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May 2012

Caputo, Schale, and questions about Florida presidential polls


Here't the latest report in Columbia Journalism Review taking a look at the polling controversy in Florida:

Herald’s Caputo dives deep on diverging polls

Do other news organizations undermine their credibility when they don’t do the same?

By Brian E. Crowley

Voters here have reason to be confused this week as they look at two polls, coming out one day apart, with one showing Barack Obama leading Mitt Romney in the state and the other showing Romney leading Obama.

Continue reading "Caputo, Schale, and questions about Florida presidential polls" »

Scott apologizes for elephant remark to king of Spain

Crowley Political Report apparently caused a bit of excitement this morning when we reported exclusively about Florida Gov. Rick Scott's chat about elephants with the King of Spain.

It certainly didn't take long for news organizations to grab the story and run with it. Some were kind enough to note where they found the story. Now the Miami Herald is reporting that when Scott returned to Miami today, he apologized for his mistake.

From the Herald:

Gov. Rick Scott told reporters in Miami on Thursday that he is sorry if he embarrassed Spanish King Juan Carlos by bringing up an embarrassing elephant-hunt scandal when the two men met as part of the governor's trade mission to Spain.

"If I did anything to do -- anything wrong -- I completely apologize," Scott said upon his arrival at Miami International Airport. "The king's a wonderful person. He's a wonderful world leader. He's done so many wonderful things in his life. And we had a great conversation."


Did Rick Scott make a royal oops with the king of Spain?



El gobernador de Florida - that would be Rick Scott - met with King Juan Carlos of Spain this week and his first words to the king was about elephant hunting.

Did Scott make a royal oops?

(We have video below).

Now for those of you who may not be following the Great Elephant Hunting controversy in Spain, the dear King took off to Botswana to go elephant hunting last month. This caused an uproar in Spain where his majesty's subjects only learned about the trip because he broke his hip there.

With staggering unemployment and vast unhappiness among his subjects, the trip was, shall we say, ill-timed.

Here's how AP reported it last month:

In an unprecedented act of royal contrition, Spain’s king apologized Wednesday for having gone elephant-hunting in Africa while everyday people endure a severe economic crisis.

“I am very sorry. I made a mistake. It won’t happen again,” King Juan Carlos said, trying to placate a rare wave of outrage against him.

Continue reading "Did Rick Scott make a royal oops with the king of Spain?" »

Shocking: Allen West supports tax hikes

AllenWestWell pick us up off the floor, dust us off and repeat that - really? Allen West supports tax hikes for the citizens of the United States of America?

The short answer is Yup. No wonder the Club for Growth recently gave him a very low Tea Party rating and questioned West's Tea Party credentials.

Crowley Political Report received this tidbit from Think Progress which reports that:

"Perhaps the most beloved member of the freshman Republican class, Rep. Allen West (R-FL) made a startling announcement on Tuesday: he’s willing to discuss raising taxes in order to address the nation’s budget shortfall.

The Tea Party congressman’s concession came at a small town hall meeting in Pompano Beach."

And they have video to prove it (see video below).

 Say what you want about TP and their motives but by golly they have the video to prove it.

After the Republican Congressman goes to some length to explain that after every effort is made to slash the federal budget - then, and only then - he would be willing to ask the American people to raise taxes.

His words folks:

"Now, once we get to a point where we have waxed out the federal government, we have eliminated a lot of that waste, fraud, and abuse, then it certainly comes to the American people to talk about raising taxes as a means to make sure we keep our debt and our deficit at a manageable level."

Continue reading "Shocking: Allen West supports tax hikes" »

Majority of Florida voters say Obama does not deserve a second term

Obama cartoonFor Mitt Romney supporters in Florida, the headline from the today's Quinnipiac Poll is that Romney leads Barack Obama 47-41.  But that may be the least interesting of the poll's numbers - afterall, leads come and go.

What should trouble Florida Democrats is this set of numbers:

52 percent said Obama does not deserve a second term. 52 percent said they don't approve of the job he is doing. And just 45 percent have a favorable view of the president.

All of this comes on the heels of a barrage of Obama campaign ads.

