Analysis: Florida voters flatly rejected environmental rhetoric from activist group Bullsugar.org

by | Nov 16, 2020


 

For the second time in 2020, Florida voters appear to have flatly rejected the messaging of some of the state’s most outspoken environmental groups who backed a long slate of losing candidates in the general election. Between the primary election in August and the general election earlier this month, it didn’t matter if a candidate was a Republican or a Democrat. If they were backed by the Everglades Trust or Bullsugar.org, they generally lost their respective races.

Among the biggest names to go down in flames in the 2020 election cycle: Republican Heather Fitzenhagen and Democrat Irv Slosberg. Both were defeated in the August primary, along with a handful of less notable names. But the biggest loser by far was the slate of candidates backed by Bullsugar.org in the general election on November 3rd. The group’s anti-agriculture messaging appears to have hit a nerve with Florida voters.

Bullsugar notched exactly zero wins among federal candidates in races with a candidate they opposed, and their only wins in Congress came from “can’t lose” candidates like Republican Congressman Brian Mast, in a race where Bullsugar hedged their bet by supporting his opponent, too.

An email to Bullsugar.org seeking comment for this story was not immediately returned.

At the state level, Bullsugar saw just two Democrats in contested races reach the winner’s circle, while they supported or actively endorsed 52 candidates overall. The group got completely shut out of the Florida Senate, losing every single race with a candidate they supported, including the razor-thin defeat of Democrat incumbent Jose Javier Rodriguez (pictured, main image, above).

Party affiliation played no role in legislative races, either, with Bullsugar supporting Republican Brian Norton in Senate District 29, only to see him lose to Democrat Tina Polsky, the same candidate who defeated Bullsugar and Everglades Trust-backed Slosberg in the aforementioned August primary.

A sample from Bullsugar.org’s heavily promoted #VoteWater website, showing their opposition to Democrat Tina Polsky, claiming she was funded by “dirty money” (DM).

 

If there was a bright spot for Bullsugar, it was at the local level. Among the higher profile wins for the group: Miami’s mayor elect Daniella Levine Cava, who won a highly contested race against Steve Bovo by eight points. The group also saw seven of their backed candidates win contested races, and three other “can’t lose races” in which they backed both candidates. They lost three other contested local races, all against Republicans who rejected the anti-agriculture platform.

 

 

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