October 25, 2010

Zogby poll: Rubio leads Crist by 6 percentage points

A new poll out from Zogby Interactive shows a tighter race for U.S. Senate than most previous polls with Republican Marco Rubio 39.6 percent, NPA Charlie Crist at 33.3 percent and Democrat Kendrick Meek at 18.1 percent. Undecideds remain at 8.7 percent. The poll was conducted Oct. 18 - Oct. 21. 

The poll continues to show that Crist's strength remains with independent and no-party affiliated voters: 39.4 percent of Democrats aligning with Meek and 38.2 percent with Crist. Meanwhile, independents favor Crist 47.5 percent over Rubio's 30.2 percent. While Rubio owns the Republican vote with 76 percent to Crist's 19.1 percent.

Those numbers also explain the regional breakdown where Rubio leads in South Florida by 36.5 percent to Crist's 33.6 percent and Meek has 19.1 percent. In the Central Florida battleground, Rubio's lead is larger with 41.8 percent compared to Crist's 35.4 percent and Meek's 16.2 percent.


October 24, 2010

Rubio appears to be coasting to victory in new Miami Herald poll

Republican Marco Rubio is on the verge of delivering one of the biggest political knockouts in Florida history, as a new St. Petersburg Times/Miami Herald/Bay News 9 poll shows him barreling into Florida's open U.S. Senate seat 15 percentage points ahead of Gov. Charlie Crist.

The poll shows 41 percent of likely voters backing Rubio, compared to 26 percent for the no-party governor and 20 percent for Democratic congressman Kendrick Meek. It's a remarkable position for the former state House speaker from Miami who 18 months ago looked hopeless against Florida's supposedly invincible governor.

A two-man race might be competitive, but Rubio is coasting to Nov. 2 in the unusual three-way contest. More here.


October 21, 2010

Meek, Crist running on fumes

Another reason why Republican Marco Rubio is sitting pretty in the homestretch of the U.S. Senate race: his rivals are running out  of cash.

Reports filed with the Federal Election Commission show Kendrick Meek with $415,042 and Charlie Crist with $1.39 million as of Sept. 30. Rubio, on the other hand, had $5.5 million.

Hastings: Dear Democrats, vote for Meek or else

U.S. Rep. Alcee Hastings' office just released this letter addressed to Florida voters:

The funny thing about conventional wisdom in an election year is that it only lasts until the voters decide it is no longer conventional or wise.  The media tells us that Congressman Kendrick Meek cannot win the Senate, that Democrats and independents will split their votes with Governor Charlie Crist, and, in the end, that Marco Rubio will be Florida’s next senator.  But politics is about self-determination and, if Democrats determine to rally themselves behind Congressman Meek, this election will suddenly be about real choice – not electoral mathematics.

There is only one Democrat in this race.  Kendrick Meek has been faithfully serving his South Florida constituents in Congress, bringing much-needed federal dollars to his district and demonstrating progressive leadership on issues ranging from job creation and economic development to United States support for Haiti’s recovery.   Governor Crist is no Democrat, despite what many Democrats want to tell themselves.   Governor Crist may be an independent for the purposes of this campaign, but he whole-heartedly supports the right-wing agenda, from preserving Bush’s tax cuts for the wealthy to opposing President Obama’s health care reforms that benefit millions of Floridians across the state.

I understand the temptation for Democrats to hang on to Governor Crist in the hope that he will eke out a win against Rubio.  At least, that is what the conventional wisdom says.  But what if we ignore the talk show certainties and instead create our own reality by rallying around the one true Democrat, Kendrick Meek?  Polls show that combining support for both Crist and Meek would add up to over 50 percent, handily beating Rubio.   Just by switching their allegiance from Crist to Meek, Democrats would suddenly make this campaign very competitive – and very uncomfortable for Rubio.

But here is one bit of conventional wisdom I do agree with: if Democrats insist on stubbornly clinging to Crist, Marco Rubio will indeed win the election.   Floridians are well acquainted with what happens when a few crucial voters support a long-shot third party candidate.  So don’t settle for Crist; what he offers is only a slightly warmed-over version of Rubio’s Tea Party brand of politics.  It is essential for Democrats to stand together united to support the candidate who represents the clearest alternative to Marco Rubio.  The only real candidate of progress in this election is Democrat Kendrick Meek.  I hope that he can count on your vote. 

October 18, 2010

Here comes Bill Clinton

He's the hottest Democrat on the campaign trail this election cycle -- hotter than any of the folks in the White House by some measures -- and he's coming to Florida this week to rally with Senate nominee Kendrick Meek and gubernatorial nominee Alex Sink.

