On Saturday, Democrat Joe Biden won the presidency over President Donald Trump and will be the country’s 46th president. Here is reaction from Palm Beach County and Florida. This is a developing story. Check back for updates. Go here for the final electoral vote count.
Florida will serve as model for GOP comeback, says Trump club leader
Joe Budd, President of Club 45 USA, was in a meeting when the networks called the race. But he wasn’t surprised, he said, because the votes were trending in Biden’s direction.
Still, the national loss does not diminish the incredible work that the state party and Trump fan clubs did to bring Florida home for the president in a resounding fashion, he said.
“I think you’ll see that Florida is going to be observed by Republicans as a whole as to how we did what we did,” he said. “We kept great enthusiasm up for a long, long time. It wasn’t just last minute, get out the vote efforts — it built for three years. It was built and ready to go.”
While Trump has his negatives, Budd said, he still will have a lot of influence in helping other Republicans get elected in Florida for years to come.
“Like in 2018 when he backed Ron DeSantis over [GOP primary rival Adam] Putnam and instantly changed that race when he stepped in,” Budd said.
Budd said Trump can also teach other politicians a thing or two about keeping their words.
“I’d like to see him play a role going forward where he holds politicians to keep the promises that they make,” he said. “That’s something the president did extremely well.”
More than anything, Budd said, he is thrilled with the number of Florida Republicans who attended rallies and turned out the vote for the president.
“I’m extremely proud of the work locally,” he said. “The enthusiasm was off the charts and they brought it home here in Florida. We did our job in Palm Beach County, and obviously, Cuban-Americans did their job in Miami-Dade.”
State Sen. Lori Berman said Biden win ‘negates’ disappointment in Florida losses
State Senator Lori Berman, D-Boynton Beach, said she could barely contain her excitement at the news of Biden’s win.
“I’m just so elated, I’m so happy, and I’ve been crying tears of joy,” she said.
Even the loss of two congressional seats and Trump’s resounding victory in Florida could not put a damper on Biden’s win, she said.
“After we didn’t win Florida, and we didn’t have the victory and gains that I thought we would have on the state and Senate level, I still thought that, if Biden won, it would negate my disappointment,” she said. “It did, and I truly do feel that way.”
Berman said the Florida Democratic Party could take cue from Georgia activist Stacy Abrams and focus on registering more voters, she said.
“They increased their registration and we didn’t have a commensurate increase,” she said of the Republicans. “There’s a lot more work beyond that, but I think that’s a starting place.”
And while Trump may be leaving the White House, his influence will undoubtedly persist in Florida after he returns home to Palm Beach, Berman said — and not in a good way.
“I think Trump’s legacy in Florida is Gov. Ron DeSantis,” she said. “And I think that’s unfortunate. We still have the COVID crisis, which has been poorly mismanaged on the federal level and similarly poorly mismanaged on the state level.”
Lois Frankel celebrates defeat of famous constituent, Trump’s ‘cult of personality’
As the congresswoman representing her most famous constituent, Lois Frankel called Biden’s win a “relief” and a “joyful day of celebration.”
“It’s been a long, pretty dreadful four years,” she said. “Nothing is going to overshadow today. We have a decent, compassionate man to be our president. We’ve elected the first woman of color to a national office.”
When the celebrations subside, Frankel said, it will be time for the Democratic Party to take a good look at where it went wrong in Florida, where Trump took home a resounding, consolation win.
“We know things went awry in [Miami-]Dade County, that’s a given,” she said. “But that wasn’t the only part of the state that was disappointing.”
Despite the economic devastation, the loss of lives and the pervasiveness of the coronavirus pandemic, voters still came out in large numbers for Trump, she said. And that’s something Democrats can learn from.
“We have in Donald Trump an extraordinary character, and I don’t mean that in a good way,” she said. “It was a cult of personality.”
Despite the legacy of “division, corruption, and incompetence” that Trump will leave in his wake, Frankel said, she believes that Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris are the right people to unite the country.
And while Frankel can’t ever really get away from Trump because he lives only a stone’s throw from her house, she said she’s made her peace with it, all things considered.
“I’d rather have him on the golf course than in the White House,” she said.
Trump Team 2020 hitting the streets
Anne Marie Delgado, president of the Trump Team 2020 club, said she rejected projections that Biden would win the hard fought campaign.
“We’ve got thousands and thousands going out,” vowed Delgado, saying that the members of her statewide network of clubs would be out to make the case that the election would be settled in the courts.
Delgado said she and club’s members insist only “legal ballots” should be counted. That means ballots that arrived after the Nov. 3 deadline must not be counted if an extension is not part of that state’s elections law.
She said the final word on the 2020 presidential race would be from court orders stopping what she alleged was the counting of illegal ballots.
“Stop the steal,” said Delgado. “This is so unusual the way this particular election, nationwide, has been run.”
Joe Biden wins, but will stock markets now crash?
On the campaign trail, Trump had warned that a Biden win would lead to a crash in stock markets. But on Saturday, Bankrate.com senior economic analyst Mark Hamrick said the capital markets and investing isn’t necessarily guided by who wins the White House.
“Stock markets perform well under all kinds of administrations, including Democratic ones,” said Hamrick. “Ultimately what’s most important for financial markets is an economy that is conducive to generating corporate profits in a low interest rate environment or at least an environment that doe snot see burgeoning inflation or any other significant issue associated with economic distress.”
Hamrick lauded what he said were some actions by Trump that boosted investor and business bullishness. But he cautioned that Trump also pursued policies that created instability in the markets, including a trade war.
