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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Fla Insider Poll: Will Common Core survive in Fla?



Debates are erupting across the country over the “Common Core” educational standards adopted by 45 states, but the controversy has especially deep significance in Florida. This, after all, is home of  Jeb Bush, a Common Core champion and still the most influential GOP leader in the state.

Gov. Rick Scott’s position on Common Core remains a bit murky as tea party activists and others agitate to scrap the standards. But more than a hundred of Florida’s savviest political players in our latest Florida Insider Poll see little chance Florida will end up pulling out of Common Core.

Seventy percent of our Insiders predicted Common Core would stand in Florida, and 30 percent predicted Florida would pull out three years after its implementation began.

The most common factor cited? Jeb Bush.

“Jeb Bush is too powerful in Florida Republican politics and he normally gets what he wants,” said one Democrat.

From a Republican: “The (Florida GOP) is more afraid of Jeb Bush than they are their voters, so all of this is a lot of noise - Common Core is going to happen.”

And an independent: “Rick Scott wants Jeb Bush’s endorsement and support in next year’s gubernatorial race. That will be the only thing that saves Common Core.”

Participants in the poll include political consultants, fundraisers, lobbyists, academics, and a few recovering political journalists. Fifty-five Republicans, 41 Democrats, and 11 people registered to neither party participated in our latest Insider Poll.

Respondents were nearly evenly divided on whether Florida will drop out of the testing consortium aligned with Common Core, the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, to which it is currently committed.

Asked how much influence the tea party activist wing of Florida’s Republican party has in the Common Core decision-making, 60 percent of our Insiders said, “Some,” 26 percent said “A lot,” 13 percent said, “Not much,” and 1 percent said, “None.” Among Republicans, 20 percent said “A lot,” and 65 percent said “Some.”

“Unfortunately, this is an issue that has galvanized the Glenn Beck crowd in the Republican Party and is being portrayed as Obama mind control over our impressionable youth,” one Republican lamented. “It will be the RINO (Republican In Name Only) litmus test in 2014. And, like most political litmus tests, it will push politicians to take public positions that they privately concede are stupid. Common Core will die, and Florida will confirm its status as the Wacko State.”

"If Rick Scott can grow a pair & withstand Tea Party pressure, he won't mess w/Common Core, though I expect him to try avoid it like a venereal disease thru election," said another Republican.

Offered a Democrat: “The fact that this debate is even happening in Tallahassee shows that the era of Jeb in Tallahassee is over.”

Participants in the latest Florida Insider Poll: Bob Poe, Brian Ballard, Doc Dockery, Frank Tsamoutales, Bud Shorstein, John French, John Morgan, Kirk Pepper, David Custin, Kevin Cate, Justin Day, Michael Albetta, Ana Navarro, Nancy Watkins, Stephen Shiver, Gus Corbella, Carlos Curbelo, Richard Swann, Steve Uhlfelder, Alia Faraj-Johnson, Karen Unger, Greg Turbeville, David Johnson, Brian Burgess, Thomas Eldon, Jim Rimes, Abel Harding, Mark Ferrulo, Steve Schale, Kathy Mears, John Wehrung, Jamie Miller, Rick Wilson, Scott Peelen, Bernie Campbell, Lucy Morgan, Tom Gaitens, Towson Fraser, Daniel Smith, Chris Ingram, Jason Roth, Christian Ulvert, Alex Patton, Ann Herberger, Andy Ford, Barry Edwards, Damien Filer, John Stemberger, Donald Hinkle, Eric Jotkoff, Ryan Duffy, Alan Clendenin, Paula Dockery, Marc Reichelderfer, Ryan Tyson, Roger Stone, Brian Crowley, Kevin King, Kevin Akins, Jill Chamberlin, Greg Truax, Henry Kelley, Joe Perry, Scott Arceneaux, Paul Bradshaw, Tom Tillison, Trey McCarley, Mike Fasano, Eric Eikenberg, Cynthia Henderson, Aubrey Jewett, Bob Graham, Samuel Bell, Sally Bradshaw, Richard Gentry, Peter Wallace, Roly Marante, Slater Bayliss, Nancy McGowan, Darryl Paulson, Betty Castor, Alex Sink, Kelly Cohen, Rich Heffley, Ron Sachs, Al Cardenas, Peter Schorsch, Susan MacManus, Dave Aronberg, Dan Krassner, Sarah Rumpf, Dave Karvelas, Andrew Gillum, Van Poole, Stephanie Kunkel, Marion Hammer, John Dowless, Mike Hamby, Kirk Fordham, Andrew Weinstein, Kathleen Shanahan, Clarence Mckee, Marty Fiorentino, Joy-Ann Reid, Screven Watson.

[Last modified: Friday, September 20, 2013 7:02pm]


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