A morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics.
EXTRA EXCLAMATIONS MARKS: “This is a great morning read!!!!” — Clark Smith
MORE KIND WORDS: “You need an app for this. Love the Burn!” – Erik Kirk
NBC POLL: OBAMA 48%, ROMNEY 44%
For those of us hyperventilating over the Quinnipiac poll showing Mitt Romney leading Barack Obama in Florida, there’s today’s poll from NBC-Marist, which shows Obama up 48 – 44 percent over Romney.
Q-POLL: MACK CRUSHING LEMIEUX
Connie Mack has a commanding advantage in the Republican primary contest. Among GOP registered voters, Mack leads retired Army Col. Mike McCalister 40 percent to 8 percent, with former Sen. George LeMieux at 7 percent.
By the way, NBC didn’t even bother to poll LeMieux vs. Nelson.
RICK SCOTT’S APPROVAL RATING STILL UPSIDE DOWN AT 41% TO 46%
Rick Scott’s job approval has risen above 40 percent for the first time, although he still remains underwater with a negative 41 – 46 percent rating from voters, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.
FIVE KEY TAKEAWAYS FROM THE Q-POLL
- There isn’t a single major demographic – not one – in which George LeMieux garners more than 10% support. Just to hammer home how bad this poll is for LeMieux — a campaign ender, really — he’s actually lost support since this time last year. In May of 2011, LeMieux was at 14%.
- Connie Mack’s favorability ratings, whatever they are based on, are huge. Among Republicans, 56% hold a favorable opinion of him. Only 26% of Republicans have a favorable opinion of LeMieux.
- Connie Mack is leading Bill Nelson 44 – 36 percet among Hispanic voters. Reinforces notion Nelson has difficulty connecting with those voters.
- How do 31% of Florida voters say they haven’t heard enough about Bill Nelson? Wait, whose fault is that…the voters or Nelson’s?
- 55% of Florida voters are dissatisfied with the direction of the state. How much can that number change between now and November? Probably not much. But Rick Scott has more than two years for the environment to improve.
STEVE SCHALE POKES HOLES IN ALL OF THIS POLLING MUMBO JUMBO
“Polls right now are meaningless,” writes Steve Schale in the blog post of the day. “At this point in the 2008 cycle, the Real Clear Politics average had McCain up 8 over Obama, and about a month ago, another poll showed Obama up 5 over Romney. They will ebb and flow, but in the end don’t really matter now, because… We know Florida is going to come down to a few points. Add up 32 million Florida votes over the 5 Presidentials from 1992-2008 and less than 60,000 votes separate the two major political parties.”
DAVE WHELDON’S SOCKLESS SPOX
GQ profiles Senate candidate Dave Wheldon’s new spox Hogan Gidley, the dandified southern conservative who served as Rick Santorum’s spokesman. he says, of working in Florida, “It’s finally a campaign where my socklessness will be appreciated and probably the norm.”
MARCO RUBIO SLAMS LIFE IN THE US SENATE
The rising Republican star tells the Latino Coalition that serving in Congress today is all about political posturing and creating talking points, not solving problems. National Journal‘s Rebecca Kaplan reports.
ADAM SMITH’S FLORIDA INSIDERS think that Jeb would be a better choice for VP than Rubio.
MARK YOUR CALENDAR’S FOR RUBIO’S BOOK TOUR (Via Alex Leary): June 30 in Palm Beach, Ft. Lauderdale, Miami, and Coral Gables. On July 1, he’ll hit Naples, Sarasota and Tampa. On July 2, Orlando, Jacksonville. On July 3, Panama City, Destin, Pensacola. On July 5, he’ll drop in Atlanta, then head to South Carolina (Greenville, Columbia). On July 6, he’ll be in Rock Hill, S.C., then Greensboro, N.C. and Raleigh. On July 7, Rocky Mount, N.C., and three stops in Virginia: Norfolk, Richmond and McLean.
QUOTE OF THE DAY is from Rubio, joking after his speech to the Latino Coalition: ‘For those who don’t speak Spanish, I gave a brief synopsis on how I saved a bunch of money on my car insurance.’
RICK SCOTT EMBARRASSES HIMSELF WHILE ON TRIP TO SPAIN
Elephants may never forget their run-in with Spain’s King Juan Carlos. Thanks to Gov. Rick Scott, Spain and its king this week got a reminder of the monarch’s embarrassing hunting trip to Africa, something the country was just about over. Scott this week opened his meeting with the Spanish king by bringing up Juan Carlos’ recent elephant hunting in Africa – a trip that when revealed proved embarrassing to the king. When beginning an audience with the king, Scott chose as his opening remark: “I’ve ridden elephants, I’ve never tried to shoot one.” After that ice breaker, Scott continued to talk about it, describing his own hunting trip to Botswana. The exchange got wide play in Spain. Scott was returning Thursday to Florida from the trip on which he was trying to drum up business for the state.
