Eeewww ... the postmortems, "Post-election observations" and blather about fence mending has begun. Our digest of, and commentary on today's Florida political news and punditry follows.
"GOP insiders fear Sink" ... Scott a "dead man walking"
"Analysts who work with Latino voters say McCollum's shift on immigration may have cost him crucial support. But they argue that Scott's concrete stand leaves him a 'dead man walking.'" "Republican surge may have helped propel Scott to victory".
For powerful Tallahassee insiders accustomed to winning, Rick Scott represents their worst fears."
But they have an even bigger worry: Democrats might win in November."GOP insiders fear Rick Scott -- but fear Alex Sink more". See also "3rd GOP gubernatorial candidate denies being a spoiler", "Scott gets help from third candidate" and "Florida primary results: Can Rick Scott, GOP 'insiders' unite?".
Many top-tier lobbyists don't know their Republican nominee for governor. They backed Bill McCollum, pumped millions into his primary campaign, and lost. Now, with party control of the Governor's Mansion at stake, they mounted an effort Wednesday to show that Republicans are one big happy family.
More: "How Rick Scott Held on for Victory" ("Was win over McCollum a 'comeback'? Maybe in the media's minds"), "Florida GOP Seeking a Foothold With Scott" and "Why Scott won, and why he could win again".
The Saint Petersburg Times editorial board: "Health care executive Rick Scott spent millions of his personal fortune to introduce himself to Floridians and upset Attorney General Bill McCollum in the nasty Republican primary for governor. Now Scott and Democrat Alex Sink, who had token opposition Tuesday, should launch more meaningful general election campaigns. Voters need to know specifics on how each would address the challenges facing Florida." "Now, debate Florida's future".
"Already splitting the labor vote"
"If you're wondering why Kendrick Meek's win in the Democratic Senate primary is good news for Republican Marco Rubio, look at what happened less than 24 hours after Meek's victory."
A group of Florida Teamsters endorsed Gov. Charlie Crist, who's running as an independent, while Meek met with supporters from the Service Employees International Union in Orlando."Kendrick Meek faces complicated three-way Senate race".
Day 1 of the general election campaign, and Crist and Meek are already splitting the labor vote.
Dab Balz: "Traditional rules of strategy don't necessarily apply in three-way contests. That makes the Florida race all the more compelling. Whatever the outcome, Florida voters are in for another wild ride this fall. " "Three-way Florida Senate race begins without a clear favorite".
See also "Rubio, Meek united against common rival; vow to squeeze independent Crist out", "Party-less Charlie Crist faces harsh reality" and "Now it's Marco Rubio and Kendrick Meek against Charlie Crist".
"Equivocal answers to 2 of 3 key questions"
The Daytona Beach News Journal editorial board: "Florida voters provided equivocal answers to two of the three key questions hanging over Tuesday's primary election."
Two of the questions were national in scope: Is this the Year of the Outsider in politics? And are Republicans, the minority party on the national level, fired up and ready to make a statement at the polls? The third question is a perennial: Can a well-heeled candidate buy an election?"Primary leaves questions for Florida voters to answer".
On Tuesday, voters in Florida answered "maybe" to the first two questions.
Webster "deader than Elvis"
"Bomb-throwing U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson barely waited for the Republican primary ballots to be counted before writing his new opponent's epitaph."
"Dan Webster is deader than Elvis. … He is the ultimate establishment candidate," Grayson quipped Wednesday, the morning after Republican voters picked the veteran former state legislator to run against him in District 8."Grayson, Kosmas prepare for battle".
Likewise, in U.S. Rep. Suzanne Kosmas' neighboring District 24, the Democratic Party is taking a similar tack. Party operatives already have labeled the newly nominated Republican, state Rep. Sandy Adams, a "Tallahassee insider" and "partisan rubber stamp."
"Jeb Bush on Florida GOP brawl: 'We must unite'".
Back at the SOE ...
The Sun Sentinel editors: "There was plenty of talk during Tuesday's primary elections about negative campaigning, big-money candidates vs. career politicians and voter apathy on a low-turnout day. But you know what you didn't hear any complaints about? Election snafus. And what a welcome relief that is in Palm Beach County." "Quiet elections in Palm a welcome relief from past snafus".
"The future of Florida politics?"
The Miami Herald editors: " Rick Scott won a remarkable victory this week in his race to become Florida's next governor. He did it by spending an unprecedented amount of money -- $50 million, mostly his own -- to overcome Attorney General Bill McCollum, a longtime fixture in Florida politics. Money has always been the mother's milk of politics. But never has it played such a pivotal role in a Florida campaign, and never has a candidate virtually unknown to the electorate managed to come so far and make such a big splash by spending so lavishly. Is this the future of Florida politics?" "Rick Scott's deep pockets".
William March: "Pollster Brad Coker of Mason-Dixon Polling & Research says angry voters, a volatile race with numerous lead changes, two unpopular candidates and an unpredictable turnout were all part of why his late polls failed to correctly predict the outcome of the Bill McCollum-Rick Scott GOP primary for governor." "Pollster: Unpredictable governor's race led to incorrect polls". See also "Mason-Dixon pollster: 'Angry voters' a major factor in Rick Scott's win" "".
That was fast
"Rubio, Crist, Meek stumping for Senate in Tampa area".
Wingers already calling for more drilling in the Gulf. Related: "Oil spill: Laid off cleanup crews blast BP".
Entrepreneurs in action
"Reputed mobster linked to Florida scam admits guilt".
"An awkward situation"
"State Sen. John Thrasher’s primary win was basically a lock (he was the incumbent candidate for District 8 and is the interim chairman of the Republican Party of Florida), but it wasn’t all positive vibes at his Tuesday-night celebration party. The intense rivalry between Republican gubernatorial candidates Rick Scott and Bill McCollum and Scott’s victory last night has placed the state party, and its leader, in an awkward situation." "At Thrasher victory party, tension over Republican gubernatorial nominee".
Florida Senate Summary
Kevin Derby: "Republicans and Democrats cast ballots in 10 state Senate districts across Florida Tuesday. While some incumbents faced primary challenges, all of them prevailed. And look for some different faces in the Senate -- even if they have familiar names." "Incumbents Prevail in Senate Races, but New Faces Emerge".
Florida House summary
Kevin Derby: "With all 120 House seats up in November, there were some dramatic results in the Tuesday primaries. While some incumbents received scares in the primaries, all of the incumbents save one held on to win. With a few upsets and some races thought to be close turning into blow-outs, keep an eye on some of the House races in November for further political drama. " "Dramatic Results in Primary Battles for House Seats".
The Sun Sentinel editorial board: "Judicial races were Broward's bright spot in an otherwise ugly primary".
Same old, same old ...
"If Florida voters were angry with their state legislators, they didn't show it on Election Day." "Florida voters stick with their legislators".
"Wilson comfortably won her primary"
"State Sen. Frederica Wilson comfortably won a primary to follow in Kendrick Meek's footsteps to Washington." "Split in Haitian vote lifted Frederica Wilson to congressional win".