Former President Bill Clinton will headline rallies for Meek on Tuesday at the University of South Florida in St. Petersburg and on Wednesday at the University of Central Florida in Orlando. On Thursday, he'll join Sink -- who has skipped two recent appearances in Florida by President Barack Obama -- at the north campus at Miami Dade College. He's also doing a private fundraiser for Sink.

Some say Clinton makes a better case for the Democratic party's agenda and the Obama administration than Obama himself. We shall see.

October 13, 2010

Poll shows Rubio 'running away' with Senate seat

Qunnipiac: In the Florida U.S. Senate race, Republican Marco Rubio is running away with a commanding  44 – 30 percent likely voter lead over Gov. Charlie Crist, running as an independent, with Democrat U.S. Rep. Kendrick Meek third with 22 percent, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today. Today’s results are essentially unchanged from a September 30 poll by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University, in which Rubio led Crist 46 – 33 percent with Meek getting 18 percent of likely voters. Florida likely voters disapprove of President Barack Obama’s job performance 54 – 43  percent, a slight improvement from October 1 when they disapproved 56 – 40 percent. As the clock ticks down to Election Day, there is no evidence that Marco Rubio’s lead is narrowing.  "Anything is possible since there are still three weeks left in the campaign, but it appears Rubio’s opponents will need an earth-shaking development to deny him the U.S. Senate seat,” said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. “Gov. Charlie Crist’s best chance for victory all along required that he outpoll Meek among Democrats and get half the independent vote.  He is doing neither.”

More here Download 101310 FL SEN + BP

October 12, 2010

Clinton raising money for Sink after Meek rallies

President Bill Clinton can't be accused of doing drive-bys when it comes to Florida politics. In the homestretch before the Aug. 24 primary, he headlined three back-to-back rallies for Democratic Senate candidate Kendrick Meek. On Tuesday and Wednesday, he's leading two get-out-the-vote rallies for Meek in St. Petersburg and Orlando -- plus a Wednesday night, post-debate fundraiser for gubernatorial nominee Alex Sink in Miami Beach.

Invitation here: Download Clinton Invite 10 20 10

October 11, 2010

UPDATE: Democratic boosters greet President Obama at the airport

Republicans say candidates are keeping their distance from President Barack Obama -- but a handful in South Florida greeted him at Miami International Airport.

On hand, Rep. Kendrick Meek -- whose campaign got a radio shout-out today from Obama, along with Reps. Ted Deutch and Debbie Wasserman Schultz, congressional hopeful Joe Garcia and Democratic Attorney General candidate Dan Gelber. The White House pool report notes it was a "kiss on the cheek" for Wasserman Schultz and a handshake for Meek. Democratic gubernatorial candidate Alex Sink was not present -- a campaign spokeswoman said last week that Sink would be in Tampa today. The pool notes that after working the line of greeters, POTUS ran across the tarmac to greet a crowd of cheering onlookers behind a barrier.



Kendrick Meek and Debbie Wasserman Schultz at odds with Obama on foreclosures?

Kendrick Meek over the weekend called on major lenders to follow Bank of America's lead and suspend foreclosures until procedures that may have caused families to unnecessarily lose their homes can be reviewed and fixed.

"It is ridiculous that some homeowners may have been removed from their homes because of inaccurate paperwork," Meek said. "We need more people in homes, not less."

But the White House signaled Sunday that it opposes a national moratorium on home foreclosures -- as some Democrats have suggested. The Congressional Black Caucus has called on Obama to enact a nationwide moratorium.

Appearing on Fox News Sunday from Portland, Me., Debbie Wasserman Schultz said she favored pushing for a freeze: "I think we need a combination of a freeze, potentially, and also we need to sit down with the banking industry and talk to them about ways in which we can help them be able to work those mortgages out, because it's absolutely imperative that we keep people in their homes."

Wasserman Schultz's appearance on the show drew a rebuke from her Republican challenger Karen Harrington, who called Wasserman Schultz's political parrying with GOP'er Eric Cantor "conduct unbecoming a congresswoman."

Marco Rubio's camp on Obama's Meek ad: No surprise here

Kendrick Meek has battled questions about how enthusiastic national Dems are about his campaign. Now President Barack Obama is out with a radio ad in support and GOP rival Marco Rubio says it's no surprise.

"For nearly two years, Kendrick Meek has been a reliable rubberstamp for the Obama agenda of higher taxes, wasteful spending, more debt and job-killing regulations," says Rubio spokesman Alex Burgos. "When President Obama needed a 'yes' vote in the United States Congress for his anti-jobs proposals, Kendrick Meek was always there.

"So it’s not surprising that the White House would cut an ad for its favorite Congressman. However, Floridians don’t need a rubberstamp in Congress but an alternative like Marco Rubio who is the only candidate who will fight to change the direction Washington is taking our country."