Poll showing Francis Rooney ahead was done by his campaign consultant

Florida Politics, a website owned by Peter Schorsch, reported today that a new poll shows Florida congressional candidate Francis Rooney way ahead with a "double digit lead over his Republican rivals."

The "poll" was done by an organization called Remington Research Group. 

Pray tell - who is that?

According to Florida Politics, the Remington poll shows that:  Rooney leads the pack with 45 percent of the vote. Chauncey Goss is in second with 29 percent, while Dan Bongino received 15 percent support. The poll found 11 percent of respondents were still undecided.  . . . Remington Research Group surveyed 1,606 likely Republican primary voters in Florida’s 19th Congressional District from Aug. 14 through Aug. 15.  The automated survey has a margin of error of 2.4 percent.

But pray tell - who is Remington?

A bit of Googling led us to discover that Remington Research Group was founded by Jeff Roe who most recently gained fame for managing Ted Cruz's presidential campaign. He is also the founder of Axiom Strategies based in Kansas City, Mo.

Roe is rapidly becoming one of the Republican Party's most sought after political consultants.

But pray tell - what does this have to do with the Remington poll?

Well a visit to the FEC website for Francis Rooney campaign expenditures came up with this:





There is a second expenditure for $7,500 bringing the total sent to Axiom to $60,774.

Once again let's note:

From WikipediaIn addition to Axiom Strategies, Roe founded creative agency and direct mail firm Candidate Command and polling and public opinion research company Remington Research Group.

Or let's look at Axiom's websiteAxiom Strategies, in collaboration with Remington Research Group, has studied election results in seven battleground states to identify Axiom’s Battleground Counties.

Yup, Axiom and Remington are both owned by Rooney's campaign consultant.

So forgive us if we don't find the Remington poll to be worth much as polls go....although it appears to be worth at least $60,774. 

You can read the Florida Politics report here.  Less than an hour after offering its readers the Rooney poll, Florida Politics began reporting that it has "obtained" a poll for the district 18 congressional race. No source is named. So we'll pass. But if you are interested the link is here.

New NBC Marist poll has Hillary Clinton leading Donald Trump in Florida

REPUBLICAN DEMOCRATThis is Pick-a-Poll week with the latest offering from NBC/Wall Street Journal/Marist showing Hillary Clinton leading Donald Trump in Florida 44 to 37.  

This 7 point lead is a striking contrast from the Quinnipiac University Poll which just two days ago showed Trump leading Clinton in Florida 42-39.

My Floridians appear fickle.

So which is it - a 7 point lead for Clinton or a 3 point lead for Trump?

The Q-Poll actually offers us a tie because the point spread is within the poll's 3.1 margin-of-error. Here's one notable problem with the Q-Poll - it was conducted from June 30 to July 11. That is a long stretch. Much can happen in this rapidly moving election cycle to sway a voter's view during that extended period.

The Marist poll is bit tighter, it was conducted July 5 to 11 - making it less likely (though certainly not impossible) that new events could change a voter's outlook.

Here's what we know for sure - Florida will be close. 

Democrats can take a little more solace from Marist poll because Clinton's lead is outside the poll's 3.3 percent margin-of-error. 

Modern polling is very flawed - so buyer beware.

Marco Rubio second behind Donald Trump in new Quinnipiac poll

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It has become almost pointless to continue to note that national polls mean very little because the dynamic of how polls are being used this year make quality far less important than the buzz caused by the never-ending cycle of polls. Clearly this dubious enterprise has been grand for Donald Trump and a nightmare for Jeb Bush who must keep explaining to donors why he is in single digits.

Today's Quinnipiac Poll creates this narrative: nothing Trump does seems to hurt him; Marco Rubio's strength is growing; Bush continues to struggle.

Trump: 27

Rubio: 17

Carson: 16

Cruz: 16

Bush: 5

All others 3 or less.

8 percent undecided.

 "It doesn't seem to matter what he says or who he offends, whether the facts are contested or the 'political correctness' is challenged, Donald Trump seems to be wearing Kevlar," said Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll.

