Steve Schale: Orlando revisited – Florida Politics (blog)
Back in 2012, I wrote a fairly deep dive about metro-Orlando, titled Orlando Rising, to look at what was happening in the Orlando urban counties, and how both Hispanic and African-American growth rates were radically changing the area’s politics.
Six years later, I wanted to take another look, but this time with a broader lens — not just metro-Orlando, which tends to get all the media focus, but on the media market as a whole, because, as I think this piece will show, what is happening in the Orlando media market right now is very much the story of what is happening in American politics. Bear with me, there will be a lot of data in this piece, and hopefully by the end, you will see what I mean.
Before we begin, for those of you who are regular readers of my blog, you’ve probably seen me refer to Florida’s political math as a self-correcting scale. For all the state’s dynamism in population growth and demographic changes, the state’s politics almost seem to play by Newton’s Third Rule of Motion, that for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction, or in political terms, for every trend that benefits one party, a seemingly opposite, and a remarkably equal trend benefits the other.
This is why, despite changes in the electorate and changes in national mood, the last four major contested statewide elections — the 2010 and 2014 Governor’s races, and the 2012 and 2016 Presidential, were all decided by a point, and why there is no reason to believe the 2018 Governor’s race, and the 2018 Senate race between Gov. Rick Scott and incumbent U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson — and eventually the 2020 Presidential race won’t follow suit.
In some ways, no place is more emblematic of this