The problem with the Florida Democratic Party in a nutshell

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The rollout of Amanda Murphy’s candidacy for House District 36 exemplifies many of the problems with the Florida Democratic Party.

Murphy declared for the election this morning, a little less than a week before the qualifying period for the Oct. 15 vote. She quickly painted herself as a successor to Fasano, who often tangled with the property-insurance industry and utility companies over rates. 

Here’s how Chris Mitchell, who runs the party’s House campaigns effort, framed the race, ““We see it as a pure toss-up district. We’ve been doing our due diligence behind the scenes to bring coalitions together. We want to make sure we’re united behind one candidate and not have a bloody primary like you’re about to see on the Republican side.”

But it’s not a “pure toss-up district.” Barack Obama won it by approximately five points. Charlie Crist, as an independent, beat Marco Rubio by three points in the 2010 U.S. Senate race. In HD 36, there are nearly 3,000 more Democrats than Republicans.

With these numbers, Mitchell’s statement should have been something like, ‘This is a Democratic district and we are going to take it back.’

Not a bunch of mealy-mush about the district being a toss-up or about doing your due-diligence. Just, ‘We’re gonna win this seat!’

If more Democrats talked like that, they actually would be able to win more seats.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including,,, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.