He said after four tumultuous Trump years in office the markets may embrace stability from Biden.
“Business leaders will I think at least more comfortable with the predictability of a Biden presidency,” he said.
As for some Biden promises, such as abrogating the 2017 tax cuts, Hamrick said a lot depends on what happens with control of the U.S. Senate.
I don’t think it’s time to assume any of that will be flying through Congress. And we ve seen stock markets perform just fine when tax brackets were higher.
Hamrick also said the markets might cheer policies to address climate change that could open investment opportunities.
In addition, Biden’s focus on bringing the coronavirus pandemic under control may also be applauded on Wall Street. As might approval of renewed economic stimulus by a lame duck Congress.
His one concern: The mushrooming national debt.
Trump administration didn’t do future taxpayers any favors in the sense of presiding over policies that allowed for significantly burgeoning debt. And those are chickens that will come home to roost. It’s just a question of when and what’s doen over time to address them.”
County GOP chairman Michael Barnett said the fight will go on
Michael Barnett, Chairman of the Republican Party of Palm Beach County, said he has faith Trump will still prevail. Barnett sent the following statement to the Palm Beach Post:
“This election is far from over. The Republican Party of Palm Beach County stands strongly behind President Trump and the Trump campaign’s effort to challenge voter fraud in the courts. We delivered Florida handily for President Trump, including over 323,000 votes in Palm Beach County alone … The news media do not certify elections. Nothing official has been decided. When the dust settles, and the illegal votes have been separated from the legal votes, President Trump will be declared the winner.”
Florida Democratic chair Terrie Rizzo said Biden’s win a ‘record breaker’
Florida Democratic Party Chair Terrie Rizzo released the following statement:
“Congratulations to President-Elect Joe Biden and Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris. Today we celebrate the start of a new chapter for our country. We saw record breaking vote totals with Joe Biden winning more votes than any President in history. Today’s win was a victory for America and a victory for the millions of volunteers who gave their time, their heart and their soul to secure this outcome, and we thank them for their commitment to elect leadership that will build America back better.
“Joe Biden and Kamala Harris will work tirelessly to improve the lives of every single American. Their inclusive, clear-eyed leadership is precisely what we need to restore the soul of this nation. The Biden-Harris administration will also make history, as the brilliant Kamala Harris will be both the first woman and the first Black and Southeast Asian Vice President.
“We have much work to do, as a nation and as a state, but Joe Biden has never given up when things are difficult, and neither will we. Along with all Florida Democrats, I cannot wait for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris to be sworn in as the next President and Vice President of the United States.”
LGTBTQ+ Democratic Caucus president says Biden ‘respects laws’
Stephen Gaskill, president of the Florida LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus, issued this statement: “Once again, we will have a president who understands and cherishes the role of US leadership throughout the world, defends our civil rights, respects our laws, believes in science, and recognizes the principle that we are one united citizenry working toward our common goals…”
“In President-Elect Joe Biden and Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris, the United States has the most progressive and the most pro-LGBTQ leadership agenda in history.”
Lincoln Project co-founder says good riddance to Donald Trump
“America has rid itself of the worst president in our history,” said Rick Wilson, a founder of the The Lincoln Project, a group of republicans and former party members that worked to defeat Trump. “It has been sweeping repudiation of the kind of malevolent character that permeated the White House.”
Winning both the electoral college and the popular vote was very much “a referendum of Donald Trump,” Wilson said.
What about GOP and Trump charges of socialists and radical leftists that will control the Biden administration?
“Don’t say the word socialism in South Florida,” he added. “It’s a bad thing. It did not help their cause at all. It did not help the reality on the ground politically. Trump found one of the bright spots and took advantage of it. It was never going to come out any other way with the Cubans.”
Wilson said he did not expect Biden to win Florida, so they focused their energies on other states. But he said the role the Lincoln Project played was pivotal.
“The Democratic Party of Florida cannot organize a two-car motorcade,” Wilson said. “They are terrible at this work — nothing personal against any one person. The Florida GOP is the best-run Republican Party and in the country. I can’t tell you how many times I said you have to push back on this right away, you have to assertively knock this down today. But they couldn’t and wouldn’t do it because they were afraid of making the Bernie bros upset.”
Trump will find political safe harbor in Palm Beach County and Florida
The one consolation for Trump in the election’s results was the president’s overwhelming victory in his adopted state, Florida.
Trump “whitewashed” Biden in the state, as one pollster noted, saying that given Florida’s history of razor-thin results the president’s 3.4% margin of victory equaled a landslide.
Trump’s coattails extended to flipping two Miami congressional seats from blue to red and retaining a vacant seat in Naples. What Republican state officials called a “red tsunami” also resoundingly thwarted the spending of millions by Democratic and progressive coalitions to flip the Florida House —or at least even the partisan ranks in Tallahassee.
In those results, Florida, where Trump’s Southern White House is located and which his supporters hope will be home to his presidential museum someday, offered Trump political safe harbor as it did after the “blue wave” 2018 midterms.
Political watchers said that election two years ago was a referendum on Trump’s first two years in office. Trump boasted he would stun the political world — as he had done in 2016 — but instead suffered a devastating loss of 40-plus seats in the U.S. House and numerous governorships.
But in Florida, Trump’s political godson, Gov. Ron DeSantis, won his race. And former Gov. Rick Scott defeated incumbent Democratic U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson. The flip of that U.S. Senate seat would prove pivotal in Trump’s impeachment trial early this year as well as in the rushed confirmation of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Amy Barrett last month.