National attention is still focused on the latest twists and turns in the presidential race. But the bigger story is playing out in the states. Where Democrats suffered enormous setbacks that could harm them for a decade or more.

Politico takes a deep dive in one of those states – Florida. There, Democrats are reeling from Election Day losses that have put the party on the brink of irrelevance:

Florida Democrats had one of the worst performances of any state party in the country. They lost five seats in the state House after expecting to make gains. Three state Senate hopefuls were defeated, and incumbent U.S. Reps. Donna Shalala and Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, who represented districts in Miami, were unseated.

Many of the party’s failures over the years can be traced to unforced errors. When Democrat Andrew Gillum lost the governor’s race in 2018, he had $3.5 million still sitting in the bank. He then pledged to register and reengage 1 million Florida voters this cycle, but that evaporated after he left public life amid scandal.

Florida Democrats haven’t held the governor’s office for more than two decades, and they’ve been out of power in the Legislature for nearly a quarter-century. Since their last big win, when President Barack Obama won Florida in 2012, Democrats have won just a single statewide race — out of 12.

There’s much more at the link, and it’s worth reading to remind us that while national politics gets the attention, it’s state and local politics that have the most direct effects on our lives. And what happens in big (and getting bigger) states like Florida at the state level inevitably shapes national politics.