Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Blue Wave Headed Toward Florida?


The last attempt to fix some of Florida's severe gerrymandering problems created a new district up north, the fifth, that connects most of Tallahassee with most of Jacksonville and goes as far west into the panhandle as Chattahoochee. The PVI is D+12. Hillary eviscerated Trump here, 61.3% to 35.9%, Trump's worst performance in northern Florida. The first congressman elected from the new district was conservative Democrat Al Lawson, former "dean" of the state Senate.

ProgressivePunch, which grades him "F" shows that he, Blue Dogs Stephanie Murphy and Charlie Crist has the worst voting records of any Florida Democrats. A New Dem, he has the 9th worst voting record among House Democrats, made worse by the fact that he represents a deep blue Democratic district.

Normally we would over the moon that anyone as far to the right as Lawson has a primary challenge. Unfortunately his challenger, Alvin Brown, is another conservative Democrat. When Brown was elected mayor of Jacksonville in 2011 he became the first African-American mayor in Jacksonville's history and the first Democrat to be elected to the position since 1991. He was so conserative that many Democrats didn't bother coming out to the polls in 2015 and he was defeated for re-election by Republican Lenny Curry. So... yes, Al Lawson is absolutely terrible. But is it worth replacing him with someone likely to be almost as bad (if not just as bad)? Especially when a new Gravis poll showed much better news coming out of Florida this week.

The much better news is that the progressive running for governor, Andrew Gillum, is now leading in the primary and leading any Republican running for the nomination! Polling was conducted between May 31 and June 15. It found that "Florida voters are to the left of center. Voters oppose a complete abortion ban 53%-29%, a twenty-week ban 42%-39% and support LGBTQ protection from discrimination 55%-22%. They are, however, tightly split over support for sending the National Guard to the U.S.-Mexican border 45%-44%. Uncertainty remains among three issue that will be put before voters in November. Support for the citizen initiative process being the exclusive method for authorizing casinos in Florida is split at 26%-25%. Restoring voting rights for felons sits just over the required 60% threshold at 61%-30%. Finally, voters support an initiative to ban all offshore drilling 52%-29%... Voters have soured on the Republican tax reform law. In March, support was 36%-37% and has now fallen to 38%-47%. Voters indicate that they are less likely to support a candidate that supported the bill by a 42%-36% spread.

Goal ThermometerAt the same time, incongruously, Trump's approval rating has gone up-- from 41%-48% in March to 48%-52% today. "Voters are split over the performance of their other elected officials. Governor Rick Scott is slightly below water at 48%-50% while Rubio is farther in the red at 39%-56%. Voters are mixed on incumbent Democratic Senator Bill Nelson at 47%-44%." And here's where it gets exciting. Gillum, the progressive in the gubernatorial race is now leading his conservative rivals. Blue America has endorsed Andrew and you can contribute to his campaign by clicking on the 2018 gubernatorial thermometer on the right. Gillum is the most viably progressive candidate for governor in Florida’s history. He has plans to make healthcare more affordable through Medicare for All, increase spending on education and workforce training through a corporate tax adjustment and marijuana legalization, and raise the minimum wage in Florida to $15 an hour. He has helped high school students get registered to vote in the aftermath of the Parkland tragedy and, as mayor of Tallahassee, has been sued by the gun lobby twice and won both times.
Voters are beginning to decide on choices for the August Gubernatorial primaries. Undecided levels fell from 60% to 43% on the GOP side and 64% to 27% on the Democratic side. The previous poll showed Philip Levine ahead in the Democratic field 13%-11% for Andrew Gillum and 9% for Gwen Graham. The new poll shows Gillum taking the lead at 29% with Philip Levine falling to third place at 17% and Gwen Graham rebounding to 24% in second place. Gillum appears to have weathered some damaging news cycles and is now leading the pack as voters are possibly responding well to his recent debate performance, though the June 9th debate was towards the end of the field period for this poll.

“Gillum is clearly performing well in the debates and Democratic primary voters are taking notice” said Gravis Marketing Managing Partner Doug Kaplan. “The progressive wing of the party is behind him in this very close race between Gillum, Graham and Levine. Billionaire Jeff Greene is about to shakeup the race with his campaign launch.”

In the Republican field, Adam Putnam has reclaimed the lead over Ron DeSantis 29%-19%. Richard Corcoran (4%) and Bob White (5%) are currently well behind the top-two. Kaplan remarked that “The attacks on DeSantis are obviously working. Opponents have poured in money to convince Republicans that DeSantis is weak on immigration and somewhat liberal.” Kaplan concluded that “We predicted that the attacks on DeSantis were underreported and he was being damaged. One question that is up in the air is whether Trump’s endorsement will be enough to overcome those attacks.”

Moving to the general election, Democrats appear to be gaining ground on retaking the Florida Governor’s Mansion for the first time since Lawton Chiles defeated Jeb Bush in 1994. While Gwen Graham is currently performing the best in general election match-ups, both Gillum and Levine hold leads as well. Graham leads Putnam 45%-39% and DeSantis 44%-34%. Gillum beats out Putnam 42%-39% and 38%-35% over DeSantis. Levine holds leads almost identical to Graham over Putnam 43%-39% and 43%-33% over DeSantis.

The best news for Democrats in this new poll comes from the Senate race where Bill Nelson now holds a 50%-40% lead over Rick Scott. This margin was a narrower 44%-40% in March. Nelson is winning 81%-12% among Democrats and 49%-32% among independents while Scott has winning Republicans 73%-21%. Florida’s Hispanic electorate is less liberal than the nation electorate. Scott leads Nelson 40%-32% among Hispanics despite trailing Nelson 73%-20% with African Americans and 49%-43% among Caucasians. Nelson does best among women (51%-39%), but still holds a lead among men (49%-41%).

Labels: , , , ,


At 11:34 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Trump's approval rating has gone up..."

This is the real issue "democrats" need to address. As long as the Tangerine Tyrant adds support to his onerous oligarchy, polls aren't going to matter since results which would bolster the opposition aren't possible.

At 12:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

In order for this perhaps illusory wave to be blue, the democraps would have had to do ... something... to earn it. They have not. Their only selling point is that they are not in the Nazi party.

This wave, exactly like the one in 2006-2008, is anti-red. As in the previous wave, the democraps have not done one thing to earn it.

And once they realized their windfall, they proceeded to fail to earn it such that they wave in 2010 was anti-blue equal in magnitude to the anti-red that swept them in.

Will this one be exactly the same? well, yeah. the democrap tactics and strategery are identical -- get as many fascists, assholes and useful idiots in as they can; keep their leadershit in tact; extract maximum money from corporations and billionaires to not do anything a democrat once stood for; hope for the best in 2020 and 2022. But at least they'll have their money.

To all lefty voters excited about prospects in 2018... wazzat make you? stupid?


Post a Comment

<< Home