Yes, a wave of anti-Obama, pro-Tea Party sentiment swept the country Tuesday. But even considering the national trend, Florida Dems took a beating that can't simply be blamed on the miserable economy or a knee-jerk desire for change.
Going into Election Day, there were 592,000 more registered Democrats in the state than Republicans. Yet the Dems were incredibly weak in key races:
-Senate candidate Kendrick Meek's campaign was so lackluster his party's heavy-hitters lined up to endorse a guy who three blinks ago was a Republican.
-Alex Sink ran against a man who presided over the biggest Medicaid fraud in the country's history. And she still lost.
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- U.S. Rep. Ron Klein is a moderate, pro-business "New Democrat," who has been in office four years. He's not exactly popular, but he's also not some raging liberal who would frighten the monied constituents in his coastal district. He lost to a guy who compared Muslims to Nazis.
Given such breathtaking defeats, how does the head of the Florida Democratic Party react? Chairwoman Karen Thurman sent an email to supporters blithely thanking them for "believing in a brighter future for Florida."
"We energized millions of voters in this state," she wrote. "Because of the amazing operation we built, those Floridians got engaged in this campaign, they learned about the issues facing the state we love, and they stood up for Democratic leaders we can believe in."
Really? Who exactly did the voters believe in? Usually belief is calculated at the ballot box. When Dems woke up Wednesday morning to a slate of state leaders so red they make John McCain look nearly Communist, a brighter future wasn't part of the equation.