This is grim for Democrats. Not insurmountable but grim.

From May 15 – 21, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,722 registered voters with a margin of error of +/- 2.4 percentage points.  Live interviewers call land lines and cell phones.  

Here are the complete poll results from Quinnipiac:

Continue reading "Majority of Florida voters say Obama does not deserve a second term" »

Crossroads GPS new ad taps into voter disappointment with Obama

This is not the perfect ad but Crossroads GPS is on the money with its new ad appearing in Florida. Opening with a scene of a couple of kids playing basketball and the voiceover of a worried mother, the Karl Rove inspired Crossroads GPS ad suggests disappointment and weariness with President Obama and his economic policies.

The "mom" in this video worries that her kids "can't find jobs" and she "can't afford to retire."

As the scene morphs the kids into adults, mom says wearily "and now we're all living together again."  She goes on to say that she "supported Obama's agenda but he spent like our country's credit card had not limit." 

The opening scenes of this ad will strike a cord with many Florida voters who have struggled during the recession, have watched their kids hunt desperately for jobs, and worry about their retirement.

They may not blame Obama but this ad cleverly makes the case that his administration has not made their lives easier.

Follow us on Twitter @crowleyreport

Marco Rubio and the mystery of the Hispanic voter

Rubiofin1A smart story in the Los Angeles Times that reminds those of us who are not Hispanic that the word Hispanic is very limited in what it describes politically.

A few excerts from the Times story:

Handsome, youthful, Cuban American and Republican, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida has been mentioned repeatedly as a potential running mate for Mitt Romney — in part because of hopes that the presence of the first Latino on a major national ticket would draw that key voting group Romney's way.

But outside of his enormously important home state, the prospect for that sort of boost seems less than likely.


One complication is internal rivalries amid the diverse group of 22 million potential voters that, for demographic purposes, is treated as one unified electoral bloc.

"Mexicans and Central Americans historically have a reason for being Democrats, and Cubans have good reasons for being Republicans," said Jesus Hernandez Cuellar, a Cuban American editor of an online magazine. "I don't think the great electoral mass, the Mexican Americans, will change their point of view on the election just because of Marco Rubio."

Read more from the Los Angeles Times

Art by Patrick Crowley

Weldon enters Florida Senate race


Florida's Republican primary for U.S. Senate just got a tad more interesting. Former Orlando area Congressman Dave Weldon is entering the race.

We're sure Connie Mack and George LeMieux are thrilled.

What is the good doctor thinking?

Well here's what he says on his new campaign website:

Dear Friends,

Thank you for visiting my Dave Weldon for Senate campaign website. I hope you'll be encouraged by the statements and positions you see here for the coming battle in November. If you've been looking for a strong conservative candidate you can support, someone who can win the November election and represent Florida in the U. S. Senate, I am that man.

Continue reading "Weldon enters Florida Senate race" »

Chuck Todd, George LeMieux and Charlie Crist

Former interim U.S. Sen. George LeMieux's campaign sent out a video of his appearance on MSNBC's  Daily Rundown yesterday with Chuck Todd.

Did LeMieux do well?

Todd aggressively asked about LeMieux's relationship with former Gov. Charlie Crist which has been shadowing the LeMieux campaign since he first announced. 

LeMieux repeated his assertion that his relationship with Crist (which he now describes as just cordial) is not hurting his campaign. 

Todd also repeatedly questioned LeMieux about the personal nature of his campaign against Congressman Connie Mack. LeMieux has compared Mack to Charlie Sheen and insists that few people in Mack's district every see him because he really lives in California with his wife, Congresswoman Mary Bono.

"He's trying to run a campaign where people will mistake him for his father," said LeMieux referring to former U. S. Sen. Connie Mack III.

Interestingly, LeMieux repeatedly calls his Republican primary opponent, "Mack the fourth."

Was it wise for LeMieux to send this video to his supporters? Maybe not.


Is Allen West turning out to be weak Tea?

One could conclude that the Club for Growth is a tad disappointed in Florida Republican Congressman and anti-Communist Allen West. 

