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A legislative supermajority is possible for Republicans in Florida

Florida legislature
News Service of Florida

Republicans are just eight seats away from gaining two-thirds majorities in both the Florida House and Senate during Tuesday's general election.

Republicans already control the Florida Legislature. But the outcome of just a few races in Tuesday’s election could make that control even greater.

If Republicans gain just four more seats in the House and four more seats in the Senate, the party will control two-thirds of the votes in both chambers of the state legislature. That would give them a supermajority.

Retired University of South Florida political scientist Susan MacManus said holding a supermajority will put Republicans in near total control of debate in the legislature.

“It minimizes the opposition party's ability to change the rules of debate,” MacManus said. “And, sometimes, how you conduct floor debate and floor votes or whatever ... can be related to how long something is discuss and so forth."

MacManus said gaining a Republican supermajority would cap off what is shaping up to be a terrible year for Florida Democrats at the polls.

"What it looks like is possible is for the first time since the Civil War, the Republicans may have the governor, the cabinet, and the legislature and just about everything else and this is very, very upsetting to Florida Democrats," MacManus said.

MacManus said Democrats made a big-last minute push to protect legislative seats, but are hamstringed by a shortage of cash.

I started my journalism career delivering the Toledo Blade newspaper on my bike.