How Florida Became America’s GOP Hot Spot

  • 1 year ago
im 755569
Arian Campo-Flores, Alex Leary and Anthony DeBarros – Wall Street Journal – 01/04

Once the nation’s biggest swing state, it’s now the power center for conservative policies and dueling Republican White House hopefuls.

On a recent day in the Miami area, conservative activist Charlie Kirk shared morning coffee with commentator Dave Rubin before meeting with Republican donors who relocated to Florida from the Northeast. He recorded his radio show and hosted an event for the former Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, then capped the night off at dinner with conservative influencers who recently moved in-state.

“I feel like how I used to feel in New York,” said Mr. Kirk, who splits his time between Arizona and Florida. “I can just keep myself busy all day long.”

Once the biggest battleground state in the U.S., Florida has morphed in recent years into the nerve center and idea laboratory for the Republican Party, home to growing legions of conservative activists, thought leaders and donors. It has become a model under Gov. Ron DeSantis of a new right that embraces muscular use of state power to pursue a conservative agenda and reshape institutions. Other states are emulating its policies by advancing parental bills of rights and bans on instruction about sexual orientation and gender identity.

The GOP’s two most towering figures reside there—former President Donald Trump, whose Mar-a-Lago compound in Palm Beach is a bustling hub for political gatherings and fundraisers, and Mr. DeSantis, the young new star of the party whose 19-point reelection victory last year solidified Florida’s status as a red state.

Read more: The Wall Street Journal

Compare listings