SCOTT LATER APOLOGIZED: “If I did anything to do — anything wrong — I completely apologize,” Scott said upon his arrival at Miami International Airport. “The king’s a wonderful person. He’s a wonderful world leader. He’s done so many wonderful things in his life. And we had a great conversation.”
CLUB FOR GROWTH NOT INTERESTED IN ADAMS V. MICA: Club for Growth President Chris Chocola said the Club will “probably not” get involved in the Sandy Adams vs. John Mica primary.
RICK KRISEMAN ENDORSES JOSH SHULMAN AS HIS SUCCESSOR IN HD 69
“I am excited about Josh’s candidacy and the prospect of him serving in the Florida House. He is smart and energetic and his financial background makes him uniquely equipped to look out for our best interests,” said Rick Kriseman, “Josh will bring a much-needed common sense approach to the Legislature.”
DOUG HOLDER LAUNCHES RE-ELECT CAMPAIGN FOR DISTRICT 74
State Representative Doug Holder launched his campaign for the newly-drawn Florida House of Representatives District 74 seat, which encompasses South Sarasota County, including the cities of Osprey, Nokomis, Venice and parts of North Port and Englewood. Representative Holder was first elected to the House of Representatives District 70 seat in 2006, and was subsequently reelected to continue his service to the people of former District 70.
Rep. Holder is now on the Twitter. Follow him at @ElectHolder.
ALSO NEW TO THE TWITTER: @WymanDuggan – Wyman Duggan is the wildcard running in State Senate District 4 vs. Aaron Bean and Mike Weinstein
FIVE QUESTIONS FOR DEMOCRATIC LEADER NAN RICH here.
STAT OF THE DAY: 37,686 public officials in Florida were required to make financial disclosures last year. (H/t to Bill Cotterell)
CHECK OUT: The revamped website for Florida TaxWatch here.
‘CAMPAIGNS & ELECTIONS’ NAMES VINCENT HARRIS A RISING STAR
“Vincent Harris’ first political gig wasn’t a glamorous one. As a high school student in Northern Virginia, he would accompany former Rep. Tom Davis to parades—Harris was the guy who walked next to the congressman wearing an elephant costume. “I’d actually skip school to go to those parades with him dressed up as an elephant,” Harris recalls. Thankfully, his career has been on a steady rise ever since.” Full profile here. Follow him @VincentHarris
GULF POWER GETS A NEW PRESIDENT
A top executive at Georgia Power will become president of Pensacola-based Gulf Power Co., the largest utility in Northwest Florida, the company announced Thursday. Stan Connally, a Georgia Power senior vice president, will replace Mark Crosswhite as of July 1. The Atlanta-based Southern Company is the parent of Gulf Power and Georgia Power. Crosswhite will become executive vice president and chief operating officer of the Southern Company. Under Crosswhite, Gulf Power has gone through the lengthy process of getting approval from the Florida Public Service Commission to increase base electric rates.
CONGRATS TO FLORIDA CENTER FOR INVESTIGATIVE REPORTING
The Florida Center for Investigative Reporting is a finalist for five Green Eyeshade Awards in the online division for journalism published in 2011.
FCIR’s report about deportations to Haiti, “U.S. Deportees to Haiti, Jailed Without Cause, Face Severe Health Risks,” is a finalist for three categories — public service, investigative reporting and digital media presentation.
EMAIL I DIDN’T OPEN: “Governor Scott wants to play the role of Katherine Harris.”
MOST INTERESTING TWEET OF THE DAY: @JamesGrantFL: @saintpetersblog, would live tweeting “guns drawn on me on my porch @ 1am” balance out boring politico tweets? #Hardtotweetwithhandsup
HAPPY BIRTHDAY THIS MEMORIAL WEEKEND
Best wishes to LobbyTools’ John Iarussi … the Florida Chamber’s Marian Johnson … Integrity Florida’s Dan Krassner (we miss you, buddy) … Once and future Tampa City Council candidate Jason Wilson … Sarasota GOP’s Christian Ziegler
READING SUGGESTIONS THIS MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND
The Little Blue Book: The Essential Guide to Thinking and Talking Democratic by George Lakoff and Elisabeth Wehling.