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November 2012

Florida Republican Party takes on Charlie Crist again

Either the folks at the Republican Party of Florida have too much time on their hands and are really bored or they really fear former Gov. Charlie Crist. 

The Republican turned independent soon-to-be Democrat and likely candidate for governor is featured in still another attack by the Florida GOP. Makes you wonder what the Republican Party's internal polls are telling them.

Clearly, the party appears to be very concerned about Crist's political future. Could it be that they believe Crist could defeat Gov. Rick Scott in the 2014 election? 

Here's the latest missive from the Florida GOP:


Shipwreck-Poster (1)

After a brief estrangement, professional political candidate Charlie Crist has reforged his alliance with his hand-picked political co-star, Jim Greer, and the two are now trying to leverage it into a new, blockbuster theatrical release.

In a delicately choreographed theatrical teaser, the two former political co-conspirators thrilled MSNBC viewers this week in a coordinated duet, with supporting roles filled admirably by Al Sharpton and Rachael Maddow.

Continue reading "Florida Republican Party takes on Charlie Crist again" »

Will Allen West fade quietly away?

In one respect you have to feel sorry for Allen West. When the Florida congressman was looking at the political landscape earlier this year, he surely believed that he would easily win a second term.

When the Florida Legislature drew the new congressional map, West took one look at the district drawn for him and quickly realized that there were too many Democrats for him to win that seat. So he looked north, more than 40 miles away, and decided to move.

What has gotten lost in that tidbit of history is the fact that another incumbent Republican, Tom Rooney, hoped to stay in the largely Treasure Coast district. But West bullied his way in. It was clear to Rooney that defeating West in a GOP primary would be impossible. West would have millions of dollars and the adulation of the Tea Party. It was simply easier for Rooney to move over to an agricultural district that stretches across the state.

West was challenged by GOP rival, longtime, Martin County Sheriff Bob Crowder. But Crowder's campaign collapsed almost before it began. Republican voters were not eager to support a candidate who had endorsed Democrat Alex Sink for governor in 2010.

Meanwhile a small Democratic drama was unfolding in the district West had abandoned. Young Democrat Patrick Murphy had planned to challenge West in that district but former West Palm Beach Mayor Lois Frankel decided to run there. It quickly became clear to Murphy that he could not win the Democratic nomination.

Murphy followed West north.

Few thought Murphy could defeat West .... and West clearly thought Murphy was just a punk kid, an annoyance on the way to a second term. After a painful campaign, one of the ugliest in Florida, and an equally painful vote count, Murphy won.

While West conceded defeat he has not called Murphy. Interestingly, some of West's supporters are angry that the former Army officer never visited his campaign troops on election night. 

There has been a lot of gloating since West's defeat. Many see West as a political bully who, like the bully in high school who finally gets his comeuppance, deserves to be humiliated.

Continue reading "Will Allen West fade quietly away?" »

Sergio Bendixen disagrees with our poll analysis

Prominent pollster Sergio Bendixen of Bendixen & Amandi International disagrees with Crowley Political Report's view of recent polling of Cuban-American voters. That story, which appeared here and in Columbia Journalism Review noted considerably confusion in the reporting of polls and questioned the disparity among pollsters. I think Mr. Bendixen may have missed the point.

Since Mr. Bendixen spent time writing a lengthy rebuttal (which he added as a comment to the original story) - it seems only fair to post his reply here:

From Sergio Bendixen

When I first came to the United States from Peru in 1961, Ricky Ricardo was the only television personality I could identify with. So any time his image is used to challenge anything Cuban, I must come to his defense. 

The recent Crowley Political Report is missing some important information which has obviously clouded the judgment of its author when it comes to his conclusions. 

1.) Most - if not all - researchers and pollsters agree that if you want to accurately measure the voting behavior of a demographic group, exit polling is the best way to do it, as long as it includes interviews with absentee and other early voters. Pre-election polls cannot predict accurately which voters will show up at the polls and which voters will not. Precinct analysis of voting results cannot reveal the voting behavior of Cuban voters because there are no "pure Cuban" precincts in Miami-Dade County or any other county in the United States. The top 50 "Cuban precincts" in Miami-Dade County (according to the U. S. Census) have a substantial percentage (20% to 50%) of African American, White Anglo and non-Cuban Hispanic registered voters within them.

 2.) The only organizations that conducted an exit poll in Florida among Cuban voters were Edison Research (for the major television networks and AP), the Pew Hispanic Center and Bendixen & Amandi International (B&A: my firm). All of the other polls and studies that Mr. Crowley mentions in his report were either pre-election polls or post-election precinct analysis of Miami-Dade "Cuban precincts." Those include the FIU/Miami Herald/El Nuevo Herald poll of likely Florida Hispanic voters conducted by Professor Eduardo Gamarra in October, the FIU post-election precinct analysis utilizing "ecological regression" methodology conducted by Professor Dario Moreno (incorrectly identified in the Crowley report as an exit poll), and the Latino Decisions "eve of the election" Florida Hispanic poll. The report also cites an electoral analysis by Professor Ben Bishin of the University of California at Riverside.

 3.) Mr. Crowley misses an obvious pattern in the data. The three statewide exit polls show extremely similar results. All of them show Obama and Romney splitting the statewide Cuban vote (Edison and Pew had Obama at 49% and Bendixen & Amandi had Obama at 48%). In other words, all three exit polls had the same finding - Cuban voters supported a Democratic presidential candidate at a historic level in 2012.

