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RIP GOP in Florida, as State Becomes True Blue

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Florida once again proved to be the key to victory for President Obama.

Even though the results were extremely close and were still in contention the morning after, the fact that Mitt Romney could not win the state outright early and extensively was one of the major contributing factors to his losing the presidential election.

Sure, the demographics of the state made it a true bellwether of the nation's political being and the practical tie in the vote for president in Florida reflected the predicted tightness of the popular vote nationwide -- but there's much more to read in those numbers.

The Republican Party in Florida proved it's comatose, if not outright dead, as a consequential influence in state politics by not delivering an economically crippled Florida in a big way to the Romney camp.

The failure of the GOP to capture Florida for Romney was only one of its failings.

The party's inability to capture a Senate seat from a mediocre incumbent running in a state with a weak economy and to protect a number of its incumbents and candidates (and rising stars) in what were or should have been very close races in state, congressional and local races in Democratic-centric South Florida is a nothing less than a political catastrophe.

Looking at the results, they showed that the Tally-centric Republican Party of Florida is an ineffective, outdated, out-of-touch political machine that has failed once again to meet the challenges of the demographic changes in Florida, particularly the influx of Puerto Ricans from the northeast into the I-4 corridor and the conversion of younger Cubans to the Democratic brand in Miami-Dade County.

And as much as the state reflected the mood of the country, in both state and national politics, the election results accentuated the debilitating influence in GOP ranks of social-centric fanatics driven by biblical dogma and extreme, xenophobic right-wing ideology that have driven out necessary and important moderate influences that used to make the party attractive to the middle-of-the-road Americans -- or the Florida residents receiving food stamps.

The RPOF remains stuck in sinking mud in the Terry Schiavo era of Florida politics, more consumed with its petty fight with former turncoat Gov. Charlie Crist than getting political candidates representing a broad spectrum of political thought elected to office.

The election showed its failed focus remains on crusading on Christian social issues and protecting a small, but extremely powerful, rich super constituency of millionaires and powerful insurance, agriculture and finance lobby.

They spent more time pushing a bloated ballot containing too many right-wing social and economic issues and continuing the fight to limit early voting rather than concentrating on tough races in South Florida involving rising stars in its ranks like Allen West, Adam Hasner, and Ellyn Bogdanoff.

And the results reflected the impotency and insignificance of the unpopular Republican Gov. Scott -- he's the unpopular GOP "leader" of the state that Romney had to shun.

President Obama's success has truly shown that Florida is no longer a battleground state.

The demographic changes that center on a growing first-generation immigrant Hispanic population and an influx of minority baby boomers from the north to the south and center regions of the state will certainly continue to change the economic and political realities of Florida.

Florida is no longer a red, southern state, but instead second New York State, a Democratic stronghold where a large minority of its citizens believes in the concept of federal supremacy and subsists on the largesse of big government.

As a result, Florida has now become yet another given Democratic state in terms of electoral votes as much as other states with very significant numbers like California, New York, and New Jersey. The failure in last two presidential elections of the RPOF to deliver the state's 29 votes reflects that new political reality.

Between New York, California, and now Florida, a huge obstacle of the Republican Party in any future presidential race is the fact its candidate starts out of the gate over 100 electoral votes behind because huge Democratic majorities and the nonexistence of viable Republican parties in these states.

In his concession speech after losing a tough race, moderate Massachusetts Gov. Scott Brown stated, "There are no obstacles that can't be overcome and defeat is only temporary."

Tuesday night's results showed that unless there's an earthquake in Tallahassee, the defeat is eternal and Republican Party is dead in Florida.

Published in the Sun Sentinel on November 8, 2012

Steven Kurlander blogs at Kurly's Kommentary and also writes weekly for the Sun Sentinel, Florida Voices and The Huffington Post. He can be emailed at kurly@stevenkurlander.com

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