Nikki Fried's Campaign to 'Take Back Florida' Produces Hilarious Results

AP Photo/Phil Sears, File

There's a pretty good argument that Nikki Fried was one of the biggest goats of the 2022 election. The far-left Florida Democrat, whose supposed popularity was almost completely evidenced by her social media following, was supposed to be a rising star. She was supposed to take on the evil Ron DeSantis and bring about a blue revolution within the Sunshine State. 


Instead, she got blown out in her own primary by Charlie Crist, a venerable walking stump of a politician. Crist then went on to lose in historic fashion to DeSantis, and what followed was the most conservative legislative sessions in the state's history. Nearly every GOP want at the national level became law in Florida. 

With that as the setup, the Democratic Party had a choice to make. Would they recalibrate and pursue a different, perhaps more broadly appealing path? Or would they double down on leftwing failure?

Well, Nikki Fried is now the chair of the Florida Democratic Party, so I think that question has been answered. How's that going? Here's how that's going

Jefferson County’s voter registration makeup has shifted in the favor of Florida Republicans, new data shows.

The political shift comes as Florida Democrats have kicked off their “Take Back Florida” tour.

After Jefferson County’s flip, 55 of Florida’s 67 counties’ voter registrations are now lead by Republicans.

“It’s another great day to be a Republican in the free State of Florida.,” Republican Party of Florida Chairman Christian Ziegler told Florida’s Voice.

“Yesterday, 13 of Florida’s 67 counties had more Democrats than Republicans,” he continued. “Today, with Jefferson County flipping to Republican, Democrats now have just 12 counties as Republicans hold 55 counties. Big win for freedom.”


To be sure, there have been lots of suggestions, especially from DeSantis' GOP rivals in the presidential primary, that he creating a backlash in Florida that is benefiting Democrats. Often, you'll hear the state's six-week abortion ban cited as proof that the governor went too far. There is no evidence of that. Instead, Republicans are continuing to gain ground in what used to be one of the most purple states in the union until just ten months ago. 

Why is this happening despite the national headwinds against DeSantis? Because voters who are actually affected by what happens in Florida continue to prefer solid policy outcomes to political fearmongering. Ultimately, people vote with their feet, and Florida's growth has exploded. One of the downsides of that is increased housing costs due to a lack of supply, and that will take time to rectify, but overall Republicans are still doing exceptionally well in the state. 

What does this tell us about the possibilities at the national level? The cynics (or those with other political goals) will say it tells us nothing. They'll insist that one of the most diverse states in the country that was hanging on a knife's edge politically a year ago is just such a red bastion that none of the successes there can be replicated anywhere else. 


I say that's hogwash. What Republicans in Florida have done isn't just overwhelm people with rhetoric. Rather, they've delivered substantive wins and in doing so, they've actually changed minds. Amidst all the partisan polarization that exists, too many in the GOP have convinced themselves that's not possible anymore. It is, though. You just have to actually try to do it.


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