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285 posts from August 2012

August 27, 2012

Poll: Mitt Romney badly trails President Obama among Hispanic voters

Latino Decisions has teamed up with impreMedia to launch a weekly tracking poll of registered Latino voters voters nationwide -- and its first poll released Monday was not good news for Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney.

Romney trails President Barack Obama by nearly 40 percentage points, the poll shows. Obama leads Romney, 65-26 percent. Undecided: 9 percent.

Number polled: 300 registered Latino voters. Margin of error: 5.6 percentage points. 

Only 20 percent said they were "certain" to vote for Romney, while 55 percent said they were "certain" to vote for Obama.

Said Gabriel Sanchez, research director at Latino Decisions: "As we have seen in recent months and confirm in this survey, Romney has many challenges in making significant inroads with the Latino vote."

Topping the list of "most important" issues facing the Latino community were the economy and jobs (53 percent), immigration and the DREAM Act (51 percent) and education (18 percent)

One other takeaway from the poll is favorability ratings. Obama's are high with 74 percent, while Romney's are low with 27 percent.

Last week, a poll of Latino voters by NBC/WSJ/Telemundo found similar results: Obama (61 percent), Romney (27 percent)

For some historical perspective, former President George W. Bush got as much as 35 percent of the Latino vote in 2000 and as high as 44 percent in 2004, according to exit polls. John McCain got 31 percent in 2008. 

Latino Decisions and  impreMedia weekly poll will be released each Monday from now until the Nov. 6 election.

See full poll results here

Read analysis by impreMedia's Pilar Marrero here



CNN/Time: Obama 50%, Romney 46% thanks to huge gender, minority gap

A new Time/CNN/Opinion Research poll in Florida shows President Obama leading Mitt Romney by four points among likely voters, 50% to 46%.

"Obama's edge in Florida is bolstered by women voters, among whom he's beating Romney, 54%-42%, and by nonwhite voters, with whom he boasts a 70%-29% advantage. There are signs the incumbent is stitching together the same demographic coalitions that helped him capture Florida's 29 electoral votes four years ago."

Romney leads among voters 65+ 51 percent to 45 percent, and Obama leads among women 54 percent to 42 percent and among independents 46 percent to 45 percent. The margin of error is plus or minus 3.5 percent.


Posted by Adam C. Smith

GOP strategist Karl Rove shares elections insight

TAMPA -- Karl Rove has made the trasition from Republican operative to political analyst, but his biting humor and sharp elbows style haven’t gone anywhere. Weighing in on the 2012 presidential race Monday morning, he had high praise for presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney and criticized President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign.

Rove said Obama’s approach leaves him “completely mystified” and the president has allowed the campaign to dominate too much of his time.

“This has not been a campaign in which it has been, 'Look at my record, I’m proud of my record and here is my vision for a second term,’ “ Rove told a capacity crowd at the launch of the POLITICO Convention Playbook Breakfast series.

But Rove has also been “mystified” by Romney’s response to questions about whether he pays his fair share of taxes. Romney can choose not to release additional tax returns, Rove said, but he should paint Obama’s attacks as about politics and not transparency.

Continue reading "GOP strategist Karl Rove shares elections insight" »

Some absentee voters in Hialeah probe insist they did not hand their ballots to suspected brokers

Olga Roqueta, 77, and her husband say they filled out their absentee ballots without help and put them in their mailbox weeks before the Aug. 14 election.

Alberto Rodríguez, 42, said Anamary Pedrosa, a former employee in Miami-Dade County Commissioner Esteban Bovo’s Hialeah office, passed by his house to pick up his ballot.

Doris Martínez, 83, said she and her husband gave their sealed ballots to their old friend Sergio Robaina.

Roqueta, Rodríguez and Martínez are among the 164 voters whose ballots are the focus of an ongoing voter-fraud investigation that has led to the arrest of Robaina and inquiries about an additional half-dozen possible ballot-brokers, or boleteros.

The stories of these voters — mostly elderly Hispanics who vote Republican — offer a glimpse into theboletero operations that depend on networks of friends and family, and are an entrenched part of Hialeah politics. In many cases, their stories conflict with the facts offered by authorities.

