With a population of over 15 million in 2000, Florida has become a major player in the American political arena. The state is home to some of the most influential Republican politicians, and its voting patterns have resulted in equally limited outcomes. To comprehend this, we have divided Florida into six political “states”. The biggest cities in the state have become increasingly friendly to Democrats, from South Florida to the Interstate 4 corridor and Jacksonville.
Political scientists refer to Florida voters as an “uprooted electorate”, whose preferences can shift rapidly. This is evident in the 2000 presidential elections, when the state was at the center of a disputed result. The Central Florida entertainment empire constructed by Walt Disney now faces major global issues, such as congested roads, housing shortages and scarcity of natural resources. Disney lobbyists hold talks with legislators outside of public hearings, while allied associations such as the Florida Chamber, the Retail Federation and Associated Industries of Florida testify publicly in support of what may be Disney's often tacit position.
Former state legislator Robert McKnight observed the Disney lobby when he was in the Florida House of Representatives and Senate in 1974-82, and as a business ally when he served as executive vice president of the Florida House. He noted that conservative Democrats who stayed in the party for decades are finally making the change. To sum up, Central Florida's political landscape has undergone a remarkable transformation over time. The state has become an important player in presidential politics, with its voting patterns leading to equally limited results.
The largest cities have become more Democratic-friendly, while Disney lobbyists hold talks with legislators outside of public hearings. Former state legislator Robert McKnight observed the Disney lobby when he was in office, noting that conservative Democrats are finally making the switch.