Sunburn for 6/28: A morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics

By on June 28, 2012

A morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics.

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QUINNIPIAC POLL OF FLORIDA: OBAMA 45%, ROMNEY 41%

A new poll from Quinnipiac University finds that President Barack Obama is riding a surge in support from Hispanic voters to open a slight lead on Republican challenger Mitt Romney in Florida, reports Scott Powers of the Orlando Sentinel.

The Q poll shows Obama also is opening leads in two other swing states,, Ohio and Pennsylvania, in the university polling institutes “swing state survey.”

Quinnipiac has Obama up 45-41 on Romney in Florida in a survey conducted June 19-25. There is a 3 percent margin of error. In a May 3 swing state poll, Quinnipiac found Romney and Obama essentially tied.

Fueling the president’s surge is a surge in support among Hispanic voters.

Florida’s Hispanic voters back Obama 56–32 percent, compared to 49 – 39 percent in a June 21 Quinnipiac University poll, conducted before Obama and Romney each made major addresses on immigration policy in Orlando last week.

MY #1 TAKEAWAY: The. Bain. Attacks. Are. Working.  In a campaign speech in Tampa, the President said: “[W]e do not need an outsourcing pioneer in the Oval Office.” This line of attack appears to be working as the only income demographic Romney is leading Obama is among those making annually more than $100,000.  Otherwise, Obama is crushing Romney. Obama is leading Romney among those making annually $30,000 to $50,000 by 17 points.

TWEET OF THE DAY:@SteveSchale: only 2 numbers matter – 32.5 million votes since 1992. 57,000 separate Rs & Ds. Polls will bounce, but Fla will be Fla.

MORE POLL NUMBERS: Bill Nelson and Connie Mack are deadlocked at 41 – 40 percent.  Rick Scott’s approval rating is still upside down (for sixteenth straight month) at 35 – 48 percent.

>>>AP’s Gary Fineout: “The big ?, however, is given the large $ advantage that Scott/GOP will have how long should contenders wait before jumping into 2014 race”

ROMNEY & SCOTT: “THE WAY THEY PRACTICED THEIR BUSINESS IS SOMETHING THEY NOW WISH EVERYONE WOULD FORGET” by Chad Lowe of the Sun-Sentinel

“Of course, we know why Romney—who is desperately trying to tip the balance in our fair swing state—would want to distance himself from Rick Scott, whose popularity numbers hover somewhere between the low thirties and high twenties. Romney already possesses that awkward mien and curiously pre-recorded way of speaking, so pairing up on the stump with someone who resembles a space alien would only highlight the yawning gap that exists between him and average homo sapiens. But it is worthy of remark that the two politicians do have so much in common…in both cases, the way they practiced their business is something they now wish everyone would forget.”

JUDGMENT DAY FOR OBAMACARE

Nate Silver’s advice for gauging the political impact of overturning Obamacare: [T]o the extent there are political implications from the court’s ruling, they are likely to stem from the headlines and not the fine print. If the court strikes the individual mandate while leaving the rest of the bill intact, for instance, Republicans will still have a strong talking point – the Supreme Court has ruled Mr. Obama’s most ambitious policy unconstitutional – even though this might represent a decent policy outcome for Mr. Obama as compared to a more sweeping ruling.

Why Obamacare might be upheld: Despite conventional wisdom that most or all of President Obama’s health care law will be overturned by the Supreme Court tomorrow, Tom Goldstein of SCOTUSblog disagrees: “I believe the mandate will not be invalidated … Far less important, I expect the principal opinion will be written by the Chief Justice; a majority of the Court will find it has jurisdiction; and the challenge to the Medicaid expansion will be rejected. Most observers disagree. There are certainly good reasons to believe the Court will invalidate the mandate. Most important, at the oral argument, the questions of two critical Justices – Justice Kennedy and the Chief Justice – were on the whole critical of the mandate’s constitutionality. But in the end, based on the entire mix of information I have, I think the mandate will not be struck down tomorrow.

DEM. CAMPAIGN CHAIR STEVE ISRAEL SAYS CANDIDATES NEED TO AVOID NC CONVENTION, STAY IN THEIR DISTRICTS

“If they want to win an election, they need to be in their districts,” New York congressman Steve Israel, chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, told the Reuters Washington Summit on Tuesday. “A trip to Charlotte may be interesting … but why leave your districts? … I don’t care if the president was at 122 percent favorability right now … I think [candidates] should be in their districts.”

JUDGE REBUFFS RESTRAINING ORDER IN PURGE CASE

A judge rejected an effort to bar the state from resuming a voter purge that is already on hold, issuing a ruling that could severely undermine the U.S. Department of Justice’s lawsuit against an initiative aimed at removing suspected non-citizens from the election rolls, reports Brandon Larrabee of the News Service of Florida.

At the same time Wednesday, U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle said his ruling was driven in part by assurances from the state that it would not forward any more names to county elections supervisors based on a list of potentially ineligible voters that even the state concedes is inaccurate. That list is drawn from driver’s license and voter-registration records.

