On October 25, 2022, American Police Officers Alliance ventured further into its mission to support the interests of police officers: it made an honest plea to Florida voters to get involved and vote in the upcoming election.
Law enforcement and the rule of law in Florida was at risk. To solve this, we threw our lot with the candidate who had stood with police the most: the incumbent governor, Ron DeSantis. We set out to ensure every police officer, even those who hadn’t voted recently, knew DeSantis had the backs of law enforcement.
The Police Vote Matters – But It Needed a Push
In the state of Florida, the 2022 midterm was the main dish among a much deeper array of local and state decisions. The two main candidates were old, familiar faces in the political scene: the incumbent governor, Ron DeSantis, and his Democratic opponent Charlie Crist.
However, only one of them had a proven record as a supporter of law and order. At American Police Officers Alliance, we had been watching national trends with growing concern, and we knew the disaster that often follows an “anti-police” governor.
But unlike the rest of the country, Florida recently saw:
- Large investments for recruiting and training new officers
- Strong, transparent support for ICE policies and local police powers
- A fearless push for new legislation that will empower law enforcement officers
- Continuously dwindling crime rates
In many ways, Florida police officers owe a great deal to DeSantis’ policies. If his political project was at risk, then it was only natural to stand guard.
What Was Our Campaign All About?
Our support took the form of a “Get Out the Vote Campaign” specifically for law enforcement officers and those who take safety issues to heart. We also redoubled our efforts on those who traditionally don’t vote, or who have gone disenchanted from the political process. This accounted for a target of approximately 74,816 voters across the State.
We focused our efforts in three key districts: the 15th Congressional District (North Eastern Tampa), the 27th Congressional District (South East of Miami and Kendall) and Crist’s own home turf in the 13th Congressional District (Pinellas County).
The campaign itself consisted of a series of blog articles that explained our position, a viral video ad, and a series of targeted digital and social media ads. Then, we tied these efforts together via final reminders on the eve of the election, using both automated calls and text messages.
- Across all media, we kept our message simple, consistent, and honest
- Florida has seen almost nothing from Antifa – unlike the rest of the U.S.
- Florida’s law enforcement has the tools and supplies it needs to do its job
- “Defunding the police” initiatives have cost no lives in our State
- And it’s each voter’s responsibility to keep it that way!
The Final Tally Is Here
After November 8th, the final results came with little wait: Ron DeSantis’s landslide victory was a resourcing success for the state of Florida and positioned the state as a Republican stronghold moving into the 2024 election.
In addition, our impact numbers were no less impressive. Out of a total target of 241,249 people, about 10% (or 24,000) were rated as “low propensity” voters. They had not voted in 2018 or had openly expressed their lack of enthusiasm for the 2022 election.
Despite this, 15,523 of them turned up at the polls on November 8th and overwhelmingly voted for DeSantis and the Republican Party. What’s more, all three of our “key districts” chose to stand on the side of law enforcement, and elected Republican representatives.
But were they a decisive amount? Overall, they may seem like a modest number, but in many districts, small numbers of voters helped turn a seat in favor of law enforcement that would’ve otherwise been at risk.
Now we have the numbers to prove that law enforcement issues are dear to the electorate’s minds and liberal politicians will think twice about playing the “defund police” card for votes.