The new Florida Democrats website may be snazzy but it reinforces some of the worst tendencies of Florida’s Democratic elite. Yesterday we articulated our hope that the state party would use the opportunity presented by demographic changes and Republican overreach to create a more responsible and responsive party: a party that backs its candidates up and down the ballot throughout the state.
On the page dedicated to House races, the party has listed a grand total eleven candidates, including one Democratic incumbent. Considering the GOP currently holds 81 House seats, and by our own TPH analysis the new House plan post reapportionment only contains 54-57 safe Republican seats, the party could at least highlight challengers competing against sitting GOP House members or vying to pick up marginal open seats.
But the FDP has taken a different course. They have chosen on their website to only highlight “targeted” races and in those targets, hand selected candidates. In some cases, those candidates have benefited from hiring the right consultants as far as the FDP is concerned or simply have been selected arbitrarily as an attractive target. Interestingly, they have highlighted one race where an incumbent is being challenged in the primary (District 100) but not several others where the same phenomena is occurring.
It is one thing to target races for specific reasons (even if faulty logic was applied to determine the targets) and dismiss candidates and races on internal memos as we discussed earlier this week. It however goes to a whole different level to actually not even list the candidates House Victory has chosen to ignore on the party’s official website. The implication is plain to see: Democrats who aren’t part of the club are on their own and need to fend for themselves. It doesn’t matter how marginal the district is or how potentially attractive the Democratic candidate is. If a Democrat is running for State House, at the very least they deserve a mention and web link from the party’s official website.
But clearly growing the party and retaking the majority in the legislature are not on the FDP’s immediate agenda. Nice clean website, but same old problems. Florida’s Democrats never fail to disappoint.