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Florida - A Changing Political Climate

By Editorial Staff
Published May 1, 2008

In less than a decade, Republicans have added 1 million voters to their rolls in the state of Florida, while the Democrats have added just 300,000. In 1994, for the first time, more Florida voters took part in the GOP primary for governor than the Democratic.

Florida has voted Republican in nine of the past 11 presidential elections, but is fast becoming a GOP stronghold at all levels of government. The Florida Senate went Republican in 1994 for the first time since Reconstruction, and the GOP is just four seats shy of a majority in the state House. Florida Republicans have a 15-8 majority in the U.S. House.

Florida is not an easy state to campaign in. It is populous – 14 million residents and growing at a rate of nearly 250,000 per year. It is diverse, stretching from the “cracker country” in the northern Panhandle to the retirees on the west coast beaches of the Caribbean, from the Cuban population of Miami-Fort Lauderdale to urban Jacksonville. Florida spans two time zones and takes about 16 hours to drive from the tip of the Florida Keys to Pensacola. Therefore, it is expensive to campaign in. Campaigning must be done on television, and reaching the whole state requires buying myriad media markets.

Many of the issues that are on the front burner in California are also prominent at the other end of the Sun Belt. Crime, taxes and immigration policy are all big issues in Florida, although its large Cuban population (estimated to be about 10 percent of the GOP vote) requires a more nuanced approach to immigration than the anti-immigrant line that has played well in California. And Florida’s large retiree population ensures that the fate of Medicare and other issues of importance to the elderly are of prime concern.

Republican strength has been growing in all parts of Florida. But when GOP candidates go looking for votes they focus on a horseshoe-shaped area that extends up the Gulf Coast to the Tampa-St. Petersburg area, cuts through the central part of the state to Daytona Beach, then stretches south along the Atlantic Coast to the Miami area, where most of Florida’s Cuban population lives.

There, it helps to have a friend or family member who speaks Spanish. George Bush used Jeb, who was chairman of the Dade County GOP in the mid-1980s. Jeb helped his father carry the county in the 1988 GOP primary with three-quarters of the vote; Bush ran even better in Dade in 1992. Statewide, Bush won easily both times.

While the Republican Party is rapidly expanding these days, Democrats are trying to hold together a fraying coalition that extends from conservative, small-town whites in the panhandle to Jewish and minority voters in south Florida. It is an ethnic stew that has given Florida politics an anomaly. Northern Florida is Southern and southern Florida is Northern, the saying goes.

Southern Democrats have done best at the presidential level by bridging the two ends of the state. Lyndon B. Johnson and Jimmy Carter have been the only Democrats since 1950 to win Florida, and Bill Clinton has been the narrowest loser, trailing Bush by less than 2 percentage points in 1992.

Southern Democrats have also done well in the party’s presidential primary. George C. Wallace of Alabama capitalized on anti-busing sentiment to overwhelm a large Democratic field in 1972. Georgia’s Carter won crucial Florida primaries in 1976 and 1980, beating Wallace and Edward M. Kennedy, respectively. And Arkansas’ Clinton readily won in 1992.

Florida at a Glance …

Population: 14 million
Percentage of U.S. population: 5.36%
White 84%
Black 15%
Hispanic 14%

Growth rate:
Since 1980: 43.2%
Since 1990: 7.8%

GOP presidential wins since 1968:
6 out of 7

1992 presidential vote:
Bush: 41% Clinton: 39% Perot: 20%

Registration:
Democrats: 3,525,344 (48%)
Republicans: 3,052,711 (42%)
Other: 753,209 (10%)


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Amazing GraceAmazing Grace: The History and Theology of Calvinism (DVD)

Download the Free Study Guide!

Just what is Calvinism?

Does this teaching make man a deterministic robot and God the author of sin? What about free will? If the church accepts Calvinism, won’t evangelism be stifled, perhaps even extinguished? How can we balance God’s sovereignty and man’s responsibility? What are the differences between historic Calvinism and hyper-Calvinism? Why did men like Augustine, Luther, Calvin, Spurgeon, Whitefield, Edwards and a host of renowned Protestant evangelists embrace the teaching of predestination and election and deny free will theology?

This is the first video documentary that answers these and other related questions. Hosted by Eric Holmberg, this fascinating three-part, four-hour presentation is detailed enough so as to not gloss over the controversy. At the same time, it is broken up into ten “Sunday-school-sized” sections to make the rich content manageable and accessible for the average viewer.

Running Time: 257 minutes

$19.95 — ORDER NOW!

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Dr. Francis Schaeffer - A Christian Manifesto (DVD)

That Swiss Hermit Strikes Again!

Dr. Schaeffer, who was one of the most influential Christian thinkers in the twentieth century, shows that secular humanism has displaced the Judeo-Christian consensus that once defined our nation’s moral boundaries. Law, education, and medicine have all been reshaped for the worse as a consequence. America’s dominant worldview changed, Schaeffer charges, when Christians weren’t looking.

Schaeffer lists two reasons for evangelical indifference: a false concept of spirituality and fear. He calls on believers to stand against the tyranny and moral chaos that come when humanism reigns-and warns that believers may, at some point, be forced to make the hard choice between obeying God or Caesar. A Christian Manifesto is a thought-provoking and bracing Christian analysis of American culture and the obligation Christians have to engage the culture with the claims of Christ.

$19.95 — ORDER NOW!

(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)

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The Four Keys to the Millennium (Book)

Foundations in Biblical Eschatology

By Jay Rogers, Larry Waugh, Rodney Stortz, Joseph Meiring. High quality paperback, 167 pages.

All Christians believe that their great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, will one day return. Although we cannot know the exact time of His return, what exactly did Jesus mean when he spoke of the signs of His coming (Mat. 24)? How are we to interpret the prophecies in Isaiah regarding the time when “the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea” (Isa. 11:19)? Should we expect a time of great tribulation and apostasy or revival and reformation before the Lord returns? Is the devil bound now, and are the saints reigning with Christ? Did you know that there are four hermeneutical approaches to the book of Daniel and Revelation?

These and many more questions are dealt with by four authors as they present the four views on the millennium. Each view is then critiqued by the other three authors.

$12.95 — ORDER NOW!

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A Revival Account: Asbury 1970 (DVD)

What is true Revival and Spiritual Awakening?

Discover the answer in this eyewitness account by Dennis Kinlaw, President of Asbury College, Wilmore, Kentucky, who recounts the story of a visitation of the Holy Spirit in 1970. This is the presentation that has continued to spark the flames of Revival in the hearts of people around the world. Contains eyewitness footage from the Revival at Asbury College in 1970 in Wilmore, Kentucky.

Certain to challenge you to greater holiness and a deeper commitment to full-scale revival. Original news and private footage has been included. If you are a student who longs to see a spiritual awakening at your school, you must see this video!

“This simple video does a wonderful job of conveying something of God’s heart and power, Everyone we have ever shown this to has received an immediate impartation of faith for revival and the power of prayer.”
— Bob and Rose Weiner, Weiner Ministries Int’l

Running Time: 40 minutes

$19.95 — ORDER NOW!

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Go Stand Speak (DVD)

With “preaching to the lost” being such a basic foundation of Christianity, why do many in the church seem to be apathetic on this issue of preaching in highways and byways of towns and cities?

Is it biblical to stand in the public places of the world and proclaim the gospel, regardless if people want to hear it or not?

Does the Bible really call church pastors, leaders and evangelists to proclaim the gospel in the public square as part of obedience to the Great Commission, or is public preaching something that is outdated and not applicable for our day and age?

These any many other questions are answered in this documentary.

$19.95 — ORDER NOW!

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