Since 2002, daily Florida political news and commentary


UPDATE: Every morning we review and individually digest Florida political news articles, editorials and punditry. Our sister site, FLA Politics was selected by Campaigns & Elections as one of only ten state blogs in the nation
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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 Monday, January 23, 2012

Gingrich has lead in two post-SC Florida polls

    The latest Insider Advantage and Rasmussen Florida polls have Gingrich with 9% and 8% leads respectively:
    The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of Likely Florida Republican Primary Voters, taken Sunday [(yesterday)] evening, finds Gingrich earning 41% of the vote with Romney in second at 32%. Former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum runs third with 11%, while Texas Congressman Ron Paul attracts support from eight percent (8%). Nine percent (9%) remain undecided.
    "Florida GOP Primary: Gingrich 41%, Romney 32%".

    "Newt Gingrich leads Mitt Romney by eight points in Florida, according to [an Insider Advantage] poll [(.pdf)] conducted the day after the former House speaker won the South Carolina primary."
    According to the Insider Advantage poll, Gingrich has 34 percent support, Romney has 26 percent, Texas Rep. Ron Paul has 13 percent, and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum garners 11 percent. ...

    Insider Advantage surveyed 557 likely voters on Jan. 22. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus four percentage points.
    "Poll: Gingrich Leads Romney in Florida".

    "Florida is crucial"

    Adam Smith writes that "Florida is crucial. Mitt Romney could afford to lose South Carolina, where early on he looked like an underdog anyway. But Florida is his fire wall, buttressed by a strong campaign organization, a flush campaign account and a large network of supporters built over more than five years running for president. Losing here would snuff what’s left of his aura of inevitability after winning only one of three early contests."


    [r]egardless of what happens in Florida, it looks increasingly likely we won’t know the nominee for some time. After Florida, February is a relatively quite month mainly featuring a handful of contests where delegates won’t be officially binding for the nomination. March 6 is Super Tuesday, where 10 states vote and candidates could well divide up the delegates relatively evenly. It takes 1,144 delegates to win the nomination and right now no one is well positioned to reach that threshold any time soon.
    "GOP primary could be a long campaign". See also "Republican candidates flock to Florida", "Florida rolls out the hot seat for primary", "DWS: Good luck, Mitt. You'll need it", "Romney arrives in Florida, talking of economy, Gingrich", "Floridians, brace for blitz of GOP campaign ads" and "Bruising Republican presidential campaign unfolds in Florida".

    Nancy Smith wonders whether "Newt Gingrich's Pugilistic Politics [Can] Win Florida?"

    Florida GOP primary tracker

    "Florida presidential primary tracker - Day 2".

    Proposed bill would remove big tobacco tax loophole

    "State Sen. Thad Altman, R-Melbourne, has introduced a bill this session that he says would remove 'a big tax loophole' for one Florida-based tobacco company."

    Altman’s legislation is one of the rare moments when Big Tobacco and health advocates have come together on an issue. When this bill came up last year, a coalition of groups called the Citizens for Fairness in Florida stood behind the bill. Included in the coalition were Florida CHAIN, a statewide health advocacy group, and retailers.

    The coalition was made possible because the money from tobacco companies has paid billions through the years to the Lawton Chiles Endowment Fund. By law (.pdf), the state uses "tobacco settlement moneys to ensure the financial security of vital health and human services programs in the state." Because more money could be going to health services, health advocates have stood by the attempts to levy the tax on Dosal.

    Big Tobacco has also been a big proponent of legislation like Altman’s, because they argue companies like Dosal have an unfair advantage in the marketplace. Altman says the company has gained a huge advantage from the current "loophole," including an 18 percent market share, because they are able to sell cheaper cigarettes.

    When the bill has come up in the past, Dosal has cried foul.
    "Legislator takes another stab at closing tobacco company’s tax 'loophole'".

    Teamster muscle

    "Teamsters prepare to show muscle -- or lack thereof -- in prison privatization hearings".

    "And the gap is growing"

    "The net worth of the people representing Floridians in Congress is much higher than that of the average voter, and the gap is growing."

    The disparity in Florida echoes a nationwide trend. According to an analysis by the nonprofit, nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics, 67 of 100 U.S. senators have a net worth of more than $1 million, based on financial foreclosure forms they filed. The average is $2.6 million, not counting home equity.
    "Palm Beach Post investigation: What Florida lawmakers are worth".

    Monday reads

    "Monday Morning Reads: Prisons, casinos and lawmaker conflicts". See also "Today in Tallahassee: Secret privatization, presidential politics, and university gigs" and "Capitol Buzz for Monday, 1/23".

    Online outlier

    "Spending $2,159 Less Per Student, Online School Outscores Florida Campuses on AP Exams".


    "Florida Home Sales Up in 2011, State Realtors Report".

    Scott’s school ranking list

    "Capitol Buzz: Gov. Rick Scott’s school ranking list will be the subject of much debate".

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