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How Florida Could Help Michigan Conservatives Win in November: WILS (Lansing, MI) Fox News Interview

Updated: May 23

Following his home state Wisconsin's annual WRP convention, President John Pudner returned to the airwaves on his radio tour across our Republic, traveled to nearby Michigan, a critical, must-win state for both political parties and presidential candidates, to not only update on the state of the race, but also how early and mail-in voting will shape how the government's across our Republic will be shaped. While Harvard/Harris polling released just yesterday has President Trump up by six points nationally, showing the first lead outside the margin of error, and leading by eleven among independents, not only does this mirror what occurred in 2020, but as Pudner states, President Biden and national Democrats have several, very viable, avenues to clinch victory even before November 5th.

Visiting Lansing, President John Pudner and host Mike Austin discuss the need to not only temper expectations despite recent polling, but also how important it will be for candidates and prominent officials to get ahead of the curve on promoting and focusing in on early and mail-in voting efforts - as Florida has.

A state once considered the canary in the coal mine for the national state of the political pendulum, Florida has now become a decidedly red state following President Trump's decisive four-point victory in 2020, Governor Ron DeSantis' historic twenty-point win in 2022, and continued conservative gains in the Statehouse and Congress. This is in large part due to the work of the Florida GOP, which has spent the last half-decade focused on shoring up it's early voting and mail-in efforts statewide, targeting senior and working-class populations to simply "get it over with" to ensure their vote is accounted for on Election Day, whether it be to prevent something happening that day, a health issue, or simply being too busy or somewhere else. Not only has this saved the Florida GOP millions in grassroots contact spending toward GOTV efforts, but it's enabled candidates such as DeSantis to win the early vote by over 300,000, solidifying victory before a single ballot is cast on Election Day.

Both Pudner and Austin discuss how conservative candidates and leaders need to play by the current rules of the game, embrace early and mail-in voting into their campaigns, and use Florida as the model of success up and down the ballot this fall.

For more in-depth analysis by President John Pudner on this topic, please click here. To learn more about TBOR Action's efforts on topics including election integrity, please click here.

The following transcript from this interview is presented in its entirety with minor edits:


vote, election, polls, early voting, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Republicans


Mike Austin and TBOR Action President John Pudner


Mike Austin  00:00

You might be surprised to know that the election doesn't happen on November 5th for a lot of folks. It could be the secret to a Republican victory in 2024, according to the President of Take Back Our Republic Action. This guy was a Bush 2000 aide and John Pudner is on with us. I was surprised to find out that September 16 th is the first election day in Pennsylvania. Hi, John.


John Pudner  00:30

Hey, how are you? Yes, election is going to be underway sooner than people realize.


Mike Austin  00:37

I know there's early voting and all of that, but are we talking officially in Pennsylvania? Do they go to the polls on September 16th?


John Pudner  00:46

You can start to mail and you can show up at the polls. I think one of the most hilarious things we saw in this fight was when Georgia tightened their window to just a couple of weeks, they used to have a really long one, and Stacey Abrams came out and said it was racist and everything else, and then New Jersey law only allowed voting about 10 days early. So, this is incredible, but yes, states can start as early as they want through statute usually.


Mike Austin  01:14

So virtually, we're in a perpetual election cycle, aren't we?


John Pudner  01:18

Well, we are. Just to give you a feel, when election day arrived in Michigan, Democrats were 340,000 votes ahead, and that's what people have to understand - you just can't yield that much of an early vote. In Pennsylvania, it was almost 600,000 votes ahead. As a matter of fact, in Pennsylvania and Georgia. If you just cut those early voting margins in half, they would have elected two Republican senators, and Oz and Herschel would have won. They just lost by so much before Election Day that, even though they won Election Day by a good amount, it just wasn't enough.


Mike Austin  01:50

So as we go, and we see these polls in the end, we're going to talk to Jared Halpern later, Donald Trump is apparently leading in five battleground states now. So we see these poll numbers, and we see the rallies, and not just presidential, but for senators and representatives. And then, it turns out different because of the, I don't know, the different voting days, early voting, and all that, and Republicans gonna have to embrace this. I have for sure.


John Pudner  02:17

They are. Democrats only win in two ways right now - early voting and on college campuses when you have no or you can register same day. That's what kills Republicans and got that in Michigan, you got that in other states, Pennsylvania, etc. So that's their formula, get all the votes they can banked early, and then just work college campuses if you're in a state that allows people to register same day, because they can be from out of state, they sign them up real quick, and they vote. So, those are the two equalizers, and you're right, the polls look very good for President Trump right now, but this is the one avenue they still have.


Mike Austin  02:25

I guess the fix here is for Republicans to, like I said, embrace this whole formula and sort of fight fire with fire, I would guess?


John Pudner  03:18

And the nice thing is there are models for this. I mean, in Florida, the party has done a great job of it, where Republicans won the early vote by 300,000 last time, so it's not that it's impossible to do. Florida is not a swing state anymore, now it's double-digit Republican wins because they're going into Election Day way ahead. As they've done it, particularly when you have an older population, that you tell them there is more of a chance of something happening Election Day, a health issue or something else, so this idea of just needing to bank the vote, and some Republicans are just much more open to going in-person voting early, and that's fine too, but it just gets so expensive to turn people at Election Day. I won't bore you with getting in the weeds, but it costs several dollars per door to knock once you pay for your door knockers and things like that which turn voters out, and once someone has voted early, you can start knocking on the other doors, so the money it saves for turnout operation is huge as well.


Mike Austin  04:18

Interesting. John Pudner, we know what they should do. Are Republicans going to embrace this strategy?


John Pudner  04:24

I think the parties are pushing it well and you've had some key conversions. Karl Lake, for example, in Arizona was very much a just about election day candidate, but she completely changed and started leading a group on why you have to vote early. It is happening around the country, just realizing that we just can't win the second half of every football game. You just have to keep the margin close going into Election Day and then Republicans will usually win as long as it's close.


Mike Austin  04:53

John Pudner, tell me about Take Back Our Republic Action in our last 60 seconds here.


John Pudner  04:58

We formed Take Back Our Republic Action, which is just on the web, back in 2014 because we just wanted a group on the right fighting over rules of elections. This is a perfect example for us, you know, about how all the leftist non-profits had been doing this for years and figuring out how do they get same day registration? How do we get rid of Voter ID? We just wanted someone pushing back on the rules, and I think based on what's happening last few years, we might have been a few years ahead of their time realizing the battle out there.


Mike Austin  05:28

Yeah, I remember when I first started hearing the ideas of people not being able to get to the polls. I guess I just bought into the idea, but really, I mean, you can vote, you can get it done. All right, John, we're up on time and thanks a lot. Appreciate your time here this morning.


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