Open Letter to Steven Bittel & Alan Clendenin*

December 22nd, 2016

fl_election_mapOne of you is likely to be captain of the ship for Florida’s Democrats come January 14th, when 1000+ party poobahs gather in Orlando to decide our future, so it seems appropriate to offer some objective advice from an independent source with significant experience but no vested interest in the outcome other than saving our nation from tyranny and despotism.

First, it’s helpful to remember that good decision-making begins with a clear perception of the situation in which you find yourself. Then – and only then – can you begin to consider possible courses of action, calculate which course is in your best interest, and finally, take that action.

This has been a challenge for the FDP for some time now, at least partly because the FDP has failed (refused?) to recognize its real place in the political zeitgeist. The FDP portrays itself as, and acts as if it were, a majority party — despite the fact that only about 38% of the voters in Florida are registered Democrats. While there may be a planet out there beyond the Milky Way where less than 50%+1 constitutes a majority, it is not this one.

Prior to the “Reagan Revolution” of the 1980s, Democrats did hold as large as a 4:1 majority among Florida’s registered voters. But about half of those registered back then as Dems were actually Dixiecrats: folks who supported candidates like George Wallace, who won 28.5% of the vote in Florida in 1968, just behind the 31% garnered by Hubert Humphrey. Most of the Dixiecrats had jumped to the GOP by the 1980s and stayed there. But that’s only half of the data tale.

Like most states, Florida has seen exponential growth among voters who choose to register with neither major party. Colloquially (and incorrectly) referred to as “independents,” these people now account for nearly 30% of Florida’s voters. The biggest chunk of them are registered as “NPA” (No Party Affiliation), but a lot of them are members of minor parties, ranging from Green and Libertarian to Ecology and Socialist Workers. (Those are all real names.)

Bottom line: 56% of Florida’s voters are NOT Democrats.

Keeping those statistics in mind, the next number of note is 67, which is the number of counties in Florida.

In recent history – meaning the last 10-12 general election cycles – the pundits have decreed that all elections shall be won (or lost) in the Big Three and the I-4, i.e. Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach Counties, and along the interstate between Tampa-St. Petersburg (Hillsborough-Pinellas Counties) and Orlando (Orange County). This flawed theory disregards reality as much as the hallucinatory notion of a Democrat majority. And here’s why.

Shortly after the debacle on November 8th, MTP Daily presented a “Data Download” segment that reported the TOTAL vote difference in Presidential elections 1992-2016 in several swing states.

In Virginia, with 20 million TOTAL votes cast between 1992 and 2016, the difference was 72,060. In Ohio, with 34 million total votes during that time, the difference was 68,864.

In Florida, with 50 million total votes across the seven cycles, the difference was 11,296.

That is not a typo.

Do the math and you’ll see that the difference translates to 168.6 votes per county. If just that many votes per county had gone the other way in the 61 counties not included in the Big Three/I-4 strategic theory, the total difference would be almost completely eradicated.

So here’s the objective advice from an independent source with significant experience but no vested interest in the outcome other than saving our nation from tyranny and despotism.

#1: Adopt a 67-county strategy. Turn-out in smaller counties is almost always higher than it is in the big counties, and it costs a lot less to run campaigns in those areas.

#2: Don’t ignore “independents.” It doesn’t matter how people are registered. What matters is how they VOTE. (See Donald J. Trump, 2016)

#3: Think purple. Florida never has been, is not now, and is not likely any time soon to become a “blue” state. Except in a few metro areas, you will find more center-right voters than center-left, and very few left of center.

There’s a lot more, but this is already over-long and the rest is for Dems’ eyes only, so we’ll close here and wish the best of luck to whichever one of you prevails. You will surely need it.

*ICYDK: Steve & Al are the top contenders for the chairmanship of the Florida Democratic Party.


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