Arizona and Florida: Should the “Blue Wave” now be called a “Red Wave?”
Hard to imagine two more crushing primaries than what occurred in Arizona and Florida last night. In Arizona, where Kyrsten Sinema has been leading all GOP candidates in polling—underscoring yet again how utterly useless and unreliable the polls are—the Republican candidates simply blew out Democrats in both the Senate and governor’s races.
Martha McSally, considered the more “RINO-esque” of the three Republicans, handily defeated Kelli Ward in a worse drubbing than John McCain gave her two years ago. Joe Arpaio came in a distant third. But that isn’t the story!
The story is that the three Republicans combined for 498,803 votes (56.1%) to the combined Democrats’ total of 390,236 (43.9%). The 108,000 margin is massive. With 1.1 million independents in Arizona, it means that Sinema would have to carry indies by the whopping (and likely unattainable) margin of 55-45 just to pull even. McSally and Ward alone came within a hair of outpolling Sinema and the other marginal Democrat, even without Joe’s 90,000 votes.
In the governor’s race, Doug Ducey and Ken Bennett had an even wider margin over the Democrat contenders, with a 112,000 margin. (Note that the Arizona Secretary of State site is running very late, and that these numbers represent only 94% of the precincts reporting. But the 56-43 senate margin has held most of the night).
The governor’s race in FL was even more shocking to the Democrats. Republicans held a total vote turnout average of 109,718 in a state adding about 6,000 Republican new registrations per month. Even more stark was the difference between the top two candidates on each side: Ron DeSantis (the winner) and Adam Putnam (runner-up) amassed 1,505,466 while the socialist Democrat (but I repeat myself) Andrew Gillum and runner-up Gwen Graham totaled 989,849. Even adding the third place candidate Philip Levine’s 306,481, the GOP edge only drops to 209,000!
In other words, Florida Democrats are in bigly trouble. Gillum may draw more African-Americans out to vote in November, but his radical socialism is sure to cause tens of thousands of “coasters” (middle-class whites on the coasts) to stay home.
Back to Arizona for a moment: indicators are just that, and as in football, you still have to play the game. Still, overnight my Senate board went from +3-5 net GOP gains to net 4-6 GOP gains because McSally has to be the strong favorite to win now. It would not surprise me to see Democrat strategists actually pull money out of the Arizona race and seek to buttress their next firewalls of OH, WI, MI, WV, and the now-vulnerable seat in NJ. A 60-seat GOP majority is not out of the question now. If Dean Heller solidifies in Nevada, merely having two of the longshots come in would give the GOP a 60-seat majority.
On top of that, what both these turnouts mean is that supposedly vulnerable House seats in both states may not be quite as vulnerable as once thought, and that Democrat seats may be more subject to flipping. Never underestimate the power of top-of-the-ticket draws to pull out voters.