On the heels of news that Republicans have a strong lead in vote-by-mail ballots in Florida, the Southern Poverty Law Center has launched a massive “get out the vote” campaign in the state.
Politico Florida reports that the SPLC is launching a $1.3 million program largely targeted at Spanish-speaking households in Tampa and Orlando.
In a press release, the SPLC laid out their plan in the swing state that is instrumental in the upcoming midterm elections:
“the SPLC will use direct mail, radio, television and digital advertising to inform Florida voters and motivate them to participate ahead of an election that will determine numerous amendments and revisions to the state’s constitution. The GOTV campaign is in addition to SPLC’s work in coalition with Floridians for a Fair Democracy on Amendment 4 and the League of Women Voters on Amendment 5. The SPLC also was co-counsel on the successful lawsuit to remove from the ballot Constitutional Revision 8, which would have allowed a massive charter school expansion at the expense of Florida’s traditional public schools.”
Florida has been thrust into the national spotlight due to multiple contentious state-wide races.
Most prominent of those is the race between Republican Rep. Ron DeSantis and Democrat Andrew Gillum, who are running for governor. Big League Politics has extensively covered that race.
DeSantis has the endorsement of President Donald Trump, while Gillum touts the endorsements of Barack Obama, Bernie Sanders, and has the financial support of billionaire backers like George Soros and Tom Steyer.
The SPLC’s pushing of ads in Spanish is likely a ploy to help Democrats, as Hispanic voters are more likely to be registered Democrat than Republican in the state.
But while Hispanic voters as a whole seem to favor Democrats, one sub-sect of the population may create trouble for Democrats hoping to rely on their votes. Puerto Ricans are favoring Republicans more and more, according to a recent poll.
That poll shows that Puerto Ricans prefer Republican Gov. Rick Scott against Democrat Sen. Bill Nelson in the race for U.S. Senate in Florida.
Many Puerto Rican-Americans also have problems with Gillum, as they feel he is too far aligned with socialist politicians like Sen. Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. That anger is displayed in a recent video showing a crowd of Cuban and Puerto-Rican protesters mobbing a Gillum rally in Tampa.
There’s no telling how the upcoming election will go in Florida. But if the SPLC getting involved is likely a signal that Democrats are struggling.
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