Hopeful candidates battled for the Senate and House in the Florida primary elections, and in Oklahoma the voters selected their horses for the gubernatorial race and a few House seats. The results were interesting and could give us some insight into the direction of the midterm election. Bottom line: Trump candidates dominated the GOP primaries.Andrew Gillum
In Florida, the Democrats were in for a surprise. In the gubernatorial race were big names like Gwen Graham, daughter of former governor Bob Graham, but up from behind came underdog Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum. The polls had him in fourth place, far behind the other candidates, but he won anyways, shaking up the status quo.
Graham is a progressive who was endorsed by democratic socialist Bernie Sanders and backed by none other than billionaire George Soros, who is known for supporting far-left organizations, interfering in elections, and stirring up conflict across the globe.
On the Republican side, a Representative is running for governor and the governor is running for Senate. The pro-Trump gubernatorial candidate, Rep. Ron DeSantis, won over Adam Putnam. President Donald Trump was satisfied with the outcome and tweeted his approval.
Not only did Congressman Ron DeSantis easily win the Republican Primary, but his opponent in November is his biggest dream….a failed Socialist Mayor named Andrew Gillum who has allowed crime & many other problems to flourish in his city. This is not what Florida wants or needs!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 29, 2018
He also congratulated Rick Scott for his win in the Senate primary.
Congratulations to Governor Rick Scott of Florida on his conclusive Republican Primary Win. He will be a great Senator!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 29, 2018
Trump likely has good reason to be happy. He won the 2016 presidential election in large part because the Democrats had moved too far left, and now their response is to choose a candidate who is even further to the left. That will probably not go down well with most voters. Florida has been the most pro-Trump of the swing states.
However, the Democrats are banking on the race card. Since Gillum is a successful and well-spoken black mayor, they believe he has a better chance with black and progressive voters, which could prove true.
It did not take them long to start race baiting. DeSantis told Fox News that Florida should not “monkey this up” by electing the socialist candidate Gillum, and Florida Democratic Party Chairwoman Terrie Rizzo immediately responded that “it’s disgusting that Ron DeSantis is launching his general election campaign with racist dog whistles.”
Will the smear tactic work? Time will show.
In Oklahoma, old-timer Drew Edmondson easily beat his rival Connie Johnson to get the Democratic nomination for governor. However, the real surprise was with the Republican primary. Political newcomer Tulsa businessman Kevin Stitt was able to knock out former Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett in a close race.Kevin Stitt
Normally Oklahoma is deep red, but fresh blood bodes for an interesting election. One interpretation of the election of Stitt is that the voters want to shake up the status quo, and Trump appears to have given new confidence in the ability of entrepreneurs to fix politics in a more efficient way than the swamp.
Stitt is also running on a platform that should appeal to many independents and moderate Democrats, as his main promise is to make Oklahoma one of the best-run states in the union.
Telltales for the Midterms?
Trump is continuing to strengthen his position in the Republican party as ever more of his endorsed candidates win the primaries. The Democrats, however, are in disarray as they struggle to unite behind a cohesive message. To the degree that the far left is gaining candidates, the chances of a blue wave is diminishing. However, the center is mostly holding its ground, which could spell trouble for the Republicans and Trump come November.
However, two months is nearly an eternity in the news cycle, and it won’t take much more good news for the Trump administration to sway more middle-ground voters into the Republican fold.
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