Democratic "blue wave" flips a safe Trump seat in Florida

"They’re winning elections in places where they shouldn’t be"

Published February 14, 2018 10:24AM (EST)

 (AP/Evan Vucci)
(AP/Evan Vucci)

The so-called blue wave of 2018 swept through Florida's 72nd district, one that President Donald Trump was once victorious in, as Democratic candidate Margaret Good defeated her Republican opponent James Buchanan on Tuesday night.

There are 12,060 more registered Republicans than Democrats in district 72 but that didn't stop Good from achieving a victory by a 52-45 margin, which made it the 36th electoral flip at the state level from red-to-blue since the 2016 election, the Herald Tribune reported.

"I just think people deserve better and want to have better and still have hope that there’s going to be something better than our current administration on both the federal and state level," Good told supporters. "Wins like this represent that."

Trump won that same district, which covers most of Sarasota County, by nearly 5 points in November 2016, which proves the Democrats are slowly but surely making gains on the Republican majority in the lead-up to the 2018 midterms.

"They’re winning elections in places where they shouldn’t be," said former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, at a rally for Buchanan last Sunday, The Washington Post reported. "We’ve seen them win statehouse seats in Wisconsin. We’ve seen them win big mayor’s races in New Hampshire. Fifty seats have already changed hands, from Republicans to Democrats, since President Trump took office. Make no mistake: The Democrats are unified."

The Florida Democratic Party had largely paid no mind to the district won by Good in recent years; however, the party rallied behind Good and her campaign and also provided funds and covered staff and other campaign expenses. Former Vice President Joe Biden ushered in the national spotlight and campaigned on her behalf, which likely boosted the turnout for the election and helped it reach historic levels.

"This is the beginning of a movement here in Florida," the party said in a statement. "We will continue to work hard in every race, up and down the ballot, because Floridians deserve better."

Good, a Siesta Key attorney, also focused on climate change, and contentious issues like immigration, and associated Buchanan as yet another product of President Donald Trump's politics. The overall turnout was 36 percent, with 44,000 votes cast, an unheard of result for a state House election. The previous high was in 2008 at 22 percent, the Herald Tribune reported.

Some Republicans have downplayed the prospect of a Democratic comeback in the wake of Trump's election.

"Twenty of the 35 special election wins for the Democrats since 2016 were in districts won by Hillary Clinton," David James, a spokesman for the Republican State Leadership Committee told the Post. "Liberal groups have been outspending Republicans on an average of 3 to 1, just to win back seats they should have never lost."

But the Democrats have mustered up victories in places that would have otherwise been difficult to achieve since the 2016 election, and while there are still questions surrounding the direction of the party as a whole on the national level, voters have shown they are eager to get involved and make a difference.

By Charlie May

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