Continue reading "Sergio Bendixen disagrees with our poll analysis" »

Florida, Cuban voters, the media and what went wrong

This first appeared in Columbia Journalism Review

Ricky Ricardo


By Brian E. Crowley

Somehow the Florida election is beginning to feel a bit like an episode from the old I Love Lucy comedy. Not only did the Sunshine State hang over election results for four days—and still counting in some races—but there has been forehead-slapping confusion over who won the Cuban-American vote here, by how much, and what it might mean. The confusion has been fueled by a collection of all-over-the-map poll numbers variously cited, depending on the news source, to draw premature conclusions about this unique voting population.

So let’s start with this widely repeated statement by Cuban-American Ricky Ricardo to his wife: “Lucy, you’ve got some ‘splaining’ to do.”

Continue reading "Florida, Cuban voters, the media and what went wrong" »

Jeb Bush's son George takes first step to becoming a candidate

If you are looking for another reason why former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush will not run for president in 2016, then take note of the fact that his 36-year old son, George P. Bush,  filed papers Wednesday in Texas allowing him to appoint a campaign treasurer.

Bush is planning a run for Texas Land Commissioner. Two weeks ago, Bush told FOX Latino that he could possible become a candidate "in the next election cycle."

An excerpt from his interview with FOX:

FNL: You have been asked many times about your own political future, about running for office someday. I’ve seen your answers, but the typical answer people give when they’re asked that question is that they have no plans, that they’re just focused on the present. That’s the line.
Come on, it’s hard to believe it’s not in your plans. Your name is George Bush, you grew up with politics, with presidents. Come on George, tell us.

Bush:[Laughter] O.K., I am drawn to public service. I am thinking about statewide office, the next election cycle. After this election [Nov. 6] is over, I’ll entertain it. I’m intrigued by being in public office. I’m feeling the bug, the bug to jump into it. It’s in my genes, I can’t get it out.

Read more of the Bush interview here.

Bush, a former practicing attorney, is half-Mexican. For many Republicans who are looking for ways to increase their Hispanic support, Bush is an attractive candidate who comes with an important family name and an Hispanic heritage.

Will George be able to continue the Bush political dynasty? One thing is certain - his dad is not going to get in his way.


South Florida could end it for Obama tonight

Hillsborough may be Florida's number one swing county but regardless of what happens there, President Obama could lose the Sunshine State if he fails to get big numbers in South Florida.

In 2008, Obama got 529,000 votes from the big South Florida counties - Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach. Half of those votes came from one county - Broward where Obama got 255,000 votes. Miami-Dade gave him 139,000 votes and Palm Beach 135,000 votes.

Obama defeated Republican John McCain by 237,000 votes statewide. If Obama's vote count in South Florida slips below 400,000 it will be a sign that he is in big trouble. In 2000, Al Gore got on 366,000 votes from those three counties. In 2004, John Kerry got 373,000 votes. Both men lost to George W. Bush.

Other counties to watch:

In 2008 Obama won Alachua by 27,000 votes, Orange by 87,000, Leon by 36,000 and Hillborough by 36,000. If those margins start to slip, Obama could lose the state.

For Mitt Romney watch these counties where McCain won. Romney will need to hold or improve on McCain's margins: Duval, 8,000 votes, Escambia, 30,000, Indian River 11,000, Martin 11,000, Marion 19,000, Santa Rosa, 36,000, St. Johns, 34,000, St. Lucie 15,000, Lee, 28,000.



Jotkoff and Burgess Twitter squabble

In a - mine is bigger than yours - tit for tat over campaign appearances on Halloween, we learn just how competitive Democratic spokesman Eric Jotkoff and Republican spokeman Brian Burgess can be over the size of the Halloween crowd.
 Eric Jotkoff  Eric Jotkoff ‏@Eric_Jotkoff

Today, @MitchellObama had 4,700 come to see her in Jacksonville. Yesterday, Mitt Romney had 1,000 people show. #EnthusiasmGap

@Eric_Jotkoff @MitchellObama - LOL yesterday was Halloween, bro. You're not really that unrealistic, are you?

@brianjburgess 2,500 people came to see Vice President Biden in Ocala, yesterday. It too was Halloween #JustSaying #NiceTry

@Eric_Jotkoff give it up. Biden's event was mid-afternoon, Romney's right in the middle of Trick-or-Treat, and still 1,000 showed up.

Obama ad uses GM and Chrysler to slam Romney

This Obama campaign ad is a counter to a Romney ad that says American auto jobs are being moved to China. In the Obama ad, quote are used from GM and Chryler debunking the Romney ad. 

From the Obama ad: "GM calls latest Romney auto ad, 'politics at its cynical worst.'"  Chryler calls Romney's assertion "not true." The Obama ad tosses in PolitiFact and the Washington Post for good measure.


Romney campaign ad appeals to Florida Catholics

In this ad, Mitt Romney's campaign makes a direct appeal to Florida's Catholic voters. In fact, the ad seems to specifically target young Catholics. 

The young woman in the ad notes that the 2000 election was decided by 537 Florida votes. She goes on to say "that is less than 2 people in every parish in Florida."

She concludes by saying "let the Catholic vote be heard. Vote for religious freedom....."


Nelson blamed for ObamaCare in new ad.

Apparently ObamaCare is all  Sen. Bill Nelson's fault. This is the newest ad attacking the Floirda Democrat who appears to be in a position to easily defeat his Republican rival, Congressman Connie Mack when voters go to the polls on Tuesday.

The charge in this ad is not a new one and it remains nonsense. The ad is from ForAmerica which is chaired by L. Brent Bozell III. He is the founder and president of the conservative Media Research Center. He also has a website called ObamaCloneNelson.