In a devastating blow to the President and his party, Democrats have scored yet another victory in a purple district that was anyone’s for the taking.
Democratic candidate Javier Fernandez defeated Andrew Vargas in a race to represent Florida’s 114th House district, keeping a pivotal Democratic seat in blue hands by just a 4% percent margin. The spot was vacated by the recent resignation of Rep. Daisy Baez, who stepped down after pleading guilty to misdemeanour perjury when she lied about her address on a voter registration form.
The district is pretty evenly divided – 35% Republican, 34% Democrats, and 30 without party affiliation – and for the Democrats to pull out a solid win in a toss-up is huge.
The win is a critical hold for the Florida Democratic Party after a brutal campaign which saw Fernandez battered with vicious attack ads from his right-wing opponent. “It’s pretty sweet, man. I can’t lie. Substance wins over slights, right?” said a grinning Fernandez after the results came in.
NeverTrump Republican political strategist Ana Navarro took to Twitter to sound the alarm bells about what this election defeat means for Republicans in November:
I live in this Fl house Dictrict. GOP candidate spent oodles of $$. His ppl knocked on my door, called me on the phone & I got mailers in my mailbox, DAILY. Today, the Democrat won this special election. If u think Trump isn’t dragging folks down, I want some of what ur smoking. https://t.co/6Qf4yS9LsI
— Ana Navarro (@ananavarro) May 2, 2018
Last night’s victory is only the latest in a wave of stunning Democratic success stories around the country. Thus far, Democrats have unseated Republicans in a vast number of what were thought to be unwinnable races. Aside from flipping New Jersey’s and winning Virginia’s gubernatorial races, Democrats also earned a historic victory electing Doug Jones to the Alabama Senate, the first time that a Democrat has won in that state in a quarter century.
Democrats have also picked up a slew of seats in other races around the country.
Since Trump’s inauguration, Democrats have flipped 41 seats from red to blue. Republicans have only flipped three. In total, Democrats have seen flipped seats in 13 states: Georgia, New Hampshire, New York, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Washington, Wisconsin, Virginia, Missouri, Kentucky, Connecticut and now Florida. Even in the most solidly red districts, Democrats are overperforming Trump’s numbers by double digits.
As the Trump administration and its Republican enablers in Congress continue their assault on the will of the American people – from healthcare to tax cuts for the rich to net neutrality to immigration to gun reform – voters across the country are delivering a serious message to the White House, one race at a time.