Florida 2020

Goal

Flip a chamber

Chamber Makeup

State Senate

17 Democrats

23 Republicans

State House

47 Democrats

73 Republicans

Opportunity Assessment

Florida’s legislature helped deliver the state to Trump in 2016: Hillary Clinton lost the state by just 119,770 votes while state law disenfranchised 1.5 million residents  through permanent voting bans for former felons, which meant one in four black residents were unable to cast a ballot. And the current majority is looking to repeat history in 2020. Electing a new majority in the Florida House will protect re-enfranchisement and create the chance to move legislation that improves lives.

The Stakes

The majority in the Florida legislature is doubling down on the same strategy that has kept them in power since the 1990s: preventing Floridians from exercising their right to vote and selling the state to vested special interests:

  • Overturned a popular referendum to restore felon voting rights by implementing what is effectively a poll tax: requiring fees be paid up in full before voting rights are restored.

  • Fought all efforts to expand Medicaid—leaving over half a million Floridians without health insurance.

  • Consistently sided with the gun lobby instead of advocating for the personal safety of individuals and protecting public safety—even post Parkland.

  • Consistently blocked bills that protect LGBTQ folks from discrimination at work.

2020 Political Landscape

  • In 2020, the entire Florida House is up for election, and Democrats need to flip 13 of 73 Republican-held seats to flip the chamber.

  • There are 21 Republican-held seats that are competitive for Democrats, including 15 that voted for either Hillary Clinton or Bill Nelson.

  • In 2018:

    • Andrew Gillum underperformed Bill Nelson, and neither was able to hit the benchmarks Obama set six years earlier. 

    • Republicans won four state legislative seats by less than 1%. A focused, well-funded effort will be game changing in flipping seats lost by only a few hundred votes.