05/28/16 State Roundup
The increasingly aggressive quest to push Marco Rubio into running for a second U.S. Senate term reminds me of a Dumb and Dumber scene where Jim Carrey's character queries his crush about her interest in him.
Him: What are my chances?
Her: Not good.
Him: You mean, not good like one out of a hundred?
He: I'd say more like one out of a million....
Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater, a Republican who may well have cleared the field of any primary challenger had he run for U.S. Senate, has met with every leading Republican running and says he admires all of them. That said, he really wants Marco Rubio to "pull aside some quiet time and contemplate" running for another term.
"He is the best person to serve in the United States Senate, and he would be the best candidate to prevail," said Atwater....
It's been a truly lousy week for Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Patrick Murphy. Revelations that he padded his resume on academics and perhaps also his claims to have been on the front lines of the BP oil spill cleanup, highlighted what may be his biggest vulnerability: That silver spoon image....
For a couple months now, Marco Rubio has been among the most vocal advocates to massive funding to thwart Zika - sounding more like a fierce advocate for Florida's interests than for primary voters in Iowa and South Carolina.
We've seen him make what had become rare local appearances in Florida communities and media outlets.
We're seen Rubio's team encourage stories like these:
May 4 Politico: Rubio learns to love senate: ...
From the Republican-leaning Associated Industries for Florida:
“At AIF, we proudly honor those elected officials who defend Florida’s competitive climate and continually strive to keep the Sunshine State a place where businesses and families can prosper,” said AIF President & CEO Tom Feeney. “AIF acknowledges this year’s ‘Champions for Business’ for their commendable leadership and advocacy on behalf of Florida’s business community.”...
A May 17-18 robo poll by Florida-based Gravis Marketing (MoE +/- 2%) find Hillary Clinton currently receiving support from 46 percent of registered voters and Donald Trump 42 percent. From Gravis:
... When asked; ‘do you have a favorable or unfavorable opinion of (the two individuals)’ Florida voters strongly have an unfavorable opinion of both potential candidates. Donald Trump’s numbers indicated that 54 percent of Florida registered voters currently have an unfavorable opinion, 38 percent having a favorable opinion and eight percent unsure. For Mrs. Clinton, 52 percent stated they have an unfavorable opinion, 40 percent have a favorable opinion and the same eight percent indicated they were unsure....
From Patricia Mazzei at the Miami Herald:
A lot of political pros are skeptical about the reliability of online polls, but a new CBS/YouGov internet poll shows a virtually tied race in Florida beteen Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. From CBS:
In Florida, a hypothetical matchup between Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton and presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump shows Clinton with a one-point edge among those with a preference, 43-42, and in Ohio, Clinton leads Trump by five at 44-39. A hypothetical matchup in Florida is tied between Democrat Bernie Sanders and Trump at 44 percent apiece, while in Ohio, Sanders enjoys a larger nine-point edge over Trump 48-39....
Winner of the week
Curt Clawson. The Republican congressman elected in 2014 to represent Southwest Florida had barely figured out where to find the bathrooms in the Capitol when he announced last week he was calling it quits. The death of his mother had given him a new perspective, he said, sounding like a man with the right priorities.
Loser of the week...
05/21/16 State Roundup
This year is on track to produce the biggest shake-up in Florida's congressional delegation in decades.
A whopping one-third of the Sunshine State's 27 U.S. House members are leaving the House after this year.
Three other representatives face potentially tough re-election fights: Carlos Curbelo, R-Miami, and Corrine Brown, D-Jacksonville, whose districts were significantly redrawn, and Daniel Webster, R-Winter Garden, who is running in a different district than he currently represents....
Connie Mack IV, the former congressman from Fort Myers who ran unsuccessfully against Sen. Bill Nelson in 2012, told Politico last night he was "processing" the decision by U.S. Rep. Curt Clawson not to seek another term, when asked if he might run for his old seat.
We haven't back from CM4, now a lobbyist, so don't know how seriously he is processing this. If he is interested, though, his would-be campaign is already off to a mighty rocky start, considering the number of folks he ticked off this week. Mack represents bondholders owed money by Puero Rico is lobbying against a fiscal rescue plan for Puerto Rico that would allow it to restructure some $70-billion in debt, and he sent a letter to Republican House members listing conservative groups and individuals opposed to the plan....
That's the bad news for presumptive GOP nominee Trump in the latest Florida Chamber Political Institute poll of 622 frequent voters. The good news? His numbers are improving in must-win Florida and he is neck and neck with similarly unpopular Hillary Clinton. She leads Trump 45 percent to 43 percent in the Chamber's poll.
"Right now, no one knows who will win the General Election and will be our next president, but we can tell you it seems to be improving for Trump daily," Marian Johnson, the Chamber's senior vice president for political strategy wrote in a memo to Chamber members. "A disgruntled, angry electorate seems to work in his favor."...
So Republican U.S. Senate candidate Carlos Beruff called President Barack Obama an animal the other day. As in: "Unfortunately, for seven and a half years this animal we call president, because he's an animal, OK - seven and a half years, has surgically and with thought and very smart, intelligent manner, destroyed this country and dismantled the military under not one, not two, but three secretary of defenses."...
Winner of the week
Blaise Ingoglia. The Florida GOP chairman already at odds with Gov. Rick Scott avoided a near collision with presumptive presidential nominee Donald Trump by agreeing to name several Trump loyalists to the slate of convention delegates that party officials picked Saturday afternoon.
Loser of the week
Enterprise Florida. The Legislature shot down Gov. Scott's funding request for the economic development agency, which is now about to see the results: layoffs, cuts to travel reimbursements and an uncertain future....
05/14/16 State Roundup
In the end, everybody wound up reasonably happy over the Republican National Convention delegates selected Saturday by the state GOP's executive board. Behind the scenes, however, there was a fair amount of tension and brewing animosity when it seemed Florida GOP Chairman Blaise Ingoglia was poised to recommend a slate of delegates that largely ignored the wishes of the Donald Trump campaign....