Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Florida GOP insiders unsure of winning state in 2012 presidential election

President Barack Obama's poll numbers are grim, the economy is in the tank, and Republicans appear much more energized than four years ago. So we were a bit surprised by the results of our latest Florida Insider Poll taken one year before the election.

Among more than 100 of Florida's most plugged-in politicos, Democrats are more optimistic than Republicans about winning the White House next year. Nine percent of Democrats surveyed said they expect Obama to lose the election — and only if Mitt Romney is the GOP nominee — while nearly 29 percent of the Republicans predict Obama will win.

The Insider Poll relies on Florida's savviest politicos, including top campaign consultants, lobbyists, fundraisers and activists. One hundred fourteen people participated: 63 Republicans, 44 Democrats and seven independents.

The Democrats clearly fear Romney more than the other GOP prospects. More than one in three say Romney would beat Obama in Florida (even though several of them said the president would still win the national election without Florida), while only two Democrats said Rick Perry would beat Obama in Florida and just one Democrat said Herman Cain would win Florida's 29 electoral votes.

Among the Republicans, 49 said Romney would win Florida next November, 27 said Perry would beat Obama, and 19 said Cain. We did not ask about other Republican contenders far behind in the polls.

Romney is also the clear favorite to win Florida's Jan. 31 primary, with 82 percent of Democrats, 72 percent of Republicans and all the independents predicting the former Massachusetts governor will come out on top. Four Democrats and three Republicans said Perry will win the primary, while Cain was the choice of three Democrats and six Republicans. Two Republicans predicted Newt Gingrich will win Florida in January and one predicted Jon Huntsman.

Reasons for the Florida Republicans to be slightly more pessimistic about the GOP's chances next year? Insiders cited the power of the incumbency, a nominee damaged by the primary, and expectations that Romney would be relatively weak among Hispanic voters.

The list of the 114 survey participants can be found on The Buzz blog: tampabay.com/blogs/the-buzz-florida-politics.

Iorio talks book, 2014

Former Tampa Mayor Pam Iorio is on Political Connections on Bay News 9 today talking about her new book, Straightforward: Ways to Live and Lead, and doing her best to avoid questions about running for governor in 2014. She does not rule it out. Political Connections airs at 11 a.m. and 8 p.m.

Huntsman is in town

Huntsman is expected for a fundraising reception in Dunedin this afternoon at the home of Bruce and Deidra Living-ston, the parents of his son-in-law.

Rubio could seal deal

Why do Republicans want U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio on the presidential ticket? Fresh evidence came last week from a Suffolk University poll. If Rubio were a running mate, the Republican presidential candidate would secure 46 percent of the vote in Florida to President Barack Obama's 41 percent.

"We'll never know, will we?" Rubio responded, dismissing the VP chatter. "It's all very interesting, but I'm going to serve in the U.S. Senate."

The poll also asked voters about the controversy over Rubio's telling of his parents' immigration from Cuba. (They came to Miami before Fidel Castro took over, not after as his website said.) Forty-one percent of voters said Rubio exaggerated the story, while 26 percent said he told the truth.

Poll: Scott, Sink even

More bad polling news for Gov. Rick Scott: That same Suffolk University poll found just 26 percent of Florida voters rated his performance as "positive and productive," while 37 percent rated it "negative and damaging."

Even worse news for former Democratic gubernatorial candidate Alex Sink: Despite Scott's lousy numbers, Suffolk found she was essentially tied with Scott, with 37 percent saying they would vote for her and 36 percent for Scott.

Constance Humburg and Alex Leary contributed to this week's Buzz. Follow Adam Smith on Twitter at @adamsmithtimes.

Winner of the week

Rick Scott. Congratulations to the governor, who last week learned the name of a major region in the state he governs. It's called Tampa Bay. There are even several pro sports teams that use the name. "Does the region call itself the Tampa Bay region? Is that what it calls itself?" Gov. Scott asked last week while discussing the St. Petersburg Times' forthcoming name change to the Tampa Bay Times. Next week's lesson? The Panhandle.

Losers of the week

Rick Baker, Kathleen Shanahan and the other prominent Republicans who jumped aboard the Herman Cain team just as sexual harassment allegations engulfed the campaign. They may have the last laugh, though, as Cain's fundraising and poll numbers so far remain undamaged.

Florida GOP insiders unsure of winning state in 2012 presidential election 11/05/11 [Last modified: Sunday, November 6, 2011 12:21pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. North Tampa shooting leaves one man dead

    Crime

    Times staff

    TAMPA — A man was fatally shot Thursday afternoon after an argument with another man escalated, police said.

  2. St. Pete City Council tightens building rules in historic areas

    Local Government

    ST. PETERSBURG — There's a battle being waged over the soul of the city's historic neighborhoods.

    A new larger home sits next to a smaller one in the Kenwood neighborhood in St. Petersburg on Tuesday.
  3. Ole Miss football coach Hugh Freeze resigns over 'inappropriate conduct'

    College

    OXFORD, Miss. — Mississippi coach Hugh Freeze was at Jackson Country Club on Wednesday night, giving his yearly rah-rah speech about the Rebels overcoming adversity and getting ready for the college football season.

    If Hugh Freeze hadn’t resigned, Ole Miss says it would have fired him for violating his contract’s moral turpitude clause.
  4. Fennelly: With playoff chase in high gear, it's time for Rays to make a move

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG

    Thursday was an off-day for the Rays, who are coming off a solid western swing. I assume there was no rest for the tag-team Rays baseball brain trust of Matt Silverman, Erik Neander and Chaim Bloom, whose job it is to improve this team in advance of the trade deadline. They've done a good job …

    Evan Longoria is glad to see the Rangers coming to town: He’s batting .296 against them with 15 homers and 56 RBIs in 69 career games.
  5. World's plastic waste could bury Manhattan 2 miles deep

    Environment

    WASHINGTON — Industry has made more than 9.1 billion tons of plastic since 1950 and there's enough left over to bury Manhattan under more than 2 miles of trash, according to a new cradle-to-grave global study.

    Plastic trash is compacted into bales ready for further processing at the waste processing dump on the outskirts of Minsk, Belarus.