Charles Parker’s Take On the 2014 Election
By Charles Parker // November 5, 2014
BREVARD & FLORIDA POLITICAL NEWS & OPINION
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By Charles Parker
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – There are three initial takeaways to consider for Florida politics from Tuesday’s election and each will have an effect as we officially begin the 2016 campaign today.
1. THE PERSONALITY CULT OF PRESIDENT OBAMA
Obama carried Florida in both 2008 and 2012. National talking heads immediately deemed Florida a purple state – even with an overwhelming Republican legislature and a 16-year run of Republican governors.
Enter 2014. The Democrats ran a flawed candidate propped up by pot and reputation for flipping and flopping. The GOP re-ran a governor who is a crappy politician, but a promise-keeper – even if we didn’t always like his promises.
The Democrats believed the purple talk. They believed that voters would turn out in Florida – even without Obama on the ballot. They were wrong. Florida is red. Obama’s Florida electorate is about his personality, not his policies.
The two Democrats who won in Republican districts – Gwen Graham in the north and Patrick Murphy in the southeast – are anomalies. Graham is the daughter of popular former governor Bob and Murphy is a young conservative Democrat firebrand. Personality – not policies.
The Democrat nominee in 2016 – be it Hillary or O’Malley or Biden or Cuomo or whoever – better take note.
2. THE LIBERTARIAN COLLAPSE
All across the country, there were races that were supposed to be close because Libertarian candidates were polling strongly – over 4% in many cases.
Senate races in Georgia, Iowa, and North Carolina were deemed toss-ups because of strong Libertarian candidates. The only question was: who would they draw from?
Libertarian candidates under-performed in all of these races and in the Florida’s governor’s race. They were a non-factor. The question that is begged now is: Are they lying to pollsters or simply giving in to the two-party system when it comes to actually casting the vote?
3. JEB IN IOWA BEFORE CHRISTMAS
The former Florida governor went all in for Rick Scott. He barnstormed and did TV. He spoke in Spanish. He raised money.
For him, this gubernatorial campaign was a presidential trial balloon. One must win Florida to win the presidency.
I didn’t think that he would run for president. I thought he would defer to his son George P. – the new land commissioner for the state of Texas.
Let the Bushes move on to the next generation seemed to be his likely default. And no one would fault him for that.
Jeb now knows that he would most likely win Florida in a general election battle against anybody the Democrats run. He is still Florida’s guy.
He will wait to announce until 2015. But I bet he is in Iowa and New Hampshire before Christmas – maybe before Thanksgiving.
Let the 2016 campaign begin…
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Charles Parker is a longtime resident of Brevard County and has been writing for various publications for the last 40 years – both print and digital. Parker covers space, politics, religion, and other news and special events for Space Coast Daily.
Currently, he is an aerospace engineering teacher at Merritt Island High School. He is also the director of both the da Vinci Academy of Aerospace Technology and the Academy of Hospitality, Entrepreneurship, and Tourism at MIHS. He is a professor of Humanities and World Religions at Eastern Florida State College and Valencia College.
Parker has worked extensively in the tourism and aerospace industries in Brevard. He has also been a United Methodist pastor and director of a non-profit to help young adults aging out of foster care. He was formerly a board member at Brevard Achievement Center and the Childcare Association of Brevard. He was appointed by Governor Jeb Bush to the Children’s Services Council from 1999-2003.
Parker earned a BA in Organizational Management from Warner University and a Master of Divinity from Asbury Theological Seminary. He is married, has four children and one grandchild.
AUTHOR NOTE: These views are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of Brevard Public Schools, Eastern Florida State College, or Valencia College.
You can follow Parker on Twitter @cparker_scd