Monday, September 24, 2018
Politics

Smith: Inside the poll numbers, Donald Trump's Florida challenge is obvious

We've heard a lot of anxious Florida Democrats worry lately that Hillary Clinton won't be able to mobilize the so-called Obama Coalition — young, minority and college-educated voters — the way Barack Obama did when he narrowly won Florida in 2008 and 2012.

Looking at the assorted Florida polls that have been released in recent weeks, however, the more valid question is whether Donald Trump can adequately win over the Mitt Romney coalition. It looks like a bigger reach at this point for Trump to do as well in Florida this year as Romney did four years ago when he lost by under 1 percentage point.

Quinnipiac University on Monday released a survey showing Clinton leading Trump in Florida by 5 percentage points, 46 percent to 41 percent, with 5 percent for Libertarian nominee Gary Johnson. At least one Quinnipiac number jumped out: Clinton leads among Florida women 53 percent to 33 percent — twice the 10-point advantage exit polls showed for Obama among Florida women.

Other credible polls that provide sufficient detail to compare with 2012 underscore that Trump has a lot more work to do in must-win Florida than Clinton does at this point.

• Romney won 61 percent of the white vote in 2012, exit polls found, and Obama 37 percent. Recent Mason-Dixon and Monmouth University polls both show Trump pulling just 53 percent of white voters in Florida.

• Romney won 39 percent of Florida Hispanics, exit polls showed, but a Mason-Dixon poll released last week showed Trump drawing just 29 percent.

• Among self-described moderates, Obama beat Romney by 7 percentage points. The Monmouth poll showed Clinton beating Trump among moderates by 15 points.

• Romney in 2012 won Floridians with college degrees by 7 percentage points. Monmouth found Clinton leading those voters by 16 percentage points.

Four years ago, Romney consistently led Florida from September to Election Day in the RealClearPolitics.com average of polls. Today? Clinton leads by an average of 2.8 percentage points.

"The army of Trump grows every day as we continue to outpace the Clinton campaign with new voter registrations and absentee ballot requests," said Susie Wiles, Trump's chief Florida strategist. "There can be no doubting the unprecedented intensity behind the supporters of Donald Trump."

The ranks of Trump's Florida supporters may indeed have much more intensity and enthusiasm than Clinton's. But mail ballots are going out this week, the critical first debate is done, and unless Trump grows his pool of Florida support, he will lose Florida and he will lose the election.

Contact Adam C. Smith at [email protected] Follow @AdamSmithTimes.

Comments
Rod Rosenstein, who had been overseeing Russia probe, has offered to resign

Rod Rosenstein, who had been overseeing Russia probe, has offered to resign

WASHINGTON - Deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein has told White House officials he is willing to resign in the wake of revelations he once suggested secretly recording the president, but itís unclear if the resignation has been accepted, according...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Solar farm land price is $6.8 million, including $4.4 million to state Sen. Wilton Simpson

Solar farm land price is $6.8 million, including $4.4 million to state Sen. Wilton Simpson

Tampa Electric Co. has said its Mountain View Solar project near Dade City represented a $75 million investment in alternative energy. The investing began in earnest last week when the utility paid more than $6.8 million for 382 acres in the rural co...
Published: 09/24/18
US considers limit on green cards for immigrants on benefits

US considers limit on green cards for immigrants on benefits

SAN DIEGO — The Trump administration has proposed rules that could deny green cards to immigrants if they use Medicaid, food stamps, housing vouchers and other forms of public assistance.Federal law already requires those seeking green cards t...
Published: 09/23/18
Christine Blasey Ford reaches deal to  testify at Kavanaugh hearing

Christine Blasey Ford reaches deal to testify at Kavanaugh hearing

The woman who has accused Judge Brett Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her when they were teenagers has committed to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday, her lawyers said Sunday. The lawyers said some details — including whe...
Published: 09/23/18

AP source: Kavanaugh, Ford agree to testify on Thursday

WASHINGTON ó Negotiators reached a tentative agreement Saturday for the Senate Judiciary Committee to hear testimony Thursday from Christine Blasey Ford, the woman accusing Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault from decades ago, two...
Published: 09/22/18

Trump administration aims to sharply restrict new green cards for those on public aid

WASHINGTON ó Trump administration officials announced Saturday that immigrants who legally use public benefits like food assistance and Section 8 housing vouchers could be denied green cards under new rules aimed at keeping out people the administrat...
Published: 09/22/18
Dana Young, Janet Cruz spar over guns, schools, environment in crucial Senate race

Dana Young, Janet Cruz spar over guns, schools, environment in crucial Senate race

TAMPA ó During a showdown Friday in Floridaís most hotly contested state Senate race, Democratic challenger Janet Cruz launched fireworks at Dana Young over education funding, the environment and guns.Young, the Republican incumbent in District 18, r...
Published: 09/21/18
Drug bill canít undo damage

Drug bill canít undo damage

On Sept. 5, two months before Election Day where heís running for a seventh term, U.S. Rep. Gus Bilirakis filed a bill to clarify a 2016 law he co-sponsored that made it nearly impossible for the Drug Enforcement Administration to intercept suspiciou...
Published: 09/20/18
Updated: 09/23/18
Confederate group banned from Temple Terrace country club, may take legal action

Confederate group banned from Temple Terrace country club, may take legal action

TEMPLE TERRACE — After complaints from city residents, the Temple Terrace Golf & Country Club has notified the City Council that it will not rent space again to the Sons of Confederate Veterans for its annual banquet.The country clubȁ...
Published: 09/20/18
Carlton: Should felons who have done their time get to vote? Citizens of Florida, itís in your hands

Carlton: Should felons who have done their time get to vote? Citizens of Florida, itís in your hands

Itís not often that we citizens ó busy with work, paying the bills, living our lives ó find ourselves with the power to right a fundamental wrong.But here in Florida, weíre about to get that chance.On the November ballot ó among all those candidates ...
Published: 09/20/18