Carl Hiaasen: "For eight grinding years we've had to live with the knowledge that it was our fair state that put George Bush and Dick Cheney in the White House and set the nation on this rocky course. Nationally they'd lost the popular vote by 544,000, but it was Florida's electoral votes that tipped the scale." "Deliver us from scandal, Lord".
"A survey conducted Wednesday and Thursday by Mason-Dixon Polling & Research shows Obama ahead 47 percent to 45 percent, with 7 percent of voters still undecided. The lead is well within the poll's 4-percent margin of error."
The poll of 625 likely voters shows Obama leading among crucial independents, 48-39.
"Poll results flip-flop in Obama's favor". See also "Tight race in Florida heads to the finish line" and "Florida Still Neck And Neck".
"The state remains a toss-up, which is bad news for McCain as he must win Florida to have any chance of winning the presidency," said Mason-Dixon managing director Brad Coker. "His best hope could be the racial composition of Florida's 'undecided' voters, of whom, 84 percent are white." ...
The poll has Obama and McCain dead even — at 46 percent each — in the bellwether Tampa Bay region, which consistently goes for the winner.
Michael Bender points out that "the most exciting presidential race in a generation ... has raised questions among voting blocs that usually need little persuasion." "These groups of Floridians will make the difference".
"In the Tribune survey, Bay area Republicans more often broke ranks to vote for Obama than Democrats did for McCain. Nineteen percent of Republicans cast ballots for Obama, compared with just 3 percent of Democrats voting for McCain." "Early Birds Offer Election Insight".
See also "Florida could have history making role in Tuesday's election".
"In the final stretch of the campaign, John McCain is trying to hold on to Florida's Hispanic voters, while Barack Obama is focused on getting Democrats to the polls." "In Florida, focus falls on turnout, Hispanic vote".
"A surge in black voters has helped Democrats increase their share of early and absentee ballots cast in Florida, while Republicans maintain an edge with Hispanic voters." "Blacks are giving Democrats an edge in early voting".
News Flash! Some votes might be counted!
Now begins the process, courtesy of the "Jeb Bush And His Amen Chorus Of Goose-Stepping Legislators", of not counting votes. Consider:
More than 60,000 Treasure Coast residents already have submitted their votes by mail, but more than 200 of those ballots have been rejected.
What happened? Well, the RPOF got to work in Tallahassee. "More than 200 Treasure Coast absentee ballots rejected so far".
The reason: Those voters failed to sign their names inside a box below an oath stating they "solemnly pledge or affirm that I am a qualified and registered voter."
St. Lucie County Supervisor of Elections Gertrude Walker called it discouraging that a voter's effort goes to waste.
By state law, elections officials count a vote-at-home ballot as having been cast once it is received in the office.
At one time, voters who failed to sign the ballots may have been able to correct the situation. A number of smaller counties, including those on the Treasure Coast, used to call those voters to correct the ballots.
"Internet problem slows early voting in Fla. county".
"Scarred by the debacle of the 2000 election, advocates for the elderly have expressed worry about confusion at Florida's polls again due to changes in ballot methods." "Worry remains over seniors' confusion at polls".
One can hope
"Florida Democrats hope for more than just one of their own in the White House as result of Tuesday's election; they also hope for a step toward regaining the influence in Florida politics they almost completely lost in the 1990s." "Democrats' Momentum Is At Stake".
Pollworkers power through 16-hour days
Welcome to Florida
"McCain plans South Florida rally -- at midnight -- Sunday". See also "Both campaigns blanket Central Florida this weekend", "Sarah Palin rallies Republican supporters in Polk City", "At Winter Park rally, Hillary Clinton urges voters to support Barack Obama", "Overflow crowd comes to see Hillary Cinton", "In Polk City, Sarah Palin bashes Barack Obama, lauds John McCain" and "Palin hammers on taxes; Clinton rallies Dade vote".
The RPOFers amazing GOTV system - hire a buncha rent-a-drunks and stoke racism. See "The Fla GOP: "AFTER ALL, HE IS BLACK"; Updated". Consider:
Florida Republicans — take a bow, former state chairman Tom Slade — practically invented the intensely targeted voter mobilization program eventually fine-tuned and enhanced by Karl Rove.
... is just so much B.S.
