Since 2002, daily Florida political news and commentary


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Welcome To Florida Politics

Thanks for visiting. On a semi-daily basis we scan Florida's major daily newspapers for significant Florida political news and punditry. We also review the editorial pages and political columnists/pundits for Florida political commentary. The papers we review include: the Miami Herald, Sun-Sentinel, Palm Beach Post, Naples News, Sarasota Herald Tribune, St Pete Times, Tampa Tribune, Orlando Sentinel, the Daytona Beach News-Journal, Tallahassee Democrat, and, occasionally, the Florida Times Union; we also review the political news blogs associated with these newspapers.

For each story, column, article or editorial we deem significant, we post at least the headline and link to the piece; the linked headline always appears in quotes. We quote the headline for two reasons: first, to allow researchers looking for the cited piece to find it (if the link has expired) by searching for the original title/headline via a commercial research service. Second, quotation of the original headline permits readers to appreciate the spin from the original piece, as opposed to our spin.

Not that we don't provide spin; we do, and plenty of it. Our perspective appears in post headlines, the subtitles within the post (in bold), and the excerpts from the linked stories we select to quote; we also occasionally provide other links and commentary about certain stories. While our bias should be immediately apparent to any reader, we nevertheless attempt to link to every article, column or editorial about Florida politics in every major online Florida newspaper.


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The Blog for Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Obama losing steam? Tampa's true colors

    Note: the M-D poll was apparently taken prior to Obama's barnstorming the state this week. In any event, there's always the rest of the Country: "McCain touts his experience as new polls show him losing ground".

    "The state of Florida remains a tossup in the presidential race, with John McCain edging to a single point lead against Barack Obama, according to a new poll released today."
    The poll, done by Mason-Dixon Polling & Research Inc. for The Tampa Tribune and other news agencies, shows McCain ahead by 46-45 percent, with 7 percent undecided and 2 percent “other” responses.

    The error margin is 4 points, meaning the poll statistically shows a tie.
    "The new poll shows McCain moving slightly up compared to the same poll over the past two months, but still within the error margin:"
    - In early October, Obama led McCain 48-46 percent.

    - In September Obama led 47-45 percent.

    - In August Obama led 45-44 percent.
    Tampa, it seems, is starting to show its true colors:
    The difference, Mason-Dixon pollster Brad Coker suggested, may be that in the Tampa Bay area, home to about a quarter of the state’s voters and the state’s largest swing area, McCain has moved into the lead, 47-44 percent.
    "Mason-Dixon: McCain Leads By 1 Point in Florida". See also "Republicans Pleased With New Poll".

    Yesterday: "A Fox News/Rasmussen Reports survey, released on the first day of early voting, puts McCain up 49 percent to 48 percent over Democratic rival Barack Obama." "McCain ahead of Obama in Florida in latest poll".

    "One remains torn"

    Adam C. Smith: "For one batch of Tampa Bay swing voters, John McCain has already lost."

    Two months ago, the undecided voters convened for a focus group at the St. Petersburg Times were decidedly antagonistic toward Barack Obama and in several cases leaning toward McCain. Today, just one of the 11 voters is backing McCain, nine expect to vote for Obama, and one remains torn.
    "Undecided voters lean toward Obama".


    "Jacksonville's black voters skeptical about ballot".

    "Lines were so long ..."

    "Elections supervisors are adding new equipment, updating Web sites with wait times and handing out fans and water to people standing in long early voting lines. Lines were so long in Broward County on Monday that the last person cast their ballot at 10:20 p.m., hours after the polls closed." "Florida Elections Officials Dealing With Long Lines".

    More: "Big Bend early voters turn out in record numbers" and "Early Voters Lining Up Again In Tampa Bay Area".

    "Something isn't right"

    Joel Engelhardt: "In a recent court-sanctioned test, 102 ballots were fed through two Palm Beach County vote-counting machines."

    The first machine found 13 valid votes and 89 invalid votes. The other machine, counting the same ballots, found 90 valid votes and 12 invalid ones. It's hard to blame the ballots. Something isn't right with at least one of those two machines.
    "But don't despair, Democrats."
    Today, Palm Beach County voters get answers. Representatives of Sequoia arrive to explain the machines' deviant behavior. At least, voters hope they explain the machine's deviant behavior.

    Sequoia has a lot at stake. Palm Beach County is one of only two Florida counties, along with Indian River, that use Sequoia. The rest use Election Systems & Software and Premier Election Solutions, formerly Diebold. And Sequoia, which has sold the county millions in election equipment, has to firm up relations with a new elections supervisor, to be elected Nov. 4.

