Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Our digest of, and commentary on today's Florida political news and punditry follows.

"McCollum would shake up U.S. Senate race"

Anthony Man on yesterday's Mason-Dixon Polling & Research polling on Florida's primary races to replace Rubio:

On the Republican side, the front runner is Bill McCollum, who has high name recognition after holding several elected offices and running unsuccessful campaigns for other posts.

McCollum isn't a declared candidate, but the former congressman, former state attorney general, and past unsuccessful candidate for U.S. Senate and governor has the support of 22 percent of registered Republicans.

If McCollum is in the race, second place goes to U.S. Rep. David Jolly, R-Indian Shores, who entered the race last week. He has 11 percent, followed by U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis, R-Ponte Vedra Beach, 8 percent; Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera, 7 percent, U.S. Rep. Jeff Miller, R-Chumuckla, 6 percent; and Orlando businessman Todd Wilcox, 1 percent.

Undecided was way ahead with 45 percent of Republicans.

If McCollum isn't in the race, Jolly is in first place with 16 percent, followed by Lopez-Cantera, 10 percent, DeSantis, 9 percent; Miller 8 percent, and Wilcox 2 percent.

Without McCollum, 55 percent of Republicans are undecided.

On the Dem side,
In a hypothetical three-way race, U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy has 26 percent, U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson has 24 percent, Graham has 11 percent, and 39 percent are undecided.

When Democrats were asked about a Graham-less contest, Murphy and Grayson were tied, with 33 percent for Grayson and 32 percent for Murphy, and 35 percent undecided.

"Bill McCollum would shake up U.S. Senate race, but Gwen Graham might not."

How convenient

"On his first official foray into Central Florida as a presidential candidate, Jeb Bush called Monday for debt relief for Puerto Rico, while declaring himself the positive Republican choice for the nation's top job." "Jeb Bush calls for financial help for Puerto Rico."

He's Back

"Former U.S. Rep. Allen West, R-Fla., now the president and the CEO of the National Center for Policy Analysis (NCPA), slammed the U.S. Senate for reauthorizing the Export-Import Bank in a piece at Townhall.com published on Tuesday." "Allen West Takes Aim at Export-Import Bank Reauthorization."

RPOF works to conceal its Teabagger underbelly

There will be no RPOF straw poll, and who can blame them: these polls tend to expose the Teabagger underbelly of the state party: remember when "Herman Cain, a favorite of the tea party movement, claimed victory, taking 37 percent after Rick Perry stumbled badly in a televised debate. Perry placed second with 15 percent but his campaign never quite got back on track and he bowed out after poor performances in Iowa and New Hampshire. Mitt Romney, who would win the Florida primary and the nomination, took third with 14 percent." "RPOF Not Holding Presidential Straw Poll for 2016 After Some Big Wins and One Tea Party Stunner."

Foriduh: Teacher bonuses based on their HS test scores

"Teachers and school districts now have official guidance from the state on the controversial teacher bonus based on ACT and SAT scores."

The law gives teachers a bonus of up to $10,000 if they are rated highly effective on their evaluations and scored high on their SAT or ACT, which most take in high school.

[T]eachers can retake the test. The problem is the next SAT isn't given until after the Oct. 1 deadline. The ACT will be given Sept. 12, but there's no guarantee resuts will be back in time.

"State releases guidelines for teacher SAT, ACT bonus."

He's not angry

"Jeb Bush in Orlando says he is not an ‘angry’ conservative."

Fracking the River of Grass

Michael Mayo: "Is there black gold in them there swamps? Will drilling or fracking soon come near our precious River of Grass?" "The Everglades and oil drills shouldn't mix."

Blackjack battle gets hotter

"The battle over blackjack between the state and the Seminole Tribe got a little hotter after dueling demand letters on Monday." "Battle over blackjack at Seminole casinos heats up."

"Microwaved Republican proposals"

"'Mount Washington' much higher than Jeb's 'Mount Tallahassee'."