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%
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%
Democrats: 3,525,344 (48%)
Republicans: 3,052,711 (42%)
Other: 753,209 (10%)
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Who is the Real Jesus?
Ever since the dawn of modern rationalism, skeptics have sought to use textual criticism, archeology and historical reconstructions to uncover the “historical Jesus” — a wise teacher who said many wonderful things, but fulfilled no prophecies, performed no miracles and certainly did not rise from the dead in triumph over sin.
Over the past 100 years, however, startling discoveries in biblical archeology and scholarship have all but vanquished the faulty assumptions of these doubting modernists. Regrettably, these discoveries have often been ignored by the skeptics as well as by the popular media. As a result, the liberal view still holds sway in universities and impacts the culture and even much of the church.
The Real Jesus explodes the myths of these critics and the movies, books and television programs that have popularized their views. Presented in ten parts — perfect for individual, family and classroom study — viewers will be challenged to go deeper in their knowledge of Christ in order to be able to defend their faith and present the truth to a skeptical modern world – that the Jesus of the Gospels is the Jesus of history — “the same yesterday, today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8). He is the real Jesus.
Speakers include: George Grant, Ted Baehr, Stephen Mansfield, Raymond Ortlund, Phil Kayser, David Lutzweiler, Jay Grimstead, J.P. Holding, and Eric Holmberg.
Ten parts, over two hours of instruction!
Running Time: 130 minutes
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Exposes the Dangers of Abortion to Women!
These shocking eyewitness accounts expose the dangers of abortion not only to unborn children, but to the health and lives women as well. An antidote to the smokescreens of the liberal media, these short clips show what really happens in and around abortion clinics.
Although the content is emotionally gut-wrenching, these videos have been used in church seminars and small groups to educate Christians on the abortion issue and to lead people toward a pro-life position. Contains 2 hours and 40 minutes of materials that can be shown separately.
Watch these pro-life videos on-line.
“These videos helped change my mind from pro-choice to pro-life. Your videos are what did it for me. I will be walking in next year’s March For Life in San Francisco.” — A. Jackson, California
“I was going to have an abortion until I saw your video. Praise Jesus!”
— M. Drew, YouTube Commenter
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God’s Law and Society powerfully presents a comprehensive worldview based upon the ethical system found in the Law of God.
Speakers include: R.J. Rushdoony, George Grant, Howard Phillips, R.C. Sproul Jr., Ken Gentry, Gary DeMar, Jay Grimstead, Steven Schlissel, Andrew Sandlin, Eric Holmberg, and more!
Sixteen Christian leaders and scholars answer some of the most common questions and misconceptions related to this volatile issue:
1. Are we under Law or under Grace?
2. Does the Old Testament Law apply today?
3. Can we legislate morality?
4. What are the biblical foundations of government?
5. Was America founded as a Christian nation?
6. What about the separation of Church and State?
7. Is neutrality a myth?
8. What about non-Christians and the Law of God?
9. Would there be “freedom” in a Christian republic?
10. What would a “Christian America” look like?
Perfect for group instruction as well as personal Bible study.
Ten parts, over four hours of instruction!
Running Time: 240 minutes
Watch over 60 on-line video interviews from God’s Law and Society.
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Who is the dreaded beast of Revelation?
Now at last, a plausible candidate for this personification of evil incarnate has been identified (or re-identified). Ken Gentry’s insightful analysis of scripture and history is likely to revolutionize your understanding of the book of Revelation — and even more importantly — amplify and energize your entire Christian worldview!
Historical footage and other graphics are used to illustrate the lecture Dr. Gentry presented at the 1999 Ligonier Conference in Orlando, Florida. It is followed by a one-hour question and answer session addressing the key concerns and objections typically raised in response to his position. This presentation also features an introduction that touches on not only the confusion and controversy surrounding this issue — but just why it may well be one of the most significant issues facing the Church today.
Ideal for group meetings, personal Bible study — for anyone who wants to understand the historical context of John’s famous letter “… to the seven churches which are in Asia.” (Revelation 1:4)
Running Time: 145 minutes
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“Here I stand … I can do no other!”
With these immortal words, an unknown German monk sparked a spiritual revolution that changed the world.
The dramatic classic film of Martin Luther’s life was released in theaters worldwide in the 1950s and was nominated for two Oscars. A magnificent depiction of Luther and the forces at work in the surrounding society that resulted in his historic reform efforts, this film traces Luther’s life from a guilt-burdened monk to his eventual break with the Roman Catholic Church.
Running time: 105 minutes
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Watch a clip from Martin Luther.
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