Democrats Canceled Florida Primary To Help Biden, It Backfired

After Florida Democrats made the shortsighted decision to cancel the state’s Democrat presidential primary in an effort to help President Joe Biden, their efforts backfired — as many Democrat voters failed to show up to the ballot box for local races that were taking place the same day.

One of the most unfortunate aspects of today’s society is the fact that very few Americans turn out to vote in local elections — with many believing that the most important elections take place at the federal level, despite local and state officials having significantly more power over Americans’ everyday lives. Thus, when a local or statewide election is held on the same day as an election or primary for a federal office, there is a much larger voter turnout.

Florida Democrats appeared to forget about this fact in the leadup to the state’s primary. Several months ago, Florida Democrat Party leadership awarded Biden the state’s 224 delegates and canceled the primary — which Biden’s Democrat opponents deemed “intentional disenfranchisement,” noting that the decision was “done obviously in secret, obviously to help the incumbent Joe Biden.”

Beyond the disenfranchisement of Democrat voters who would have chosen candidates other than Biden, the canceled primary meant that many registered Democrats didn’t feel the need to turn out on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, despite former president and presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump being the only candidate left in the GOP primary, Republican voters showed up on Tuesday to support him — while also causing a massive victory for the GOP in the state.

Republicans and Republican-supported candidates were able to flip several seats in their favor on Tuesday. In the nonpartisan race for Clearwater mayor, Republican-backed candidate Bruce Rector won. The Clearwater City Council also had two seats flip Republican, with Michael Mannino taking Seat 3 and Ryan Cotton taking Seat 2. Cotton defeated incumbent Democrat Mark Bunker in the race, who was endorsed by the Florida Democrat Party. Clearwater is located in Pinellas County, which Biden won narrowly in 2020.

According to the Tampa Bay Times, these victories occurred thanks to “significant conservative turnout.”

More Republican victories came in Orange County, with Shane Taylor beating Democrat Town Commissioner Salvador Ramos for the Oakland mayoral race. According to Florida Politics writer Jacob Ogles, Taylor ran “as a strong conservative.”

Republican Nick Nesta won another term as Apopka City Commissioner, while Nadia Anderson flipped a city commission seat held by Democrats.

Delray Beach also saw Republican victories, with former mayor and commissioner Tom Carney flipping the mayoral seat — beating Shirley Johnson and Ryan Boylston by over ten percentage points each. Biden won this district by nearly 30 points in 2020.

The Florida GOP celebrated three more Republican victories in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter.

“3 victorious GOP Mayors in Palm Beach County: Well done to Wellington Mayor-elect Michael Napoleone, Juno Beach Mayor-elect Peggy Wheeler and newly re-elected Hypoluxo Mayor Michael Brown!” the post read.

All of this happened despite the efforts of failed gubernatorial candidate and Florida Democrat Party chairwoman Nikki Fried — who launched an initiative attempting to boost local Democrat and Democrat-backed candidates. Only four out of the seven candidates Fried endorsed won their races.

Two of those candidates won very narrow victories in counties that Biden won by massive margins in 2020. Democrat-backed George Oliver won his seat on the Ocoee City Commission by a mere 44 votes. Ocoee is located in Orange County, which Biden won by more than 20 percentage points in the last presidential election. Fried-backed Broward County Commission staffer Maria Rodriguez beat her three opponents, winning just 39% of the vote and beating the second-place candidate by only three points. Biden won Broward County in 2020 by almost 39 percentage points.

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