Every election is historic. But the contests that culminate tonight when ballots are counted may be the biggest midterm election in many Americans' lifetimes. It's more than just a temperature check on voters' perception of a tempestuous presidency. There's a restlessness and sense of engagement in races running up and down the ballot. Races that in previous years would have been regarded as slam-dunks are now firmly in the question-mark category.
There's a lot at stake. For Floridians, the state's crucial next moves will take very different directions depending on who wins the election, especially in the governor's race.
Democrat Andrew Gillum wants to increase taxes on some corporate interests, using the funding to boost access to health care, increase funding for public schools and ramp up the state's fight against environmental threats like red tide and sea level rise. Republican Ron DeSantis offers fewer details than Gillum, but seems firmly opposed to raising taxes and committed to courting more jobs for Florida. DeSantis is also playing up his connections to President Donald Trump in a year when many other Republicans are keeping the president at arms length.
Voters will certainly know what they're getting when they decide between the two.
Many are predicting, on social media and elsewhere, that a large number of races have already been decided based on early voting. Don't bet on it — polling (if it's reliable) shows razor-thin margins in races people care about. And nobody knows whom the sizable cadre of no-party-affiliation voters will favor. If you haven't voted yet, you still have time to make a difference. It's an opportunity you should not miss.
REPRINTED FROM THE ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH