Welcome to my diary series titled Majority Savers! I will run a new article every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. The goal of this series is to highlight races that may make or break our current slender majorities in Congress. That means I will start more with incumbent Senators and House members until some primary elections are settled. If I have time, I will expand it to governors as well in critical swing states.
If you want to find my previous entries in this series, I recommend following me or searching for #MajoritySavers as a tag!
I have six ground rules behind the philosophy of this series. I’d ask you all to respect them as best you can, because these are taking me quite a long time to write. Here are my ground rules.
This former chief of the Orlando police won a redrawn House seat in 2016. She is now taking that platform and running against a do-nothing Senator Marco Rubio. While Florida has been fool’s gold other than Obama winning it twice, I think that Rep. Val Demings has a shot of winning, thus Majority Savers will highlight her race in Florida today!
Rep. Val Demings has an extensive background, and there is no way for me to cover all of it here. I’d check out HERE and HERE if you want to know more about her than what I have posted on this diary.
- Demings started in Jacksonville from very modest beginnings. She was the first to go to college from her family, and she became a social worker for a while after going to Florida State University for a degree in criminology. She later attended Webster University Orlando for a master’s degree in public administration.
- Demings was the first female police chief of the Orlando Police Department, which capped her nearly 27 year stint as a police officer in the department. Under her tenure, Orlando saw a 40% reduction in criminal activity.
- Demings first ran for political office in 2012, losing a close race to fellow Rep. Daniel Webster. Once the districts were made fair in 2016, she won a primary for her current seat easily. She rose to national prominence by being an impeachment manager and for being on the VP shortlist in 2020.
On DW Nominate, Rep. Val Demings is a pragmatic liberal in nature. She has a score of -0.325, which puts her right near the center of the entire Democratic caucus. She is more liberal than 65% of the entire body of the House of Representatives, and she is more conservative than 66% of the Democratic caucus in the House.
Health Care and Abortion: Rep. Val Demings is pro-choice, and has recently contrasted her record with putting people away for rape and incest with Rubio calling to criminalize abortion after Dobbs. Demings is also on board with lowering the cost of prescription drugs by having Medicare and Medicaid negotiate drug prices.
Gun Safety: As a former member of the police force, Demings wants to give the tools needed to combat the gun scourge in this nation, including enhanced background checks and closing the numerous loopholes in our current gun laws. She proudly endorses her “F” rating from the NRA, commenting that the organization has hijacked the gun safety debate and is extremist.
Environment and Climate Change: Florida is ground zero for the impacts of climate change, often being hit by hurricanes. She opposes offshore drilling, and works to clean up the toxic algae blooms that often plague the state. Finally, she is working to fix the Everglades, which has been overrun with invasive species and beset with other dire problems.
Recent Elections —
2020 President: TFG (R-inc) 51.2%, Joe Biden (D) 47.9%
2016 Senate: Marco Rubio (R-inc) 52.0%, Patrick Murphy (D) 44.3%
2022 Race Rating: Likely Republican
2022 PVI; R+3
Welcome to the land of butterfly ballots and hanging chads. Florida seems to be perpetually on edge as a swing state, and never more so than the 2000 election. Scholars to this day still debate who won the state between Gore and GW Bush, as it was that close and decisive a factor. 2004 was a bit anti-climactic, with President Bush easily carrying the state over Sen. John Kerry.
The Obama era saw our former President Barack Obama win the state twice, albeit in a very narrow fashion. Whether it was the 2008 financial crisis, Obama’s appeal in the state, or horrid candidates such as Romney, for some reason Florida liked Obama unlike any other Democratic candidate since former President Bill Clinton.
Except for one lesser statewide race in 2018, no candidate has been able to replicate the Obama coalition in the state. TFG narrowly won the state in 2016, and then expanded his winning margins in 2020. Our longtime Senator Bill Belson was narrowly knocked off by Medicare fraudster Rick Scott in 2018 of all years, while the governor races and defeating Rubio have been frustrating. That is why I am pessimistic about this race. Florida seems to be fool’s gold for our side now, just out of reach.
Political Tour of the State
There are a LOT of moving parts to this state, and it is impossible to describe them all in a short amount of space. I will do my best to explain the trends in the state that make it so difficult to win, starting with the size and expensive nature of the state.
Here's where races are won for us in the state of Florida.
- Fort Lauderdale/Palm Beach: The southeastern part of the state needs to post HUGE margins for Demings if she is to have a chance of winning. She needs to run up the score in these two metro areas in order to have a chance, because other portions of the state are trending away fast. Miami is an exception that will be covered below.
- I-4 Corridor: This includes the Tampa/St. Pete metro area and the fast growing Orlando metro area, which is her home base. Parts of this vital freeway trended the wrong way, while other parts are very friendly to us and moving our way. Demings has to win the whole freeway to unlock the potential win in Florida.
- University Towns + Jacksonville: Tallahassee, Gainesville, and Jacksonville need to show up for Demings if she is to have a prayer at winning the state. Subpar margins in any one of these three will spell certain defeat, as shown by Jacksonville not pulling its weight in 2018.
Here’s where we need to keep the margins down, or we will lose Florida.
- Miami: There are two sides to Miami, the Afro-Caribbean side which should be very friendly to Demings, and the Hispanic side which is Rubio’s home turf. Demings has to somehow win Miami-Dade County which sharply trended away from us last election. I don’t how how she will be able to do it given Rubio’s close ties to the Cuban community and Spanish misinformation.
- Southwestern Florida: This area of the state is retiree central, and it has never been friendly to the Democratic Party. Demings needs to convert some of these retirees over to her side to stand a chance of winning.
- Northern Florida: The old adage is “the more north in Florida you go, the more South it gets”. Other than the University towns and Jacksonville, northern Florida is outright hostile to Democratic candidates of all stripes. Demings needs to avoid this area and find areas that can be convinced to vote for her.
Activism — Help How You Can!
This contest will be an expensive and nasty affair, as Florida is usually very evenly divided and it is expensive to contest. Rep. Val Demings brought in an outstanding $9.99 MILLION dollars, which is a great start to her 2022. Sen. Marco Rubio could only bring in $5.71 MILLION dollars in Quarter 1, so he was outraised by the challenger, which is rare in Senate territory.
The two are destined to tango for this Senate seat on even financial footing, as both Demings and Rubio have about the same amount in cash on hand. Val Demings has $13.23 MILLION cash on hand, while Sen. Rubio slightly lags with $13.14 MILLION cash on hand. Demings is not likely to get much national support as the alphabet orgs will protect incumbents first. I am starting donations to her today, and I recommend you do the same if you can afford it!
DONATE TO REP. VAL DEMINGS HERE
If you live in Florida, this is an all call for volunteers for her campaign. In order to out organize and out vote Rubio, every stone needs to be turned over and every possible voter needs to be found. Go to https://valdemings.com/home/ in order to add your name to the volunteer list!
Demings has a prolific social media game, with 189.9k followers on Twitter. She has risen to national prominence by being on the VP shortlist for Biden and for being an impeachment manager for the 1st impeachment of TFG.
Demings is also on Facebook at val.demings and on Instagram at valdemings. If you go to those sties, go ahead and support her on there as well! I have to keep my Facebook politically neutral, and I am not on Instagram myself, which is why I promote Twitter the most.
Rep. Val Demings has the right profile to beat Sen. Marco Rubio. She also may now have the wind at her back with the overturn of Roe V. Wade as a central issue in the campaign. However, Florida seems to be fool’s gold for our side, which is why Majority Savers is highlighting this race in the hopes that you can help turn this Senate seat back to the blue team!
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