But the media is picking up on other Floridians souring: especially Republicans!
"People are just disgusted with the way that Scott is only advocating for corporations and doing nothing for the people who live here and work hard," said Ricci. "And there are Republicans from all across the state who have decided to drop out of the party, because they can't stay in a party that is Rick Scott's party. From everything from the special deal for corporations to attacking unions, and there are corporations that pay no taxes -- all of this combined has just been too much for many of these lifelong Republicans to stomach."
The article opens with a Republican firefighter posting publicly on Facebook that he'd gone this past Wednesday to the local elections office to switch his party affiliation from Republican to Independent (welcome to the club).
This can actually get to be a big problem. Parties use their voter registration polls to create their mailing lists, phone lists, donations lists, etc. I can confirm as an Independent meself these last six years that I don't get the phone calls and mailbox stuffers that my parents (still registered Republicans) get every election cycle. What this means is that smaller membership leaves fewer people the GOP can count on to 1) give donations (not so bad, considering the Republicans can rely on deep pocket CEOs), and 2) help with campaigns and Get The Vote Out efforts (which actually does hurt: as the crowds get smaller, even the conservative media talking heads are gonna notice).
Worse for the GOP, the people abandoning ship are NOT the so-called RINOs: the old-style Moderates that fled ages ago. And here's the real problem. The ones getting driven out now are guys and gals just like that Orlando firefighter: pro-gun, pro-life, and would otherwise be hating on Democrats like always. But not now. The ones fleeing the Republicans NOW used to be as solid a reliable vote for Republican throughout modern history. But because the current Republican leadership has gotten so batshit crazy, so anti-worker, so anti-Medicare and anti-Medicaid and anti-Social Security, and so pro-corporate tax cut... whatever is left of a sensible base for the party isn't going to be there now.
Voter registration for Republicans are already kind of low: Now the GOP is going to get stuck with just the uber-rich terrified of ZOMG SOCIALISM, and the ignorant dwindling masses obsessing over Obama's birth certificate. I'm trying to find the latest statistics on voter registration nationwide: the last time I checked, there were already MORE registered Independents than Republicans (with Democrats still in the majority: this is why GET THE VOTE OUT EFFORTS ARE SO IMPORTANT, GUYS...). So far I'm finding the 2004 numbers, which has 72 million Democrats, 55 million Republicans, and 42 million Independents. The voter identification in 2009 had it by percentages, with 39 percent ID'ing as Democrats, 35 percent Independent, and 29 percent Republican...
What am I saying here? My point is: the current game-plan of the Republican Party - killing unions at the state level, cutting social safety nets like Medicare and Medicaid at the federal level - is alienating far too many people too quickly. Voter identification with Republicans will suffer, as more registered voters decide being in the party isn't worth the aggravation. Fewer voters mean the only ones left are the obvious nut cases, reveling in the fact they have a fully-funded party (with a media network hard-wired to back them no matter what) of their own to run.
Primaries are clearly going to get worse because the Far Right can win those and then go on to lose the general elections: the relatively sane voters backing relatively sane candidates are disappearing, leaving wingnuts who will back wingnut candidates that will not appeal to the at-large voters (think Sharon Angle, or Christine O'Donnell). And while some of those wingnut candidates won in 2010 (a down-cycle election), the chances of those wingnuts winning in a Presidential election cycle like 2012 - when voter turnout cycles upward - dimishes. Rick "MEDICARE FRAUD" Scott only won because 5,000 Democrats and/or Independent voters who would hate fraudsters didn't show up to vote. In 2012, more voters = better odds of saner voter totals.
Because of Rick Scott... because of the severity of Rick Scott's agenda, something even enough Republicans in the state legislature are starting to oppose... there's more and more Republican voters fleeing the party here in Florida. And Florida is a battleground state: the numbers slightly favor the Democrats here even though - thanks to gerrymandering and the 2010 down-cycle election - they don't dominate the state government. I don't see a slew of Democrats heading to the elections office to change party status because of Obama or Sen. Nelson or anything like that. I'm only seeing Republicans leaving because of Rick Scott.
And Rick Scott is exactly who the wingnuts want. While the rest of us don't. Where will that leave the Republicans in 2012... or 2014, if Scott lasts that long...?