Monday, January 07, 2008

Democratic Resurgence in Florida?

Despite some disappointments, 2006 was a good year for Florida Democrats. Locally, Democrats followed up legislative victories (Pinellas County was ground zero for legislative pick ups) with Mary Mulhern's underdog victory over Shawn Harrison for one of Tampa's at-large city council seats.

An e-mail from the Florida Democratic Party offered the following quotes:

"Absentee ballot requests pour in from Democrats," crowed a headline in the Palm Beach Post today. Similarly, in Pasco County, "a bellwether county where Republicans outnumber Democrats, the Democratic Party has so far marshaled more voters to cast absentee ballots, 835 to 721," the St. Petersburg Times reported.

The e-mail links to a site called CreatCHANGE'08 and attempts to tap into the netroots.

The FDP formalized the importance of internet activism by officially creating the Netroots Coalition as an official caucus within the party.

But I digress.

Is there a seachange coming?

The answer is yes, but it won't be as big as you think.

Democrats have excellent opportunities to pick up 1-2 more Congressional seats and there is a very good chance that our electoral votes will go to the Democrat. Unfortunately, with gerrymandering, there is not likely to be a huge shift in the legislature - certainly not along the lines of the seven seat switch we saw in 2006. What we are likely to see is some incremental gains - possibly 1-2 State Senate seats and 1-3 State House Seats. I think we might also see some movement locally at the municipal level, with the mayor's office in St. Petersburg, in particular switching parties (though not until 2009).


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