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Local Republicans and Democrats energized by Trump visit

Posted at 9:51 PM, Oct 30, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-31 08:02:17-04

In 2016, Southwest Florida voters turned out in droves to put Florida in the win column for then candidate Donald Trump's stunning win over Democrat Hillary Clinton.

Since that day almost two years ago, Lee County Democrats are determined to turn back Trump's agenda with a mid-term blue wave.

“It's pretty much everyday there's something he says that infuriates people.  They take it personally, they want to help,” said Gabrielle Spuckes, A Lee County Democrat who became active in the party after the 2016 election.

Lee Democrats and other groups will be protesting the president's visit to the Hertz Arena tomorrow.

He’s expected to rally voters to support Gubernatorial candidate Ron DeSantis and Senate candidate Rick Scott.

"I am not surprised. I think he's a little scared that he's not going to get DeSantis elected,” said Spuckes.

Trump endorsed DeSantis is in a tight race for governor against Democrat Andrew Gillum.

Outgoing Governor Rick Scott is also locked in a tight senate race against Democratic incumbent Bill Nelson.

Republicans say they aren't phased by the close polls, because Trump himself came from behind to win the presidency two years ago.

“Whether its president Trump endorsing Ron DeSantis, or whether it's people's diehard support for Rick Scott, and what he has done for this state, for some reason, people are geared up,” said Collier County Republican Chair Ron Kezeske.

Kezeske says registered Republicans are already ahead in early voting balloting, a sign that hasn't gone un-noticed by Trump.

“It's also a sign of appreciation.  If you look at the Southwest Florida region, Charlotte County, Lee County, Collier County, we are the highest rate of vote by mail returns now by a long shot."

But Democrats say some of the Republicans who early voted or voted by mail, crossed over and voted for the Democratic ticket.