The 2018 midterm elections are underway and all eyes are on Florida. The gubernatorial race between Mayor Andrew Gillum and Republican Ron DeSantis had long been projected to be a tight one. But nothing could have prepared Floridians for how neck-in-neck the results actually are. Let me tell you: you've never seen stress until you see these memes about Florida's tight governor race.
To be frank, the election results have been a total rollercoaster. In the days leading up to Nov. 6, some predictions showed Gillum in the lead, while others showed him trailing behind DeSantis. Unfortunately, that chaos continued well into Election Day. All through the evening, Gillum and DeSantis were neck and neck, with voting counts ranging in the 48-49 percentages for both candidates. While Gillum started with a lead, per CNN, that quickly changed, with DeSantis pulling ahead. And then Gillum — and then DeSantis. And while DeSantis eventually won, it was basically back and forth and if you waited even a split second to refresh the page, the results will likely show a complete change, from what you had seen a moment ago. That was basically the case from the moment the votes first started rolling in, which was really stressing out the Twitterverse.
Everybody was just over it, is what I'm saying.
Even non-Floridians can't deal with the stress of it all.
Me, a Floridian, at my television all night:
I can't blame people for being worked up, because Florida is known for both its tight races and its history as a swing state. In the 2016 election, it took until about 9 a.m. local time the next morning for all the state's votes to get counted, giving now-President Donald Trump a narrow victory in the state. And of course, Florida was famously the holdout state in the 2000 election, where the vote was so narrow — a 0.5 percent difference — it triggered an automatic recount.
Throughout the midterm season, there were high hopes that Gillum would win the election. The progressive Democrat ran a platform that includes Medicare for All, and a $15 minimum wage. He was also endorsed by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont), Rihanna, America Ferrera and Alyssa Milano — and earned financial support from billionaire liberal donor George Soros. If elected, Gillum would have been Florida's first black governor, which was an exciting possibility for progressive groups and black Americans.
It was not, however, to be. Shortly before 11 p.m. ET, CNN called the race for DeSantis, albeit by a slim margin. Shortly after, Gillum offered his concession speech, sharing a message of looking to the future and not giving up on your goals. "Are we going to wake up and bask in sorrow and defeat, or are we going to get up and reassert ourselves to the mission at hand?" he asked.
While Gillum may have lost the election, we'll never lose the tension and creeping dread that came from watching that race unfold. Florida, why you gotta do that to us?