BOG SETS FRIDAY MEETING ON TUITION APPEAL

The Board of Governors’ Tuition Appeals Committee will meet Friday to decide whether to overturn the full board’s decision on a differential tuition request by Florida Gulf Coast University. FGCU, which is in Fort Myers, had asked for a 14 percent tuition increase, but the Board of Governors approved a 12 percent hike. The appeal is the only one expected to be heard by the committee this year after a hectic meeting last week at which a variety of tuition increases were approved, some less than what universities had requested.

DOH NAMES 3 TO MANAGEMENT POSTS

Amid continuing staff changes, the Florida Department of Health this week announced the appointment of three people to administrative posts. Patti Anderson, who has served since 2008 as bureau chief for water programs, will become bureau chief for environmental health. Ed McEachron has been appointed division director of administration, after holding the job on an interim basis since March. Also, Fabienne Ouapou-Lena, who has directed Wisconsin’s minority health program since 2010, will become Florida’s chief of the bureau of family health services.

OIR COMMISH: FLORIDA INSURERS PREPARED FOR 2012 SEASON

More than nine out of 10 Florida insurers have finances adequate to handle a one in 80 year hurricane while more than 75 percent could handle a 100-year storm, Florida Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty told the governor and Cabinet members Tuesday. (To compare, Hurricane Andrew but varying analyses was at most a one-in 50 year storm.) Improving reinsurance markets and the increasingly ability of insurers to tap into the global credit market, combine to make the state’s insurance market the soundest it has been in years. Testament to the improving health of the market, McCarty said net income for Florida domestic insurers rose by more than 40 percent in the first quarter of 2012 from the same period a year earlier.

***SUNBURN is brought to you by KEVIN CATE COMMUNICATIONS. I’ve called Cate one of the smartest guys in any room, but that was last year. His firm continues to change the way public relations works in Florida. Believe me, you want www.CateComm.com on your side.***

AG BONDI ENDORSES TRAVIS HUTSON FOR HD 24

Republican Travis Hutson today announced that Attorney General Pam Bondi has endorsed him in his bid for Florida House District 24, which includes parts of Flagler, St. Johns and Volusia Counties.

“Travis’ business background and strong ties to the local community makes him an excellent choice to lead the voters of District 24 in Tallahassee,” said Attorney General Bondi.  His understanding of the local community fabric will be crucial in helping generate new jobs and build a more innovative foundation for education in his area and across the state.”

“I am overjoyed to have the support of my good friend, Attorney General Pam Bondi,” said Hutson.  “She has been a true leader in Tallahassee, and I plan to follow in her footsteps in my commitment to my district and the people of Florida.  I am the candidate in this race ready to tackle wasteful government spending and reduce the barriers that keep our local businesses from expanding.”

Hutson has been endorsed by Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam, Senator John Thrasher, Representative Bill Proctor, State Attorney R.J. Larizza of the Seventh Judicial Circuit Court of Florida and St. Johns County Sheriff David Shoar.

SCOTT PLAKON DEFEATS KAREN CASTOR DENTEL IN KEY STRAW POLL OF HOUSE DISTRICT 30

In the first straw poll in what the Orlando Sentinel describes as central Florida’s “marquee” race for the State House, incumbent Republican Scott Plakon defeated challenger Karen Castor Dentel at the Eastside Regional Hob Nob and Straw Poll, receiving nearly 80% of the vote.

The Oviedo-Winter Springs Chamber of Commerce and East Orlando Chamber of Commerce combined forces to put together the Eastside Regional Hob Nob. With increased interest in this year’s elections, turnout was heavy.

“I want to thank the Oviedo-Winter Springs and East Orlando Chambers for giving this opportunity for citizens’ voices to be heard. The results show that our message of job creation, economic empowerment, fiscal responsibility, quality education and safer neighborhoods is resonating with voters. The poll seems to be a reflection of the grass roots support we have been receiving which has been both overwhelming and humbling.”

CAMPAIGN MISCELLANY

>>>Pinellas Park Mayor Sandra Bradbury endorsed Jim Frishe for State Senate District 22

>>>Rep. Matt Gaetz endorsed Jeff Brandes for State Senate District 22.

>>>State Attorney Mark Ober endorsed Tom Lee for State Senate District 24.

EMAIL I DIDN’T OPEN from Donna Brazille – “Be the Buffalo”

PARAGRAPH OF THE DAY: “(Bill) Bunting expects one of the highlights of the night to be a live auction of a Sig Sauer pistol with a warranty card signed by U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, who penned the message ‘Freedom Isn’t Free’ on the card. ‘It’s a real collector’s item,’ Bunting said. ‘I’m hoping the governor makes a bid.’ “

ALOE TO SOOTHE THE BURN: A new National Geographic survey finds that nearly 65% of Americans think President Obama would be better suited than Mitt Romney to handle an alien invasion.

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