    The reputation of optical-scan voting, pushed by Gov. Crist and U.S. Rep. Robert Wexler, also is at stake. Sequoia representatives have tried before to explain their machine's inconsistencies. But they always sounded as if they were defending an irrefutable system. That's fine for sales, but it doesn't do much to put voter fears to rest. Or silence the Republicans.
    "How votes could go missing".

    "Don't let just anyone cast your ballot" [sic]

    "Early voting is under way, and problems -- from blank ballots to line-cutters -- are surfacing throughout Central Florida." "Just say no to strangers, line-cutters at polls".

    Ain't this grand: "OrlandoSentinel.com is inviting readers to make us aware of any problems encountered at the polls." "Problems at polls? We investigate and get answers".

    Big of 'em

    "Florida Cabinet votes to expunge Crotzer's other convictions". See also "Wrongly convicted man pardoned".


    "Democrat Barack Obama's two-day sweep across Florida showed he can whip up overflow crowds, orchestrate a massive early-voting blitz and rattle off the state's grim economic statistics to drive home his indictment of the Republican Party." "Democrats determined to win Florida".

    "From Palm Beach County to Miami, Democrat Barack Obama sought to win crucial Florida votes Tuesday by playing to his strengths: a focus on the faltering economy and a crowd-winning charisma." "Obama pushes economic agenda on swing through South Florida". See also "Obama scrambles to sway Florida", "Obama event gives backers a peek at 'history'", "In South Florida, Obama focuses on economy", "Thousands attend Obama rally in Miami" and "Obama rouses campus, nominee sticks to his message about economy".


    The Orlando Sentinel editorial board: "You may not know much about ECOs, but you've seen their handiwork. They crawl out of the woodwork during elections, specializing in attack ads that use a grain of truth to create a twisted picture of the unfortunate candidate who finds himself in an ECO's cross hairs. ECOs, which hide behind high-minded names like Keep our Families Safe and Our Elders Count, can't contribute to candidates. And their ads can't say 'vote for' or 'vote against.' But in the world of dirty politics those are minor details." "Legislators need to close yet another loophole in Florida's campaign finance laws".

    A Jax thing

    "Duval County officials locate polling problems".

    Poor lil' "Helen the yacht crew outfitter"

    "Bryant the IT guy, Helen the yacht crew outfitter [who runs Smallwood's Yachtwear employs 30 workers] and Josh the patient transporter gathered in Pompano Beach on Tuesday for a news conference in support of Republican presidential hopeful John McCain." "Three business owners echo concerns of Joe the Plumber".

    Amendment 8

    "Amendment 8 would benefit community colleges".

    Get a life

    "Opponents of an amendment that would define marriage in the Florida Constitution said they sent a complaint to the state Tuesday saying supporters have hidden campaign donations and are improperly running television ads ahead of the Nov. 4 election. The opponents, Florida Red & Blue, are asking the Florida Elections Commission to investigate the actions of Amendment 2 sponsor Florida4Marriage.org, its chairman, and a group that donated large amounts to the campaign." "Fla. Amendment 2 opponents ask for investigation". See also "Gay marriage ban tactic questioned" and "Marriage amendment backers accused of election fraud".


    "Feeney, Kosmas talk bailout, veterans during testy debate", "Fringe candidate Steve Villard returns to politics, this time with GOP", "Election Preview: U.S. House, 6th District" "Cunha, Stearns face off in race for District 6 seat" and "".

    KKK in the news

    "School named after KKK leader could be renamed".

    Good luck

    "Environmentalists turned up the heat Tuesday on Florida regulators ahead of next week's crucial vote to adopt California-style auto emission standards." "Environmentalists, auto dealers clash over emission standards".

    Too much "sunshine"?

    "State agencies would have to justify gathering personal information on you, and let you see what the government has on you, under proposals made Tuesday by a special panel studying Florida's 'sunshine" laws.'" "Panel: Agencies should show need for private data".


    "Utility managers preparing legal fight against water limits".

    'Ya reckon

    The Tallahassee Democrat editorial board: "Here's one of those rare ideas that all campaigns should have no problem unconditionally agreeing on: the need to recycle signs and campaign litter after Nov. 4." "Campaigns should try recycling signs".


    The Palm Beach Post editorial Board: "Yes, Abramson is the winner".

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