American and Latin American voters who remember life under communist and socialist governments in their own country to vote for Republicans.

"It is obviously ridiculous to suggest that he is a socialist," said Republican Advisor Mac Stipanovich. "I agree that Medicare is socialist, tell me what a politician in America is against Medicare, no one, you're talking about a difference to some degree, not a difference in kind."

Puerto Ricans displaced by Hurricane Maria

Both parties are also seeking Puerto Ricans in Florida who have been displaced by Hurricane Maria in the hope that they will help defeat the elections. But the chance that this group will be an important voting block may not be as likely as any hope. As Vox & # 39; s Tara Golshan wrote:

Depending on who you ask, somewhere between 50,000 and 300,000 people fled to Florida after the hurricane. Take into account the age of the people and how likely they are to vote, and Nate Cohn of the New York Times says the influx of new Floridians may influence the case results by half a percentage point.

Yet half a percentage point in a nearby race can also make the difference between winning and losing.

Democrats can get a boost from the inflammatory rhetoric of Trump, suggesting that Mary's high kill rate was a false inflated number (it was not.) There is also a lot of anger in the community about the US's lack of response to hurricane repair, and Trump does not seem to make the problem disappear.

Democrats hope that younger Latin American, Latino and Puerto Rican voters will talk to their more conservative parents and grandparents and convince them to vote democratically.

"We see a greater willingness to make those difficult conversations," Bullard said.

The youth mood

Another element of uncertainty is the youth mood of Florida. Florida is also experiencing a revival of young, politically active voters who are motivated by the high school shootout in Parkland in February 2018, killing 17 staff and students.

"You had a great group of activists who came out" after the shooting, said Florida Democratic party director Juan Penalosa. The idea was not just about activism, but also about voting, and Penalosa believes that this can be a powerful force to motivate the rise of youth in the state.

It is not just the Parkland students. The Tom Steyer-affiliated group NextGen has also organized students on the ground in public colleges of the state and historically black colleges and universities. So far, 50,000 young people and the number have registered with the efforts of NextGen alone.

"You have a growing student population," Bullard said. "That makes the electorate a bit more progressive, slightly more left-handed, and I think what we saw in 2016 was a failure to involve those voters."

Andrew Gillum could be the right politician for the moment – and he could encourage Senator Bill Nelson

Although Trump's approval rating is not really submerged in Florida, there is also a wave of grassroots movements in the state, driven by young, diverse voters. And the long-suffering Florida Democrats believe that Gillum is the right candidate to match the political moment.

"He is not a disinfected idea of ​​what a candidate should be about the entire state," Bullard said. "He is someone who comes from a normal beginning.The school of the public school has done well. & # 39;

Former vice president Joe Biden recently stumbled for Gillum in Florida and Schale noticed how the two were bombed by people who wanted to shake hands.

"It was a bit comical to see Andrew Gillum and Biden walking through a rope line," laughed Schale. "There is no doubt that there has been more enthusiasm for a while."

Some argue that there is more enthusiasm for Gillum because, in addition to being a charismatic campaigner, he adopts an unabashedly progressive attitude towards issues such as Medicare for everyone, donates $ 1 billion to Florida public schools and raises teachers' salaries and forbids offensive weapons.

"Democrats have continually stoked this moderate democrat, and we are each time shyly lost with 100,000 votes," says Olivia Bercow, deputy director of communications for NextGen and a native Floridian. "You have to place progressives at the top of the ticket, you have to wind them up and you have to give them someone to take root."

Some in Florida think that this can have an impact on both the Governor's race and on the senate race of Democrat Bill Nelson. There is not much enthusiasm for Nelson, who has been in office since 2000 and is not exactly the most flashy candidate.

"I do not think people hate Nelson, I just do not think they're committed to him," Stipanovich said. "I think the best thing that happened recently with Bill Nelson is Andrew Gillum's nomination, it will help Sen Nelson, or I will not get it over the line."