Election night and the morning after many around the Democratic Party and the national chattering classes were spinning that racism must have been the reason Bill Nelson received more votes than Andrew Gillum statewide (outside ballot error-driven Broward County).
I pushed back on this suggestion because I don’t like the Democrats obsession with race and identity and felt there existed real ethical reasons for folks to vote against Andrew Gillum. But I will admit I was ill at ease thinking some Democrats might actually have cast ballots based on race.
Interestingly exit poll data from Florida indicate Bill Nelson ran FOUR POINTS AHEAD OF ANDREW GILLUM AMONG BLACK VOTERS STATEWIDE. In comparison, Nelson ran identically with Gillum among Hispanics and a point ahead among whites (though Rick Scott got the same percentage among whites as Ron DeSantis – 1% in the Governors race went to third party candidates) Compare the data below:
I’m not looking to take shots at individuals because this was concerted effort lazily pushed in the identity era among Democrats to explain Nelson getting more votes. However, I’ve picked a small selection of random tweets that are embedded below simply to demonstrate how people were thinking, based on assumptions spun by professional pols Election night and the next morning.
You have to factor in the racist Dems in Florida who can never bring themselves to vote for a black man. Why else would they split the Gillum Nelson ticket? Do the polls account for bigotry? 🤔@CNN
— Comedian Tara Crush (@TaraCRUSH) November 7, 2018
Why did Nelson outperform Gillum? He’s 75k ahead of him. That means 75k Floridians split their ballot DeSantis/Nelson? I would infer that 75k couldn’t bring themselves to vote for a black man.
— Rick Paffenroth (@PaffenrothRick) November 7, 2018
I think the racism runs deep, and so you see the split in vote tallies for Nelson and Gillum. The felon re-enfranchisement is baffling in this particular election. Florida continues to be a mix of enigma and stupidity.
— 🇺🇸Verita Cassiere (@v_cassiere) November 7, 2018
It’s important in the future instead of making assumptions about the “racist” motivations of voters in our state, voters who have cast ballots for some Democrats if those in and around the chattering classes waited for hard data. It’s a lesson that is there to be learned – but will those with an agenda heed it?