In Florida, Oklahoma, and New York, voters hit the polls yesterday in both primary and special elections to determine who would represent them. Of note were big races in the Sunshine State and the fallout of NY Governor Kathy Hochul’s redistricting efforts – what some call the “Hochulmander.” Once again, the legacy media is using these contests to gauge former President Donald Trump’s continued sway over American politics. But what trends emerged as the latest primary results were called? And what role is the Fourth Estate seeking to play?
Charlie Crist Back in the Game
Representative Charlie Crist (D-FL) is going back to the big show. Beating Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried by an impressive 24 points in the Democrat gubernatorial primary, the perennial fixture of Floridian politics took home 59.7% of the vote against Fried’s 35.3%. Crist will attempt to become the giant slayer of popular GOP Governor Ron DeSantis in November.
Crist’s campaign focused on derailing the political future of his soon-to-be Republican opponent, which garnered him significant national coverage. Being a longtime presence in Florida politics, Crist certainly benefited from name recognition – after all, he is a former governor, a former Senate candidate, a former Republican, and a former Independent who has run for office on 16 separate occasions. That he can raise funds is not in doubt; whether he can topple DeSantis most certainly is.
Every major poll gives DeSantis at least a seven-point lead against Crist in the upcoming gubernatorial race, and the incumbent governor remains widely popular despite near-constant negative news stories from the mainstream press. The Democrat nominee has not been shy in making the case that his candidacy is the best chance his (present) party has of derailing a potential 2024 run by DeSantis; this alone garners him a more national donor base and media coverage. But can the hype survive its first meeting with reality?
Also in Florida, a number of school board candidates backed by Governor DeSantis won their races. In total, 25 out of 30 successfully marked what many call a “backlash” against woke policies and critical race theory. Sarasota’s school board flipped from a three-to-two liberal lean to a four-to-one conservative majority in races backed by the governor. Miami Dade County also shifted to conservative control.
“The 1776 Project PAC was successful across the state of Florida,” the group’s founder Ryan Girdusky said. “This shows what happens when conservatives like the 1776 Project PAC, Moms for Liberty, and Gov. DeSantis team up behind great candidates.”
Nadler Beats Maloney
Democrat redistricting overreach led to a clash of New York veterans on Tuesday. Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY) defeated Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) in their primary battle for the Democrat nomination in the newly redrawn 12th district. The two colleagues had a decades-long working relationship that appears to have ended acrimoniously as both fought to hold on to their positions. Nadler romped home with 54% of the final tally and will almost certainly win re-election come November. The area has not elected a Republican representative since 1958.
Trump Revels in Latest Primary Results
The former president took a victory lap over his clean sweep endorsements in yesterday’s primary races. Trump posted on his Truth Social account that he scored “26 and 0 tonight, turning numerous tight races into big and easy wins. Overall for last 4 years, 98.4% on Endorsements!” His post was somewhat tongue-in-cheek as Trump had also endorsed a Democrat candidate in New York. However, many genuine significant wins look set to shape the political landscape come November.
Of note was the Oklahoma runoff between two GOP candidates to replace retiring US Senator Jim Inhofe. Representative Markwayne Mullin scored 65.1% of the vote against T.W. Shannon’s 34.9%. While both contenders were considered America First hopefuls, the golden ticket endorsement appears to have made all the difference. Mullin will face Democratic nominee Kendra Horn to take over the seat.
Another Trump favorite, Florida’s first district Representative Matt Gaetz, handily won his primary against challenger Mark Lombardo by more than 45 points. Despite two years of the Fourth Estate salivating over salacious allegations against Gaetz, GOP voters appear to have rejected the uncorroborated claims and decided to send their man back to Congress. On election day, the main driver of the scandal was sentenced to five years in prison for trying to defraud Gaetz and his family. Many of the same outlets that ran stories targeting the incumbent congressman did not cover the sentencing.
Read the Headlines
On any given primary day, it would be natural for the Fourth Estate to speculate on the present commander-in-chief’s fortunes based on the incoming primary election results. Add to this heady mix the possibility that the president will be announcing a significant student loan forgiveness program, and one would assume that Joe Biden should be dominating the above-the-fold territory. But in this age of apparent Trump Derangement Syndrome, it is the former president who takes up the media real estate.
Despite countless stories, soundbites, and news shows declaiming President Trump’s inability to move on from his own presidency, it appears to be the activist media that is stuck in the past. These print and internet denizens seem incapable of moving on from 45. They act as though they are a minority opposition fighting against a red-capped America, with their plucky Delaware leader cast as the underdog in an epic battle for the soul of the nation.
Whether the public buys this particular angle will be determined on November 8.