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A Republican governor in California? Today unthinkable

At the end of our conversation, Robert Asencio wants to make an appeal.

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A Republican governor in California? Today unthinkable

At the end of our conversation, Robert Asencio wants to make an appeal. "I would like to ask you not to write us off as a red state," says Asencio. "Because Florida isn't a totally red state." Red is the color of the Republican Party. Asencio, 59, is running in constituency 28, on the southern tip of Florida. As a Democrat, as a "blue" candidate. He was a reservist in the army, worked as a law enforcement officer. Now he's aiming for Congress.

Will he eventually become a member of parliament? The candidate doesn't exactly sound optimistic when asked about the Democrats' prospects. "I don't know, it's very difficult to predict." There are "many voters speaking out loud and supporting the Republicans." Asencio relies on the silent observers. In addition, one does not know how high the voter turnout will be.

According to polls, the Republicans will win in the midterm elections on Tuesday. The House of Representatives, a third of the Senate, governors, the state legislature and much more are elected. If, as Republicans are happily predicting, Election Day sends a “red wave” across the US, Florida is likely to contribute to that wave.

Florida was once the classic swing state that voted sometimes Democratic, sometimes Republican. All eyes have been on Florida for decades. It tipped America's well-balanced political scales. Florida voted once against and once for Bill Clinton. It voted twice for George W. Bush - and twice for Barack Obama.

Donald Trump managed to paint Florida "red" in 2016. Even in 2020, when Trump lost nationally, he beat Joe Biden in Florida. And quite clearly, with a lead of a good three percentage points.

Anyone who speaks to voters in Florida hears phrases like: "I used to vote for Obama and most recently for Trump." ' or call themselves 'socialists'.

Hugo Chávez also got off to a moderate start, says a young man who immigrated from Colombia. The Democratic candidate Asencio comes from Puerto Rico, the Republican incumbent has his roots in Cuba. Cuban Latinos are Trump's most loyal voters.

Republican supporters praise Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who largely refrained from lockdown during the corona pandemic. DeSantis confidently presented his track record as head of government at an election rally on Friday evening. He performs in a martial arts center gym in South Florida. The relatively small man stands in the ring like a boxer.

No income tax, immigration from other parts of the US, full freedom to do business, no "gender indoctrination" - this is the program DeSantis is running. He rails against democratically run cities, scoffs at Joe Biden. "Thank you, Ron," chanted the audience of around 300. DeSantis, four years in office, asks, "How many of you have moved to Florida in the last four years?" Dozens of hands go up.

In recent polls, DeSantis is ten or more percentage points ahead of its Democratic challenger. Several congressional constituencies are likely to turn red in Florida on Tuesday. This is especially true for the state legislature, the legislature, which is already bright red.

American states are increasingly becoming one-party states. This reduces political diversity, reduces the interest of many citizens in getting involved politically - and ultimately results in a kind of political cementing.

Here the red America, there the blue America. The ruling party, used to power, tends towards radicalization. With the controversial gerrymandering, i.e. the reshaping of constituencies according to taste, she secures her power.

Only twelve of the 50 states still have a “split” government. In 49 of the 50 states, one party controls the two chambers of the legislature. In 38 states, one and the same party has a majority in both chambers and the governor.

In Utah, for example, all power has been in the hands of the Republicans since 1985, and California has been in the hands of the Democrats since 2011. More than three out of four Americans live in a state that is "ruled" by one party. Twelve states are the exceptions. In left-wing Massachusetts, for example, there is a moderate Republican governor. In right-wing Louisiana, a moderate Democratic governor runs the government.

A Republican governor in California, like Ronald Reagan or Arnold Schwarzenegger? Today unthinkable. The result: election campaigns hardly take place in most states. The parties are concentrating on the few remaining swing states.

On Saturday, the President and two of his predecessors, Barack Obama and Donald Trump, performed in Pennsylvania. Such performances in Mississippi or Nevada? Rather unlikely. A side effect that is politically highly problematic: A few voters in some states are actually much more powerful than many voters in the politically cemented states.

On Friday evening, in the boxing ring, Governor DeSantis specifically attacked Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi and Anthony Fauci. He does not even mention the name of his democratic challenger.

The man's name is Charlie Crist, and he was once the governor of the "Sunshine State". Back then as a Republican. It's almost 30 years since Florida last elected a Democrat as head of government.

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