Every cycle, their technology and microtargeting only improve. We also hear plenty of anecdotal evidence that the combination of excitement over Sarah Palin and fear of Obama has the GOP base at least as energized as it's ever been.
"To help Obama effort, Al Gore goes back to Florida".
If Obama wins Florida Tuesday, Crist will instantly become the red governor of a blue state, at least in the eyes of the national media whose attention he craves.
"Crist swaying with the winds".
He faces re-election in two years. An Obama win in Florida will energize Democrats here as never before.
So watch for Crist to inch toward the left a little more, to the consternation of his Republican base. (Remember, about half of all Democrats in the Quinnipiac University poll say he's doing a good job.)
Who writes this stuff - "watch for Crist to inch toward the left a little more"? "The left"?
A ray of hope in the Villages of idiots
"Democrats in The Villages grow bolder".
"Both parties pushing to get Broward County out to vote in final days before election".
"Thousands flocked to the polls Saturday, enduring rain and waits up to four hours, as Palm Beach County continued a record-setting pace headed into today's final day of early voting. Almost 15,000 people voted early during 12 hours of voting on Friday and elections officials expected to have at least that many after eight hours of voting on Saturday. That pushed early voting totals past 124,000 by Saturday morning, eclipsing the just over 50,000 who voted early in 2004. That doesn't include absentee ballots." "Record-breaking early voting turnout continues". See also "Voting places thronged today for early voting".
"Florida voters confused by six state amendments".
"It always leads back to Palm Beach County"
Randy Schultz: "It always leads back to Palm Beach County."
Since 2000 and the recount that captivated the world, it's been that way with so many big stories. Where did many of the 9/11 hijackers spend time? Where did the first of the post-9/11 anthrax attacks take place? Where did the congressional scandal of 2006 that helped shift control of the House come from? (That would involve Mark Foley, Republican.) Where did the congressional scandal of 2008 that won't affect control but scored 10 on the Titillation Meter come from? (That would be Tim "Open Marriage" Mahoney, Democrat.)
"'New' media and campaign lies".
Then three weeks ago, The New York Times reported that one of the big (fabricated) stories of this presidential campaign started with a guy well known - though not in a good way - to Palm Beach County.
The story would be the myth that Barack Obama is a Muslim.
"The race between longtime U.S. Rep. Alcee Hastings and his challenger, Dr. Marion Thorpe, in District 23, has apparently taken a nasty turn."
Thorpe, former Florida chief medical officer, filed a police report claiming Hastings verbally assaulted him after Thursday night's debate at a Boca Raton synagogue.
"Opponent accuses U.S. Rep. Hastings of making threats".
Thorpe said Friday that after the debate, Hastings whispered in his ear when they embraced on stage "You mention that impeachment ... again and I'm taking you out permanently."
The Orlando Sentinel editorial board: "Bypassing contribution limits is dangerous, unethical politics".
"The 'same criminal laws' for which Casey Anthony is now in jail"?
"This week's example is from circuit-judge candidate Fred Schott, who held a news conference to spotlight problems with opponent Jim Turner's campaign-finance report."
The report showed Mr. Turner's campaign spent more than it received in donations. That's a no-no under election statutes, and a legitimate issue in a race between would-be guardians of the law.
"Dirty tactics in judicial races show the need for appointed judges".
But Mr. Schott leaped to the conclusion that Mr. Turner could have written bad checks and violated one of the "same criminal laws" for which Casey Anthony is now in jail.
"The U.S. Justice Department will send election monitors to Hillsborough and two other Florida counties Tuesday in a nationwide effort to ensure that voting rights laws are followed."
The three Florida counties, including Duval and Seminole, are among 29 nationwide where more than 800 Justice Department personnel will look for evidence of voter fraud, racial discrimination, attention to voters with disabilities and whether the federal law on provisional ballots is followed."Justice Department to monitor elections in Hillsborough".
Luv them guv'ment contracts
"Big businesses raise eyebrows with big bucks for School Board chairman initiative".
"When the Boston Tea Party's presidential candidate Charles Jay went to register to vote in Florida this summer the clerk at the elections office wasn't sure what to do." "In the 2008 election, time to party like it's 1773".
"Hard times are haunting Florida with falling tax revenues, but that hasn't scared state agencies out of asking for more money." "Fla. state agencies start rolling out wish lists".