Pedrosa, who does not face charges, told authorities that Robaina and others gave her the ballots in Bovo’s office. She then dropped them into a blue mailbox outside the post office at 2200 NW 72nd Ave., where a postal employee discovered them July 26.

More than 60 voters whose ballots were part of this batch told reporters they could not explain how they got there.

“I voted, signed and put them in my mailbox,” said Roqueta, one of 14 voters who told a similar story.

Sources close to the investigation say the ballots all appeared to have been deposited together, which was why the postal agent who found them alerted police.

Close to three dozen voters told reporters they mailed their ballots themselves.

More from Melissa Sanchez, Enrique Flor and Alfonso Chardy here.

No surprise news of the day: Charlie Crist secures DNC speaking spot

Charlie Crist, who yesterday endorsed Barack Obama, will speak at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte next week.

"The Democratic convention will be about bringing people together to continue the progress we've made in rebuilding our economy from the middle out, not the top down," a Democratic official said. "Gov. Crist can personally speak to this, and contrast the president's vision with Mitt Romney's, which caters to the most extreme elements of the Republican Party and undermines the middle class." See more here.

Florida  Agriculture Commmissioner Adam Putnam told Florida delegates about it this morning, and the news drew groans from the audience.

“Unbelievable,” Putnam said. “What does he stand for except for himself. He’ll wear any costume just to get in the parade.”

-- Alex Leary and Michael Van Sickler

Scott prepares for Isaac to become a hurricane and hit Panhandle

PALM HARBOR -- Gov. Rick Scott said he is returning to Tallahassee Monday as he expects Isaac to increase wind speeds and become a slow-moving hurricane that will make landfall somewhere between Pensacola and Mobile, Ala., Tuesday night, and dump an estimated 16 inches on the already-soaked Panhandle.

“Our risk right now is the Panhandle,’’ he told Florida RNC delegates at the group’s breakfast meeting on Monday at Innisbrook Resort and Spa in Palm Harbor. “It is drenched already.” 

Scott told the delegates to “stay stay where you are” today as he expects tropical storm force winds, tornadoes and rain in Tampa. He warned, however, that while the expectation is that the storm will continue to move westward it is “wobbling a lot.”

Scott also announced that the RNC will partner with the American Red Cross to raise money for families and individuals affected by the storm. "We can't stop a hurricane, but we can react to it,'' he said.

The governor, who has been getting frequent briefings from emergency management officials while operating out of the an emergency operations center at the Republican National Convention, said Florida hasn't "had a lot of damage" from Isaac's soaking. An estimated 100,000 homes and businesses were without power in South Florida, he said, and as wind speeds pick up he expects a three to four inch storm surge in Tampa late Monday and wind speeds of up to 50 mph.

That means the delegates should stay where they are, and not attempt to "venture in to Tampa today. We don't know if the bridges will be closed."

Most activities have been cancelled at the convention center and temporary tents that have been erected to shield people from wind and sun, can only sustain winds of 25 mph, Scott said.

For the 95 Florida delegates and alternates, located at 26 miles away from Tampa, the governor joked that they now are safe from any coastal flooding. "The RNC was so nice to us, we don't have to worry about the beach,'' he said.

On a day originally expected to be jam-packed with speakers, the Florida delegates were greeted with “Fresh From Florida” steak and eggs breakfast, hosted by Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam.


August 26, 2012

Isaac could be Gov. Rick Scott's moment

Photo(8)TAMPA — Gov. Rick Scott expected to get just a few minutes in the Republican National Convention spotlight. A seven-minute speech during Monday's opening session, maybe a few appearances at a fundraiser or a reception.

Then Tropical Storm Isaac began churning in the Caribbean and made a turn toward the Florida peninsula.

Almost overnight, the unpopular governor kept somewhat on the fringes of Mitt Romney's presidential campaign was thrust front and center.

While no one will say it, the storm offers Scott an opening to many still skeptical Floridians to prove his mettle in a crisis. It's Scott, not Romney, the state is seeing on TV twice a day. And it's Scott's voice that is trying to reassure Florida and its thousands of convention guests as Isaac impacts the coastline.

"We do hurricanes well and we do hospitality well," he told CNN's Candy Crowley Sunday morning. "And this week, we've got to show both sides."

