Issue #84: Jared Moskowitz and Ron DeSantis both won the Florida 23rd
Moskowitz and Soto will sit in DeSantis seats
Through the holidays I have been collecting 2022 election data in order to break down the Florida statewide races by Congressional District. I should have breakdowns of FL Governor and Senator races within the next few days. I will also be breaking those results down by the vetoed Congressional map and the State Senate’s initial proposal.
In the meantime, I have come across some data points worth sharing now.
A few days ago, I posted on twitter that Ron DeSantis had won the majority-Hispanic 9th district - which is based around Orlando.
While DeSantis took the seat narrowly, Democratic Congressman Darren Soto did win re-election. This makes him a Democrat sitting in a seat DeSantis narrowly carried.
I’ve written about the massive turnout disparity that occurred in 2022 - which saw Republicans have a record-level turnout advantage of 12 points.
This led to several otherwise-democratic counties - namely Hillsborough, Osceola, Miami-Dade, and Palm Beach - flipping red. We are still waiting on final voter lists to further analyze turnout at a precinct, district, and race level. Right now we just have party by county. We will need to dig more to confirm how much any swing was driven by turnout vs demographic shifts. So drawing conclusions about 2024 is irresponsible until we have a more detailed picture.
In the meantime, however, I can confirm one other Congressional District that elected a Democrat also voted GOP for Governor - the 23rd district. This seat covers portions of Broward and Palm Beach counties.
In 2020, this district voted for Joe Biden 53% to 43%. The seat is largely a successor the the outgoing 22nd district, which had Democrat Ted Duetch for over a decade. The seat includes some GOP upper-income pockets, Democratic suburbs, and a large number of Jewish voters - both retiree and middle aged. This district, depending on its layout, tends to be one of the most Jewish districts in the Florida delegation. A 2020 Brandeis study found that the outgoing layout of the district was around 15% Jewish.
The district was not considered a prime Republican pickup opportunity. However, the massive GOP swings across Florida also hit in the Democrat-heavy Southeast.
GOP Gains in the Southeast
In Broward County, Charlie Crist won the county by 15 points, far lower than the 30 point Biden margin. In addition to low turnout in the black community, DeSantis and Rubio made notably improvements with voters around Deerfield, Parkland, Cooper City, Dania Beach, and Davie.
Up in Palm Beach County, which is less Democratic than Broward, Ron DeSantis managed to become the first Republican to win the county since 1986. He took the county by 3%, while Val Demings managed to fend off Rubio by a narrow 0.4% margin.
The slide in Palm Beach cost Democrats an opportunity to hold HD91, a narrow Biden seat that had a strong Democratic candidate. In addition, HD93 and HD89, both solidly Democratic seats, went for DeSantis. These districts narrowly backed Demings, and elected their Democratic candidates for house. The race for HD93 was very close, however.
One picture emerging is Crist being the low end of Democratic support. Many regions are showing Democratic candidates for Congress or legislature outperforming Crist, and sometimes Demings as well. This is true in the Florida 23rd district.
The Race for the 23rd
In the 23rd, Jared Moskowitz was the Democratic nominee. A former City Councilman from Parkland and then State Rep from the region, Moskowitz had a strong base of support in the northwest end of the district. He was heavily involved in the area’s politics and as a Jewish Democrat, had been a strong voice on issues important to Jewish voters. Moskwotiz also made state and national news as a leader for Parkland after the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting. He served as one of the lead negotiators on passing package of gun and mental health laws in the state.
When Congressman Deutch announced he was retiring, and Moskowitz announced he was entering the race, several other top Democratic contenders backed off. He easily beat back a primary challenge - winning over 60% in a multi-candidate field; with the most prominent being Ft Lauderdale Vice Mayor Ben Sorenson. During the primary, Moskowitz had taken attacks for going to work for the DeSantis administration in 2019. After the gubernatorial election, DeSantis picked Moskowitz to run the Division of Emergency Management. Moskowitz was always the voice of reason in the admin on COVID issues, and was an aggressive pusher of masks and vaccines. Still, the post, which he left in 2021, led to left-wing attacks. In the end of though, it mattered little, and Moskowitz easily won the primary. While he won across the district, he dominated in his Parkland and Coral Springs base - taking 70% and 80% of the vote in many precincts there.
Moskowitz was always a favorite to win the general election. It was not until the last days, when turnout was clearly lopsided toward the GOP, that the rumble of a problem emerging. In the end, Moskowitz would win, but by a closer-than-expected 5% point margin. Of course, this was still better than Crist’s 1% loss.
Val Demings took the district over Marco Rubio by about 3%. All Democratic candidates lost the Palm Beach portion and won the Broward area. What doomed Crist was only taking the Broward region, which is over 2/3 the vote, by under 3%.
When looking at where Moskowitz was stronger than Crist, it is most readily apparent in the Parkland region. Moskowitz’s time and history around Parkland and Coral Springs made them the most likely areas for him to overperform. He also outdid Crist by solid margins in several western Boca Raton neighborhoods that have large Jewish concentrations of voters.
In Broward, the city-level breakdowns further show where Moskowitz was stronger. Parkland stands out above all the other cities in terms of Moskowitz overperformance.
Parkland’s politics have been heavily shaped by the school shooting. It has moved further to left in recent years, formally voting to the right of the state and now voting to left. While Rubio and DeSantis won the city, they did so by far less than statewide. Moskowitz, to no surprise on my end, took the city.
As stated earlier, we need more turnout data to dig into trendlines for different demographics. It is clear that in Broward and Palm, many democrats did not show up, and that almost overrode the base of support Moskowitz had. How this played out in different parts of the district (and I am especially interested in Parkland) will help explain what shifts were due to turnout vs demos.
No doubt I will be returning to this district when person-level turnout data is available.
In the meantime, Congressman Darren Soto and Congressman-elected Jared Moskowitz both find themselves sitting in seats Ron DeSantis won.
Thank you! This information is very helpful. Why I don’t see such sifting into the particulars generally posted by others is beyond me.
The crazy swings, the rabid dog types of attitudes in Florida voters, the obvious gerrymandering by DeathSantis and the low caliber thinking of the current voters lockstep with attitude but not much real thinking is sadly deplorable.
People in Florida have been actively salivating over the upcoming 2024 way before time to get there and blindly supporting the authoritarian mentality with such phrases as, “Anyone but Biden or Harris or any black woman!!!” And don’t take our guns away!, and “Freedom!” Even while DeathSantis is hardly for real freedom such as a woman’s choice over what she can do with her own body.
Seems there are a lot of people who align with ancient concepts around a woman’s “place” in these parts. Sad and cultish and scary.