GOP and Donald Trump camp celebrate as top Joe Biden aide says Florida isn’t in play for Democrats

Florida Democrats have said they're optimistic. But Jen O'Malley Dillon is not.

Florida Democrats have pushed the narrative that despite a Republican registration edge that is well over 900,000 voters, the state is in play for President Joe Biden’s re-election.

However, a key player in Biden’s own campaign is rebuking that read in fresh comments.

Jen O’Malley Dillon, Chair of the Biden re-election effort, pointedly refused to name Florida among the states where the President thinks he can compete during an interview with Puck News.

“No,” she said when asked directly by John Heilemann as he listed off states, wondering whether the campaign was treating them as battlegrounds.

O’Malley Dillon’s comments seem to contradict the narrative that in-state Democrats are pushing, as evidenced most recently by Democratic National Committee Chair Jaime Harrison coming to Tallahassee to celebrate the party fielding candidates in every House race this cycle.

“Chair Harrison made it clear that Democrats at the national and local levels know that Florida is in play this year, and they are committed to flipping the state this fall,” read a press release last week from the party.

By the end of Monday, the Biden campaign was doing damage control on the comments as well.

“Florida is in play for President Biden and Democrats up and down the ballot. Trump and his out of touch loyalists are taking the state for granted, while their extreme agenda continues to increase costs and rip away Floridians’ freedoms. The President has a strong story to tell on the issues that matter most to Floridians, which is why our campaign continues to scale up our presence and investments into the state,” asserted Dan Kanninen, Biden-Harris Battleground States Director.

Yet by the time the quote was provided after business hours, the damage had been done.

Republican operatives, who harrumphed that Harrison’s visit was a mere “participation trophy” last week, had plenty to say about the top Biden aide seemingly tapping out in the Sunshine State.

“Another day, another Florida Democrat debacle! Despite Nikki Fried’s rhetoric, the Biden campaign is clearly waving the white flag in Florida,” said Evan Power, the Chair of the Republican Party of Florida.

“With nearly 1 million more registered Republicans than Democrats in the state, the Florida GOP’s grassroots operation is fully engaged and pressing on the gas. Make no mistake: Republicans are going to win, and win big, in November!”

Trump campaign Senior Advisor Brian Hughes had similar thoughts, with an aside criticizing media framing of the race as more competitive than it may actually be.

“Florida is Trump Country consistently in polling, voter enthusiasm, and voter registration,” Hughes asserted.

“With President Trump at the top of the ballot, and on down all the races this November, Florida will be bright red. In a noteworthy and rare bit of honesty, it was good to see the Biden/Harris campaign finally admit this reality. It is a shame, though, that Floridians had to endure media amplification of the bogus Biden narrative of the state being ‘in play’ for months.”

Polling of the race has consistently shown Trump out in front, poised to carry the state for his third straight Presidential Election, but there has been some variance in numbers.

Ryan Tyson’s The Tyson Group poll, which was taken earlier this month, showed that 46% of likely voters back Trump, good for a 10-point lead over Biden. However, a contemporaneous Fox News survey showed Trump with only a 4-point lead.

The Florida Democratic Party (FDP), unsurprisingly, has a different read than the Republicans and Biden’s operative.

“While Republicans are burning our state and our country to the ground, Florida Democrats are doing the real work required to take back Florida: knocking doors, listening to voters, and fielding candidates in all 168 state and congressional elections. This November, we’re going to restore reproductive rights, legalize cannabis, defeat Rick Scott, and break the Republican supermajority — and we know that Donald Trump can’t win the presidency without winning Florida. We’re not naive about the challenges ahead, but we’re building the foundation of Democratic success, not just for this cycle, but for the years and decades to come. Don’t count Florida out,” asserts Chair Nikki Fried.

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has been the Northeast Florida correspondent for Florida Politics since 2014. He writes for the New York Post and National Review also, with previous work in the American Conservative and Washington Times and a 15+ year run as a columnist in Folio Weekly. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski


  • Larry Gillis, Libertarian (Cape Coral)

    June 24, 2024 at 3:36 pm

    … between an aging grifter and a senescent lifelong politician, neither of whom has done anything about the National Debt, which is now approaching One Million Dollars per American. Their plan for the Debt is to print their way out of it.

  • It's Complicated

    June 24, 2024 at 3:45 pm

    RPOF should offer to fund Nikki Fried’s salary. There would be significant ROI.

  • Impeach Biden

    June 24, 2024 at 4:33 pm

    Nikki eating her words again. She is a great recruiter for Republican registration in the state of Florida. No wonder she couldn’t beat Charlie Crist.

  • My Take

    June 24, 2024 at 4:51 pm

    You have to interpret such statements in terms of their origin.
    This could just be a polite way of saying,,
    “Florida is a hopeless GOPer sewer.”

  • MH/Duuuval

    June 24, 2024 at 10:35 pm

    “Florida is Trump Country consistently in polling, voter enthusiasm, and voter registration,” Hughes asserted.

    Hughes might have added: And MAGAs are kowtowing to the biggest blowhard to live in Florida since William Jennings Bryan.

    • JustBabs

      June 25, 2024 at 10:04 am

      Also, registration does not equal voter turnout. Those Republican operatives changing voter’s party without their knowledge was not an isolated event. They just were the one’s that got caught, by the press.

      • Impeach Biden

        June 25, 2024 at 1:50 pm

        Then we have the Demo ballot stuffers showing up at the drop box in the middle of the night with hundreds of votes that they harvested.

        • TJC

          June 25, 2024 at 4:09 pm


  • Sally B

    June 25, 2024 at 2:25 am

    When Florida’s Democratic Party fire Nikki Fried, she will always be welcomed back fulltime by her longtime master — Big Sugar — Florida’s greatest polluter. America’s Governor dislikes Big Sugar, and Nikki Fried loathes the greatest and most effective Florida governor ever.

    • TJC

      June 25, 2024 at 12:08 pm


    • MH/Duuuval

      June 25, 2024 at 5:24 pm

      “DeSantis doesn’t raise money from the sugar industry. But he does raise money from Associated Industries of Florida. Lots of it.

      “Since DeSantis was elected, AIF’s political committees have contributed more than $2.1 million to “Friends of Ron DeSantis,” the governor’s fundraising committee. And more than $4 in every $10 spent by those AIF committees came from Florida Crystals and U.S. Sugar.”

  • Margaret

    June 25, 2024 at 3:13 pm

    The Democratic Party in Florida is paying the price for poor leadership in the past which allowed DeSantis to sail into office.
    That leadership(sic) involved mis-use of contributions by the then heads of the Party.
    That Nikki Fried did not choose to have a Democratic Presidential Primary was foolish. Florida lost a chance to suggest someone other than Biden who could energize the electorate. Not allowing choices at the Primary level denied
    Floridians their rights as voters. The National Party DNC should find someone who is more imaginative and committed to increasing Democratic registration. I have written to them about this. Others who feel the same way should let the DNC know instead of just gnashing their teeth.

    • MH/Duuuval

      June 26, 2024 at 12:17 pm

      The best means of messaging the DNC is turning out in Nov. and thrashing Trick Scott. And passing constitutional amendments guaranteeing a woman’s reproductive freedom and the individual right to smoke pot. (Our MAGA friends fixed the 60 percent threshold.)

Comments are closed.


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