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Alex Leary, Times Washington Bureau Chief

Alex Leary

Alex Leary is the Washington bureau chief for the Tampa Bay Times. He previously worked in the Times' state capital bureau, and before that covered local politics, environmental issues and law enforcement. His career in journalism began at the Valley News in New Hampshire.

Phone: (202) 306-4807


Blog: The Buzz

Twitter: @LearyReports

  1. With two weeks to go, how does 2016 compare to past elections in Florida?


    Polls in Florida show Hillary Clinton ahead of Donald Trump. But beware 2012.

    At this point four years ago, with 14 days to go, polling showed Mitt Romney ahead of Barack Obama by 1.8 percentage points, according to the average of surveys. Obama ending up winning by 0.9 percentage points, or about 74,000 votes....

    President Barack Obama walks through his Hyde Park neighborhood with senior advisor Valerie Jarrett to Marty Nesbitt's home, Saturday, June 2, 2012, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster) ILCK107
  2. Bobby Bowden backs Trump in Tampa


    Legendary former Florida State University football coach Bobby Bowden vouched for Donald Trump during his rally tonight in Tampa.

    "I love his slogan ... I love what he said about making America great again," said Bowden, who came out to the familiar FSU chant. Bowden said his wife had already voted for Trump and that his daughters will, too.


    Former Florida State Seminoles head coach Bobby Bowden on stage speaking in support of Donald Trump during the rally at the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre in Tampa on Monday.
  3. Pam Bondi reunites with Donald Trump in Tampa


    Attorney General Pam Bondi reuinted with Donald Trump this evening in Tampa, ending weeks of absence from the campaign trail as she faced scrutiny over ties to Trump.

    "Eight years is enough," Bondi repeatedy said from the stage as she listed offenses of the Obama era.

    Bondi vanished from the campaign trail in early September as the $25,000 donation Trump gave to her political committee got fresh life in the news. Then came Trump's comments about women. Bondi earlier this month called Trump's comments "disgusting" but said she believes in forgiveness....

    Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi speaks to the crowd at the Trump rally at the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheater in Tampa on Monday.
  4. Live stream: Donald Trump in Tampa


    Donald Trump holds a 7 p.m. rally in Tampa.

  5. Live stream: Donald Trump in St. Augustine


    Donald Trump has a 3 p.m. rally in St. Augustine, his first of two stops today.

  6. Clinton faring better in Florida than Obama at this point in polls


    Hillary Clinton currently has a 4 percentage point lead in Florida, according to the Real Clear Politics average, putting her in better position than Barack Obama at the same time in 2008 and 2012.

    In 2012, with 14 days to go, Mitt Romney was up 1.8 percentage points at this time. Obama would win the state by 0.9 percent, or about 74,000 votes....

    Polling average shows Clinton ahead
  7. What Patrick Murphy and Marco Rubio are up to the week of Oct. 24


    What Patrick Murphy and Marco Rubio are up to the week of Oct. 24

    Wednesday is a key date in the campaign as the candidates will engage in their second debate, to be held at Broward College. Polls show a tight race, with Rubio having the edge and Murphy trying to make the most of Rubio’s association with Donald Trump.

    Murphy’s campaign has not provided a schedule....

  8. Clinton continues to seek black vote in Florida


    Hillary Clinton's push for the black vote continues with a new TV ad set in a barbershop.

    "The ad will air nationally with higher concentrations in Florida, Pennsylvania, Ohio and North Carolina," the campaign said.


  9. Huge week in Florida for presidential campaign


    A huge week in Florida:

    Donald Trump will return to Florida on Sunday for an evening rally in Naples. Monday afternoon he is in St. Augustine and that evening is in Tampa, according to his schedule.

    Tuesday Trump is in Sanford and Tallahassee.

    Hillary Clinton returns Tuesday for a stop in Coconut Creek. Wednesday she is in Hillsborough and Palm Beach counties....

  10. Poll: Clinton, Rubio hold slim leads


    CBS News:

    Hillary Clinton - 46 percent
    Donald Trump - 43 percent

    Marco Rubio - 44 percent
    Patrick Murphy - 42 percent

    YouGov poll, Oct. 20-21, MOE +/- 3.6 percent.

    CBS News poll
  11. Rubio: Trump 'doing better in Florida then people think'


    “You know, it is going to be a very close race. I think he is doing better in Florida then people think he’s doing, but we’ll see. I don’t think he can win if he doesn't win Florida.

    — Marco Rubio on Donald Trump, in an interview Friday with NBC News.

    More below.


    “I think there is an acknowledgement that Donald's nomination is unusual and not what most people expected. He did win 14 million votes, and he’s the nominee of our party, but I think a perspective of that is there is going to be leadership out of the congressional branch. As I have said many times, I don’t agree with Donald and the nominee of my party on many issues. So I imagine that on certain issues that, if he is elected, you are going to have congressional Republicans who are going to be pushing the country potentially in a different direction than a Republican president.”...

  12. Patrick Murphy declines to release tax returns but details tax rate


    Democratic Senate candidate Patrick Murphy will not release his tax returns though his campaign said today his tax rate over the past five years was 32 percent.

    That's a departure from the 2010 Senate race, when Charlie Crist and Marco Rubio released theirs, but in line with other Senate contests in Florida.

    Murphy has made Donald Trump -- and Rubio's support for the nominee -- a focus of his campaign. Trump has refused to release his returns, saying he is under audit, though there is nothing preventing him from disclosure....

  13. Florida Chamber poll: Clinton 46, Trump 42


    Hillary Clinton leads Donald Trump 46-42 in Florida, gaining a percentage point since September, according to a new FLoida Chamber poll.

    From a polling memo:

    Trump continues to struggle in South Florida, trailing nearly 30 points in each media market.

    Clinton leads Trump 60 percent to 33 percent in Miami, with Gary Johnson receiving 2% and Jill Stein receiving 2%.

    Clinton leads Trump 63 percent to 33 percent in West Palm Beach, with Gary Johnson receiving 2% and Jill Stein receiving 2%....

  14. Obstacles pile up in Donald Trump's path to defeating Hillary Clinton


    MANASSAS, Va. — Donald Trump's remark in the final debate about not necessarily accepting the outcome of the election was a startling rejection of tradition wrapped in trademark showbiz flair. "I'll keep you in suspense," he said before nearly 72 million Americans on Wednesday night.

    But any suspense about that outcome is quickly diminishing. It's a simple matter of math.

    Trump's Electoral College path is choked off in key states, and it's unlikely to change because of his failure to appeal to swing voters like Sam Aylesworth, a Vietnam veteran and retired Lockheed Martin toolmaker who lives in this Northern Virginia suburb....

    It is increasingly unlikely Donald Trump can reach the necessary 270 Electoral College votes. A range of scientific models already show Hillary Clinton at that threshold. "It would take a Clinton implosion for Trump to recover," said Andrew E. Smith, a nonpartisan pollster in New Hampshire. [Getty Images (left); New York Times (right)]

  15. For Patrick Murphy, a Haitian hotel project was a bust but helped with connections


    Patrick Murphy’s resume got fresh attention in Monday night’s debate, with Marco Rubio challenging his CPA history, work on the BP oil spill and college degrees.

    Overlooked in the public vetting of Murphy is a chapter that came just before his entrance into politics – one that helps illustrate the 33-year-old’s rapid climb from obscurity to where he stands today, the Democratic nominee for U.S. Senate....