In fact, the Club describes "Tea Party star" West's record on Tea Party issues as "anemic."  

In a look at how the 87 freshmen voted on issues important to the Tea Party - West is tied for 54the place with a score of 64 percent.

Apparently for all his tough talk about standing up against the establishment that would destroy the United States of America - the Club for Growth is convinced that West is weak tea.

More from the Club's report:

After a careful review to see if their records match their rhetoric, we found that for many of the freshmen Republicans, promises of fiscal responsibility have proven to be empty. 

Our review of the voting records of freshmen Republicans on economic issues found: 

  • In 2011, freshmen Republicans received an average score of 71% on the Club for Growth’s Congressional Scorecard. The average veteran received a 69%. This means the freshmen Republicans voted, on average, about the same as the Republicans who were already in Congress.
  • A majority of freshmen Republicans voted against the conservative Republican Study Committee budget.
  • Only 14 freshmen Republicans signed a pledge promising never to raise the debt ceiling until “Cut, Cap, and Balance” had passed.
  • “Tea Party star” Rep. Allen West received an anemic 64% for voting to raise the debt ceiling and by repeatedly voting against spending cuts.

Continue reading "Is Allen West turning out to be weak Tea?" »

LeMieux takes one in the gut is his campaign doomed?

ElerMitt Romney stuck himself smack in the middle of Florida's U.S. senate primary today with his endorsement of Connie Mack. Is it a risk? Maybe.

But for George LeMieux, Romney's endorsement of Mack is truly bad news. Most GOP voters may not care but the fine folks who write checks are likely to care deeply.

There is no question that Mack is a flawed candidate. His campaign seems to bank more on the family name than the achievements of Mack the younger.  Still, no matter how hard LeMieux tries he struggles to get ahead of Mack.

Florida's GOP senate primary has been a mess with candidates dropping in and out - remember Mike Hariodopolos and Adam Hasner?  Most recently, Jeff Atwater flirted with getting into the race and now former Congressman Dave Weldon is taking a look.

Clearly Romney is paying Mack back for his endorsement of Romney during the Florida primary. And his nod to Mack might discourage Weldon from getting in the race. As for LeMieux, he is not doomed but his odds of winning took a hit today.

Here is what Romney said about Mack:

“Connie Mack is a friend, a strong conservative and the type of principled leader we need in Washington to restore fiscal responsibility. By electing Connie Mack, the people of Florida will be sending a clear message to Senator (Bill) Nelson and President Obama that their failed policies have not worked to change the borrow-and-spend ways of Washington.”

Follow us on Twitter @crowleyreport

Art by Patrick Crowley

Obama's broken promises

If you live in Florida or one of the other key swing states, you can be forgiven for thinking it is already October. Good lord, there's a lot of political ads on television these days - and it's just May.

Now here is some disconcerting news - Comcast is exploring technology that would allow it to show an ad while you a skipping other commercials on your DVR. 

Mind boggling isn't it.

Here's the latest ad from Crossroads GPS. 

Mack calls LeMieux the L word

Florida Republican Connie Mack is copying his dad's 1988 campaign for U.S. Senate by tossing around the word "liberal."

Mack the elder ran for the U.S. Senate  in 1988 against Democrat Buddy MacKay with a campaign slogan - "Hey Buddy, you're a liberal." Mack and MacKay served in Congress together and on many issues they had much in common. In fact, few would have described MacKay as a "liberal."

Today, Mack the son unveiled a new "ready for TV" ad, (whatever that means), calling fellow Republican George LeMieux a liberal. 

The video features shots of President Obama and former Gov. Charlie Crist.

Will the tactic work as well as it did 24 years ago? You decide.


An animated look at Mitt Romney and the Veeps

The things you stumple upon. Crowley Political Report found this animated video by Zina Saunders featuring Mitt Romney, Chris Christie, Paul Ryan and Marco Rubio.

Saunders describes herself on YouTube as "an artist and animator whose in-your-face political cartoons and illustrations can be seen on the pages and websites of Mother Jones, The Final Edition, The Progressive, and The Real News."

Here is her less than flattering take on what she calls, "The Vetting Game."