If the November races go as forecast, more than half of Florida's House delegation will consist of election deniers

Denial of service

Florida's new Congressional District map
Florida's new Congressional District map via FL-SCOTUS

As reported last week by Nathaniel Rakich and Kaleigh Rogers at the political statistics website FiveThirtyEight.com, 60 percent of American voters will have an election denier on their ballot this fall. Floridians, no surprise, are solidly in that group. In fact, almost every voter in Florida will see an election denier on their November ballot.

In a Politifact overview of 14 national surveys, 65 percent of Republican voters believe the election was "stolen," apparently preferring an administration packed with two-bit con men and greasy grifters. Among American voters as a whole, that number goes down to 35 percent.

Sixty-one percent of the registered Florida voters in a University of North Florida poll published in August believe President Biden "definitely won" or "probably won" the election, slightly less than the rest of the country.

Yet, of Florida's 28 Congressional districts, 18 have steadfastly and openly election-denying Republican candidates. If you add in those who have expressed questions or reservations, as well as those too lily-livered to go on record, that goes up to 27 of the 28.

If right now you're saying, "Wait, Florida only has 27 districts," you must have slept though Gov. Ron DeSantis forcing his gerrymandered-to-heck map through the Legislature in May, after our Trump-botched 2020 Census. (When the Fair Districts amendment to the Florida Constitution called Ronnie to ask what in the Sam Hill he thought he was doing, Ronnie texted back "new fone who dis" and then switched his Freedom Phone to silent.)

This new map basically locks in four Republican seats this year and almost guarantees Florida's newly added seat will go GOP, while erasing the Democratic advantage usually seen in Districts 5, 7 and 13. As well, the map reduces four traditionally Black voter-controlled districts to just two. South Florida's three longstanding majority Hispanic districts don't change.

In Central Florida, the blue island of the 9th and 10th is surrounded by the 7th, 8th and 11th, solid denier country. The Orlando-area 9th District, currently held by Rep. Darren Soto, went from a Hispanic plurality to a majority. But candidates who treat Hispanic voters as a bloc run at their own peril; it's a fool's error to assume all Spanish-speaking voters will vote the same.

Only two November '22 candidates — Sen. Marco Rubio and former Secretary of State Laurel Lee, running to represent Florida's 15th District in the U.S. House — are on record as fully accepting the election results. Lee is in a bit of a tight spot denial-wise, as she was ultimately in charge of Florida's elections up until May 2022, so claiming election interference or irregularities would in some part be denouncing her own work.

Of the 18 deniers, 15 have a better than 96 percent chance of winning their districts — meaning, if everything goes as forecast, more than half of Florida's House delegation will believe they are serving under an illegitimately seated president.

Attorney General Ashley Moody, who faces Democrat Aramis Ayala in November, is also in the full-denial camp; the wily DeSantis, who FiveThirtyEight forecasts has a 92 in 100 chance of winning, has avoided committing himself to a position on the record.

Opinions aside, the danger of election deniers taking office are real, as Rakich and Rogers point out.

"An election-denying secretary of state could refuse to certify an election that he or she believes was rigged. An election-denying governor could attempt to submit electoral votes that defy the will of the people. And election-denying senators and representatives could vote to count those electoral votes.

"The 2022 election will determine how many of these candidates get that chance."

FULLY DENIED = "These candidates either clearly stated that the election was stolen from Trump or took legal action to overturn the results, such as voting not to certify election results or joining lawsuits that sought to overturn the election." — FiveThirtyEight.com

Ron DeSantis

Denial status: Avoided answering
Position source: WFLA-TV (Tampa)
Chance of winning: 92 in 100
Democratic opponent: Charlie Crist

Ashley Moody

Denial status: Fully denied
Position source: Tallahassee Democrat
Chance of winning: Forecast not available
Democratic opponent: Aramis Ayala

Marco Rubio (incumbent)

Denial status: Fully accepted
Position source: Congressional roll call
Chance of winning: 86 in 100
Democratic opponent: Val Demings

Cory Mills

Denial status: Fully denied
Position source: Orlando Sentinel
Chance of winning: 97 in 100
Democratic opponent: Karen Green

Bill Posey

Denial status: Fully denied
Position source: Congressional roll call
Chance of winning: >99 in 100
Democratic opponent: Joanne Terry

Scotty Moore

Denial status: Fully denied
Position source: FloridaPolitics.com
Chance of winning: 2 in 100
Democratic opponent: Rep. Darren Soto (incumbent)

Calvin B. Wimbish

Denial status: Fully denied
Position source: FloridaPolitics.com
Chance of winning: <1 in 100
Democratic opponent: Maxwell Alejandro Frost

Daniel Webster

Denial status: Fully denied
Position source: Congressional roll call
Chance of winning: >99 in 100
Opponents: Democrat Shante Munns, NPA Kevin Porter

About The Author

Jessica Bryce Young

Jessica Bryce Young has been working with Orlando Weekly since 2003, serving as copy editor, dining editor and arts editor before becoming editor in chief in 2016.
Scroll to read more Orlando Area News articles


Join Orlando Weekly Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.