Are Florida Republicans Attempting to Re-Elect Joe Biden?

by | Apr 4, 2024 | Opinion

A major announcement was made on Monday in the state of Florida that flew under the radar for many nationally. Florida will be holding a ballot referendum on two items during November’s election. Up for vote in Florida will be additions to the state constitution of two items.  Floridians will be voting to codify access to abortion as well as on the legalization of recreational marijuana.  

On the surface ballot initiatives may look great. After all, this is a way to let voters decide their own policy and make choices that matter to them.  I firmly believe that this instance is the exact opposite of that. This is an example of smart politics by Florida democrats. It places to wedge issues for Generation Z on the ballot to drive substantial voter turn out in an election where Biden has lost his appeal with the younger generation. Ballot initiatives also seem very redundant. The voters have already elected Representatives and Senators to legislate, so why are they passing the buck?

In a perfect world, ballot initiatives would be as simple as placing an item onto the ballot and letting the citizens of the area decide.  We live in a far from perfect world, and often ballot initiatives turn into multimillion-dollar advertising campaigns funded by dark money special interest groups. The reaction of Florida Democrat leaders in this instance was very telling. Chairwoman of the Florida Democrats, Nikki Fried made hardly a mention on social media about the two specific issues placed onto November’s ballot. Fried had campaigned heavily on abortion during her failed gubernatorial campaign, and previously worked as a lobbyist for the marijuana industry prior to her political career. What Fried did celebrate was the idea of Florida being a battleground state that could go for Biden in November’s election. 

Do not be surprised to see Florida and it’s 30 electoral votes swing to Joe Biden in November’s Presidential election. Florida has long been painted as a bastion of freedom in the media and a solid conservative state.  From personal experience I would argue that Florida is at best a moderately liberal state. Much of Florida’s freedom reputation was crafted during the era of Covid-19. The DeSantis administration arguably employed the greatest PR staff in politics during this time, and the myth of the “free state of Florida” was born. Sadly, the vast majority of Florida Republicans are unfamiliar with playing offense and have settled for defense.

Even more sadly, they aren’t competent or capable at defense either. Despite being nicknamed the “gun shine” state, and having a Republican supermajority in both legislative chambers, Florida has failed to legislate and pass a true version of Constitutional Carry. This failure occurred despite freedom fighter Anthony Sabatini’s repeated attempts at this legislation. As a former Floridian, it is painful for me to acknowledge that the image of Florida freedom is a mirage. As a realist I must acknowledge there are far more RINOS like Dan Webster in Florida than there are liberty firebrands like Matt Gaetz.  

Unfortunately, my prediction is that Florida goes to Joe Biden in 2024 taking its 30 electoral college members with it. 

You can follow Tim on X at @realtimsharp.

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