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Trump; Coronavirus Likely To Continue To Influence Politics In Florida In 2021

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Frank Torres (l) and Dick Batchelor. Photo: Matthew Peddie, WMFE

Two things likely to dominate Florida politics in 2021 are coronavirus and Donald Trump. That’s according to Republican political analyst Frank Torres, who tells Intersection that the pandemic recovery will require bipartisan effort, from the White House down to state and local politics. 

“I think the big takeaway for 2021 for Joe Biden, Ron DeSantis, even here in Orlando, with Buddy Dyer and Jerry Demings, will be Coronavirus recovery,” says Torres.

“I think that if these guys don’t nail down this recovery, and start to get things back to normal, then we’re going to start starting to see a lot of people getting frustrated.”

And while President Trump’s term is ending, Torres says his influence on politics across the country and in Florida will endure. 

He says Trump may want to continue holding rallies. 

“So I think if he could still do that, and if he can still draw, even though he’s outside of the White House, for Ron DeSantis and for, you know, Matt Gaetz, and I don’t know if he’ll do it for Rubio, but you know, some other people as well, then, I think he’ll continue to do that and continue to have influence certainly on the Republican side when it comes to deciding elections.”

With Congress preparing to count the electoral votes next week, President-elect Joe Biden is a step closer to the White House. 

But the shadow of lawsuits still lingers, with President Trump refusing to concede and alleging election fraud.  Democratic political analyst and former state lawmaker Dick Batchelor says the failed lawsuits will be a “sordid footnote in history.”  

That includes a lawsuit from the state of Texas seeking to invalidate millions of votes in swing states, and which was joined by Florida’s Attorney General Ashley Moody and others. 

“It’s crass politics where the Attorney General of the state of Florida, joins with the other 13 attorneys general, to file a lawsuit against states to basically throw out the vote,” says Batchelor.

“And lastly, I’ll say, same goes for the 126 members of Congress that signed on to the amicus brief, and they should be ashamed of themselves. Maybe they’re proud of their footnote in history, but it’s going to be a sordid footnote on how they tried to take away the votes in a democracy.”

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Matthew Peddie

About Matthew Peddie

Host of WMFE's Intersection & Assistant News Director

Matthew Peddie grew up in New Zealand and studied journalism at the University of Western Ontario. After graduating with an MA in Journalism he returned to Christchurch, working as a reporter for Radio Live and Radio New Zealand. He’s reported live from the scene of earthquakes, criminal trials and rugby ... Read Full Bio »