"Dr. Ben Carson, moving to center stage just one month ago, now needs some CPR. The Doctor sinks. The Donald soars. The GOP, 11 months from the election, has to be thinking, 'This could be the guy.'

From November 23 - 30, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,453 registered voters nationwide with a margin of error of +/- 2.6 percentage points. Live interviewers call land lines and cell phones. The survey includes 672 Republicans with a margin of error of +/- 3.8 percentage points and 573 Democrats with a margin of error of +/- 4.1 percentage points.

 Read more about the poll here.

Marco Rubio dashes to third in New Hampshire poll

RubiofinMarco Rubio moved into third place - at 13 percent -  in a Monmouth University poll of Republican primary voters in New Hampshire.  Jeb Bush was supported by 7 percent of those who participated in the poll.

Still leading is Donald Trump, 26 percent; followed by Ben Carson, 16 percent.

From the Monmouth:

Donald Trump maintains his sizable lead in the New Hampshire Republican primary and Ben Carson holds onto second place, but the latest Monmouth University Poll has found a new occupant in the 3rd place slot – Marco Rubio.

GOP primary voters are also unhappy with the recent budget deal reached by Congress, and their ire is directed at both parties.

One-in-four (26%) likely GOP primary voters in New Hampshire continue to back Donald Trump for the presidential nomination.

Ben Carson (16%) places second and Marco Rubio (13%) comes in third, followed closely by John Kasich (11%).

Other contenders include Ted Cruz (9%), Jeb Bush (7%), Carly Fiorina (5%), Chris Christie (5%), and Rand Paul (3%).

None of the other six candidates included in the poll registers higher than 1%. 

Continue reading "Marco Rubio dashes to third in New Hampshire poll" »

PEW Poll finds Republican voters care more about new ideas than experience

Pew Research Center's new poll suggests that in the battle for primacy between Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio, Bush's touting of his experience as Florida's governor for eight years may not be as effective in wooing Republican voters as is Rubio's claim of being the guy with new ideas.

Few polls go as deep or as complex as Pew Research Center's. 

One of the most interesting findings is this:

Since March, the share of all registered voters who say it is more important for a presidential candidate to have “new ideas and a different approach” has surged – with virtually all of the increase coming among Republican and Republican-leaning voters.

Today, by more than two-to-one (65% to 29%), Republican and Republican-leaning registered voters say it is more important that a candidate have new ideas than “experience and a proven record.” Just five months ago, GOP voters valued experience and a proven record over new ideas, 57% to 36%.

That finding also suggests a reason why Donald Trump is leading among GOP presidential candidates. 

Pew's also finds that among Democrats, new ideas are less of a concern.

Opinion among Democratic voters continues to be more evenly divided: 50% say it is more important for a candidate to have experience and a proven record, while 42% view new ideas and a different approach as more important. This is little changed from March (46% experience, 49% new ideas).

This is a very detailed poll and takes some time to absorb. It is well worth the effort to get a deeper understanding of how issues are playing out among voters. The poll also includes more than a dozen charts some of which are below. 

And unlike most media polls, it has significant sample size.

The latest national survey by Pew Research Center, conducted Sept. 22-27 among 1,502 adults, including 1,136 registered voters, gauges the impact of various issue positions on the preferences of possible Republican and Democratic primary voters.

Lean back, relax and read the entire survey here. 


GOP Voters' Views of 'New Ideas,' Experience and the 2016 Campaign


How Possible Republican and Democratic Primary Voters Assess Candidates' Positions

Economy Remains Top Campaign Issue

Support for the GOP Candidates Varies by Income, Education, Gender, Religiosity

Some things that will not be highlighted in the Quinnipiac Florida poll

JEB BUSH _Polls are ruling. Presidential campaigns are being dogged by a constant barrage of polls. And now, a new Quinnipiac poll suggest more Republican voters are supporting Donald Trump than Jeb Bush - in Florida.

It makes for a wonderfully astonishing headline. But it is nonsense.

According to Quinnipiac's numbers, Trump leads Bush 21-17. Let's flip those numbers. The Q-poll is suggesting that 83 percent of Florida's registered Republicans would prefer someone other than Bush.