Read more here.

Florida delegates arrive -- at the Republican equivalent of Siberia

Florida's convention delegates and party faithful streamed into the Innisbrook Golf and Spa resort on Sunday, right on schedule, as the hurry-up and wait for convention activities began. They were handed white bags with blue trim, loaded with RNC swag from water bottles to a beach towels.

But if the gray clouds, persistent drizzle and tropical storm warnings weren't enough to dampen the mood in the swank, sprawling resort, the lack of convention buzz certainly was.

The conventioneers face an hour long drive, each way, to get to the Tampa Bay Times Forum and convention headquarters. Buses have been reserved for the trips but travelers were urged to be vigilent about departure times.

This is the Republican equivalent of Siberia. Comfortable and lovely, the resort features a golf course, spa, swimming pools and restaurants. It is owned by Sheila Johnson, co-founder of the BET network and a major Democratic contributor.

Continue reading "Florida delegates arrive -- at the Republican equivalent of Siberia" »

Women’s suffrage, stirred not shaken, at YG Network

Sure, conservatives are playing defense these days over abortions thanks to the widely condemned remarks of Missouri Rep. Todd Akin.

That’s where the YG Network comes in during the Republican National Convention.

Though technically not part of the RNC, the network is sponsoring a “Woman Up” pavilion dedicated to showcasing conservative women and women’s issues. While the press talks abortion, abortion and abortion, the YG Network wants to talk about the economy, economy, economy.

“More and more, women are the breadwinners in the household. They care about the economy,” said Mary Anne Carter, an event organizer and former chief policy advisor to Republican Gov. Rick Scott. “Women make almost all of the healthcare decisions for the family. We’re going to have substantive policy discussions on these issues.”

And they can have a few drinks doing it. In addition to having a large lounge and women’s suffrage exhibit, the pavilions sprts the Kahwa Café & Grey Goose Bar, which serves drinks like the “Woman Up-Tini.”

“It’s a place where women can come relax, chill out, learn a little suffrage and do a little work,” Carter said.

Scott cancels Tuesday events for RNC week

Gov. Rick Scott, who has cancelled his RNC events for Sunday and Monday said his RNC black-out will continue through Tuesday, when Tropical Storm Isaac is expected to continue to be pummeling Florida.

Scott has been operating out of Tampa at an RNC emergency operations center where he is receivng storm briefings. Although he appears to be keeping his distance from the party faithful, he did conduct one interview with CNN's Candy Crowley this morning in which he offered up his political observations.

Scott's decision was commended by Republican Party of Florida chairman Lenny Curry, as state party officials gathered for their quarterly meeting at Innisbrook resort on Sunday afternoon.

"He did that because it's about the safety of Floridians and people traveling,'' Curry said. While some of the party faithful were unhappy about the abbreviated schedule because of the storm, Curry said he's not hearing too many complaints.

"People get it,'' Curry said. "In fact, people are craving leadership. People are so used to people making poltiical decisions, when Gov. Scott stood up and said 'Here's what I'm going to do and here's why' people said 'That's what I'm looking for."

Here's the statement from the governor's office:

Today, Governor Scott announced that we would cancel his Tuesday activities related to the Republican National Convention in order to monitor and respond to issues related to Tropical Storm Isaac. Tropical Storm Isaac is expected to continue to impact Southwest Florida today before continuing into the Gulf of Mexico. Florida’s Emergency Officials encourage all Floridians to stay informed and finalize emergency preparations. 

At 11am EDT Sunday, Tropical Storm Isaac was approximately 80 miles southeast of Key West, Florida. The official forecast takes Tropical Storm Isaac near or over the lower Florida Keys today and tonight and into the eastern Gulf of Mexico on Monday. Tropical storm force winds are already impacting the Keys and South Florida with hurricane conditions possibly arriving this afternoon. Additionally, there is a threat for severe weather including isolated tornadoes over much of Central and South Florida.

All Floridians should be closely monitoring this storm, and be prepared to act if necessary. Families and businesses can visit www.FloridaDisaster.org  to build their emergency plan and learn about what to stock in the disaster supply kits, including water, food, medication, important papers and other essential items. Supplies should be able to sustain your family for up to 72 hours after a disaster.