Wednesday, March 09, 2016

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

All eyes turn to Florida: Today's Florida Q Poll has Trump burying Rubio, and Clinton far ahead

"Florida, the largest swing state on the electoral map, will be on center stage next week as Democrats and Republicans vote in the presidential primaries."

First, "Donald Trump leads native son Sen. Marco Rubio 45 - 22 percent among Florida likely Republican primary voters, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today, with 18 percent for Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas and 8 percent for Ohio Gov. John Kasich." "March 9, 2016 - Trump Buries Rubio 2-1 In Florida GOP Primary."

Meanwhile, "Hillary Clinton has a commanding lead in Florida over Democratic rival Sen. Bernie Sanders going into the state's Tuesday presidential primary, a poll released today shows."

Powered by a 69 - 24 percent lead among women, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton leads Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders 62 - 32 percent overall among Florida likely Democratic primary voters, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.

See also "Clinton leads Sanders in Florida, Ohio polls" " and "March 9, 2016 - Women Drive Clinton To 2-1 Lead Among Florida Dems, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; She Has 9-Point Lead In Ohio."

A much different story in Ohio, as

the same poll found that in Ohio, which also is holding its primary on Tuesday, Clinton leads Sanders by 52 to 43 percent among likely Democratic voters.
"Poll: Hillary Clinton has huge Florida lead.

More: "What Candidates Have at Stake in Florida: Bernie Sanders."

"What's hot, crazy or shady about politics in the Sunshine State."

Marc Caputo: "Rubio’s tri-state shutout disaster – More than 700,000 cast GOP ballots in FL prez primary -- Ben Carson likes poll of him in FL U.S. Senate race – FPL nuke plant problems -- $82.3 billion state budget ready for Friday vote." "Florida Playbook."

Abortion restrictions moving in Tally

"State senators on Tuesday debated a sweeping abortion bill that defines the first trimester of pregnancy as beginning at conception, and teed it up for passage Wednesday." "Senate readies for vote on abortion restrictions."

Budget blues

"Final budget includes $32 B. in state, local funds for education." See also "Final vote on $82.3B budget set for Friday" and "Lawmakers cut final deal on state budget."

Shilling for charters

State Rep Erik Fresen wants you to know that "Public school districts overspend, then blame the charter schools."

Big dollar dogs

"Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopzez-Cantera, continuing his bid for the Republican nomination in the U.S. Senate race, unveiled his financial team on Tuesday morning which include fellow former state House Majority Leaders Adam Hasner and Seth McKeel." "Carlos Lopez-Cantera Unveils Finance Team for Senate Bid."

"Rubio not ready" - will he ever be?

The Tampa Bay Times: "Marco Rubio not ready to be president."

Cruz reaches out to Neil Bush

"Sen. Ted Cruz's presidential campaign is getting some help from the Bush family. Neil Bush, the brother of former Florida governor Jeb Bush, who dropped out of the presidential race last month, has joined Cruz's finance team." "Jeb Bush's brother Neil joins Ted Cruz's finance team."

Bad company

"Charity leader with ties to Corrine Brown pleads guilty."

"Scott clueless"

Carl Hiaasen: "As a devastating deluge of polluted water darkens two coasts of Florida and threatens their tourist economies, Gov. Rick Scott is once again a flaky phantom." "Scott clueless in Lake O crisis."

Florida, the "elephant’s graveyard"

Steve Otto: "It has to be Florida. It has to be down here among the towering palms and the sprawling suburbs that the Grand Old Party has come to pachyderm it in." "The elephant’s graveyard."

Cruz hits Rubio with dirty trick

"Cruz campaign accused of spreading rumors that Rubio is withdrawing." Meanwhile, "After another setback, Rubio sees salvation in Florida."

Raw political courage

"Gov. Rick Scott signed 16 bills into law Tuesday, including a bill to crack down on human trafficking in the Sunshine State." "Rick Scott Signs 16 Bills Into Law."