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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Insider Poll: Fla's same-sex marriage ban is doomed



It was less than six years ago that nearly sixty two percent of Florida voters passed a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage. Today, judges are ruling against the ban and public opinion has shifted so sharply that Florida's savviest political players overwhelmingly see an end to that marriage ban looming.

Our latest exclusive Florida Insider Poll found a whopping 87 percent of the 131 savvy Florida politicos predict that within five years Florida will no longer ban same-sex marriage.

"It's only a matter of time," said one Republican. "While Florida is still socially conservative to a large degree, this is the civil rights issue of our time and to continue to fight against it goes against the philosophy of live and let live and personal freedom."

Agreed another Democrat: "Gay marriage is the fastest changing social issue of our generation. It will be legal all over the country in a hell of a lot less than five years."

Our periodic Florida Insider Polls survey veteran political professionals, activists, and others closely involved in the process. This month's unscientific survey includes 131 people, including 66 Republicans, 55 Democrats, and affiliated with no party or a third party.

A similarly lopsided share of our Florida Insiders - 88 percent - also predict that the Amendment 2 ballot initiative legalizing medical marijuana will pass.

They were much more closely divided on whether Republican Rick Scott or Democrat Charlie Crist will be elected governor in November, with 53 percent predicting Scott and 47 percent predicting Crist.

"Crist is not running the campaign I expected him to run. So far it has been scattered, unfocused and too negative coming from Crist. He doesn't do that well himself, see Crist v. Rubio '10," said a Republican. "The race is tight as a wet bathing suit on a hot car seat on the way back from the beach, so it won't take much to make me change my mind."

Our latest Insider Poll suggests that conventional political wisdom is shifting in favor of Scott. Three months ago 51 percent expected Scott to win and 49 percent said Crist, and Democrats were slightly more optimistic about Crist's prospects. Now our Republican insiders are feeling slightly better about their chances than Democrats. Eighteen percent of Democrats surveyed expect Scott to win, compared to 15 percent of Republicans predicting Crist.

"The sad narrative by many leading Ds now out on the political street is that Rick Scott will be reelected," a Democrat said. "Why? Each day an often hapless Crist Campaign is easily bested by a superior Team Scott, which is smartly coordinated with a muscular RPOF, is on message, and staffed with savvy pros who, importantly, know how to win.

Another Republican said, "Charlie just can't chug enough Red Bull and papaya juice to energize Democrat voters enough to overlook all his flaws, and the stoner vote won't make up the difference - Scott wins, albeit not by much (this is Florida after all)."

And several people shared the same sentiment as this Republican: "We should all do some serious soul searching, if these two are the best we can produce as a state"

Participating in the latest Florida Insider Poll were Michael Albetta, Ana Navarro, Derek Newton, Kathy Mears, Alex Patton, Dan Krassner, Don Hinkle, Ben Pollara, David Bishop, Bernie Campbell, John Dowless, Monica Russo, Carolos Curbelo, Gis Corbella, Rich Heffley, Stephanie Kunkel, David Rancourt, Pat Roberts, David Custin, Susannah Randolph, Nancy Watkins, Bob Poe, Sarah Rumpf, Kirk Pepper, Towson Fraser, Pat Neal, Jeff Wright, John Morgan, Steve Schale, Mike Hanna, Mitchell Berger, Jason Roth, Ryan Duffy, Karen Unger, Stephen Shiver, Jeff Johnson, Scott Arceneaux, Scott Barnhart, Mark Ferrulo, Andy Ford, Eric Johnson, Robert Levy, Alex Heckler, David Johnson, Screven Watson, Alia Faraj-Johnson, Mike Hightower, John Long, Mel Sembler, Dan Smith, Rick Wilson, James Harris, Kirk Fordham, Lanny Wiles, Peter Wallace, Bud Shorstein, Meredith O'Rourke, Rockie Pennington, Cory Tilley, Ron Greenstein, Greg Turbeville, Roger Stone, Frank Tsamatoules, Mike Hamby, Marc Reichelderfer, Eric Jotkoff, Tony Hill, Stephen Bittel, Tim Baker, Ana Cruz, Mark Zubaly, Alex Sink, James Kitchens, Steve Geller, John French, Jason Fischer, Cynthia Henderson, Jim Rimes, Andrew Gillum, Shannon Gravitte. Joy-Ann Reid, Tre Evers, Sally Bradshaw, Justin Day, Jamie Miller, Robert Wexler, Dave Aronberg, Paula Dockery, Jill Chamberlin, Nancy McGowan, Alex Burgos, John Stemberger, Christina Johnson, Joe Perry, Doc Dockery, Samuel Bell, Kelly Cohen, John Wehrung, Dan Gelber, Darryl Paulson, Damien Filer, Ann Herberger, Christian Ulvert, Kevin King, Lucy Morgan, Tom Tillison, Richard Swann, Brett Doster, Husein Cumber, Jim Kane, Abel Harding, Greg Truax, Erin VanSickle, Stephanie Grutman, Eric Eikenberg, Betty Castor, Ashley Walker, Jamie Wilson, Clarence McKee, Kevin Cate, Seth McKee, Rodney Barreto, Al Cardenas, Bob Graham, Roly Marante, Bridget Nocco, Chris Kise, Jack Funari, Michelle Todd, Alan Clendenin,


[Last modified: Friday, August 1, 2014 4:00pm]


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