Florida Voters Sour On Rubio & DeSantis For Val Demmigs/Charlie Crist


As Florida Governor Rick DeSantis (R-FL) continues to slice away Floridians’ freedoms, voters have begun to fight back. Normally, incumbent candidates do well in midterm elections. But both DeSantis and Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) just are not doing it for their voters. New focus groups indicate that both men’s races are too close to take for granted.

The Bulwark brought together people in focus groups consisting of 12 individuals each on August 9. What the media outlet wanted to know was why Florida voters were ready to kick out both of their incumbent politicians. The people were Trump-to-Biden voters.

The first election will be between DeSantis and former governor Charlie Crist. If that vote were today, nine members of the focus group would take Crist. Two would prefer DeSantis. And one was apparently “undecided.”

Some of the words the swing voters used to describe DeSantis were quite creative:

‘”[P]ower-hungry,” “petty,” “an opportunist,” “egotistical,” “anti-abortion,” and a “bull in a china shop.”’

B.J., 43, comes from Deland, Florida and said:

‘[I didn’t like] the revenge politics with the Reedy Creek Improvement District. I’m a big Disney fan. That hit pretty close to home. There was just no point to it. It was just pure revenge politics. Also, I don’t agree with how he handled the Covid pandemic, like restricting local municipalities, not allowing them to enforce mask mandates and things like that. I think that was highly inappropriate.’

From Orlando Lance, 27, added:

‘I disagree with DeSantis on quite a few things . . . It’s purely just his stance on things. [I’m troubled that he’s] anti-abortion, primarily, anti-transgender—more the social issues.’

Coral Gables resident Thomas, 27, said:

‘[DeSantis is] petty. He’s all about keeping government out of business unless the business disagrees with him, and then it becomes personal.’

St. Augustine’s resident Kim, 60, commented:

‘DeSantis is too much like Trump. . . . I don’t trust him.’

Miami Shores’ Nik, 37, added:

‘If Crist can win in November here in Florida, then that puts DeSantis in a really bad spot in terms of trying to run for president in ’24.’

Chris, 49, from Port St. Lucie, said:

‘I feel that he is taking away some of the regulations—some things that need to be removed. I feel like he’s done a good job of promoting the state, getting people to come down here, for better or worse. I also feel that he wants to privatize education, but at the same time, he has helped out public education a little bit here and there. I also feel that it was probably the best decision to keep everything open during COVID, as it has been proven the red states did better during COVID compared to a lot of the other blue states who closed everything down.’

As for Crist running against DeSantis, one participant said:

‘[S]ome knew he had switched from being a Republican to a Democrat, and labeled him a “flip-flopper,” but they also described him as “an effective governor,” “personable,” and “our best hope against DeSantis.”’

Lillian, 36, who lives in Kissimmee, Florida said this about Rubio’s competitor Representative Val Demings (D-FL)

‘I believe she has a little more energy. Sometimes, when you’re in a job for too long, you just drag your feet, but she comes in a whole bag of sunshine like, “I’m ready to do this.” That’s at least how I feel.’

When it came to the Senate race, the people liked Representative Val Demings (D-FL), describing her as:

‘“[H]onorable,” “powerful but humble,” “strong,” “respectful,” “agreeable,” “progressive,” [and a] “girl boss.”’

When they described Rubio their words were far more negative:

‘[F]ar-right,” “not genuine,” “puppet,” “absent,” “a coward,” [and] “a sellout.”’

Felipe, 44, from Winter Garden said:

‘Rubio has served two terms [as a U.S. Senator]. I think it’s time for a change in Florida . . . [Demings] is married to Jerry Demings, the mayor of Orange County. I respect their background. They were police officers, and I think they’re connected to the community.”

Thomas, 27, from Coral Gables, explained:

‘[Rubio is] standing in the way of progress at every turn. Even if he’s not directly proposing something, he’s denying it a chance to be heard—I’m talking about a bill or an idea just based on party-line vote alone as opposed to actually reading through it and thinking about it. I would say the constant negativity [from Rubio is what’s troubling].’

Lance, 27, from Orland had this to say:

‘[Rubio] has been in office for a while. I think just based on what [Demings] has said leading up to the [Democratic] primary, my interpretation is that she understands our needs—I’m talking about locally . . . I think there’s a bit of a disconnect there [with Rubio].’

EMILY’s List supports and encourages pro-choice Democratic women to run for office. The organization has placed both DeSantis and Rubio on watchlists.

Featured image is a screenshot via YouTube.

In Gloria Christie Reports & Three White Lions Substack newsletters, Gloria Christie includes her week’s most important news/ commentary stories in the liberal online newspaper The Bipartisan Report. Gloria Christie Report her newsletters are for people on the go. Written in her own unique style with a twist of humor in a briefer version of Bipartisan Report. Christie’s Mueller Report Adventures In Bite-Sizes a real-life compelling spy mystery (in progress). Find her here on Facebook. Or at Three White Lions her book on Amazon Kindle Vella.