Rep. Gaetz: Trump Created 'Red Firewall' in Florida to Stop the 'Blue Wave'
Important lesson for 2020 election, lawmaker says.
Rep. Matt Gaetz credited President Trump with helping Republicans win critical races in Florida in the midterm elections, and he believes it's an important lesson for the GOP with 2020 looming.
After controversial vote recounts, Democrat Andrew Gillum conceded to Ron DeSantis, a former Republican congressman, Saturday in the gubernatorial race. Incumbent Sen. Bill Nelson conceded to GOP Gov. Rick Scott in the U.S. Senate contest a day later.
Gaetz (R-Fla.), who's a member of Gov.-elect DeSantis' transition team, said the Democrats had great momentum and turnout, but they couldn't overcome Trump's popularity and relentless campaigning.
"When Donald Trump is at his best and able to activate, at times, 75, 80 percent turnout in deep red counties, it creates a real red firewall against any potential blue wave," Gaetz said on "Outnumbered Overtime" Monday, adding that the lessons learned in the midterms could be critical for 2020.
He noted that in the days leading up to the election, Trump rallied for Republicans in Estero, just outside Fort Myers, and Tampa, and those areas had particularly enhanced Republican turnout.
"I think the president can take a lot from the fact that when he goes somewhere, he is able to gin up Republican turnout," Gaetz said.
He noted, however, that Trump won independent voters in Florida by four points in 2016, but that number slipped for Republicans in 2018.
"I think you've already seen a tone from the president that wants to embrace working together and progress and getting things done for everyday folks who expect the government to work for them," Gaetz said. "So I think that's really the key to success."