How Florida became a conservative bastion

May 15, 2023

Once the nation’s largest and most volatile swing state, Florida has lurched to the right in recent years, becoming a mecca for the GOP’s most influential luminaries and wealthiest donors. Ron DeSantis (R) has solidified his grip on the reins of political power in the state, turning Florida into a laboratory for conservative policy experiments. Those new arrivals, said Susan MacManus, a professional emeritus at the University of South Florida who specializes in Florida politics, have tilted heavily Republican. “COVID was the catalyst for the explosion of the Republican political shift in Florida,” said MacManus. The Florida Democratic Party elected its third chairperson in little more than two years in February amid internal turmoil.