This would be an incredible collapse for Florida's former governor. It is certainly arguable, and we've made this case before, that Bush's Florida political machine is not what it once was. Certainly the candidacy of Sen. Marco Rubio suggests that Bush's hold on the Sunshine State may not be what it once was.

And it has been 13 years since Florida voters cast ballots with Jeb Bush on the ticket. And he has been out of office since January 2007 - nearly 9 years. As others have noted, Florida's has moved from the 4th largest state to the the 3rd largest since then. Many Floridians have never seen a Jeb Bush campaign.

Still, there a problems with the Quinnipiac Poll. Most media will point to its 3 percent margin of error. But that is misleading. That MOE is for the overall poll. The margin for GOP voters is 4.5 percent. (For Democrats it is 5.3). Those are significant margins that actually suggest Bush and Trump are tied.

Even more troubling is the time frame of the poll. The survey was done from August 7 to 18. That is a very long time. Voter moods can change from day to day. There is no assurance that what a voter said on August 7 would be the same on August 18. When you add the volatility brought by Trump, it is fairly safe to conclude that opinions change rapidly.

And who was surveyed. The polls suggests self-identified registered voters. But it does not appear that the question of being registered was asked. Instead, Quinnipiac asked respondents: PARTY IDENTIFICATION QUESTION WORDING - Generally speaking, do you consider yourself a Republican, a Democrat, an Independent, or what?

Saying you consider yourself a Republican does not make you a registered Republican. And for survey accuracy that is a big difference.

There is little doubt that the Bush campaign is struggling. And there is no question that his home-base may need some tender-loving care. But this poll, and many like it, begs more questions than it answers.



Quinnipiac Poll has Hillary Clinton leading Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio in Florida

Take all of these early polls with a grain of salt including this one from Quinnipiac that shows Hillary Clinton ahead of Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio in Florida. 

Clinton gets 47 percent to Rubio's 44 percent. She gets 46 percent to Bush's 42 percent. Essentially tied. What the poll really means is that Florida will continue to be a state that will help determine who will be the next president.

The poll also finds:

Being honest and trustworthy is the most important quality in deciding their vote, 39 percent of Florida voters say, while 28 percent most want strong leadership qualities and 32 percent most want a candidate who cares about their needs and problems.

Voters say 50 - 34 percent that Rubio is honest and trustworthy; 52 - 33 percent that he has strong leadership qualities and 53 - 37 percent that he cares about their needs and problems.

Bush scores 52 - 36 percent on being honest, 62 - 29 percent on strong leadership and 48 - 43 percent for caring for voters' needs and problems.

Clinton is not honest, voters say 51 - 43 percent, but she is a strong leader, voters say 61 - 37 percent. She gets a divided 48 - 46 percent on caring for voters' needs and problems.

Read more poll details here.

New Jeb Bush video suggests polls are hurting his presidential campaign

American Bridge, a Democratic video specialist, has come out with a dandy look at recent polls showing former Florida Governor Jeb Bush struggling in the polls. The video snaps back and forth among various talking heads grimly suggesting Bush is in trouble.

The video also includes comments from Bush including his suggestion that everyone "take a chill pill" rather than get worked up about the polls.

Bush is right about one thing - most of these polls, particularly national polls - are silly and meaningless. Many news organizations commit journalistic malfeasance by blowing these polls all out of proportion. 

But Bush knows better than to completely dismiss the polls. While many of them are silly, the constant chatter causes anxiety among active Republicans who take the polls all too seriously. Then, there is a risk that the polls become self-fulfilling causing both potential supporters and donors to have doubts.

If Bush were a lesser known figure, even the national political press corps might have started treating him like his last name was Perry,  Huckabee or Santorum. 

Whatever you think about the polls, this is an entertaining video.


First Amendment Foundation calls for special prosecutor

Florida Governor Rick Scott and the members of state Cabinet - each independently elected - are being urged to have a special prosecutor look at the firing of former FDLE Commissioner Gerald Bailey.

Scott had ducked, dodged and finally sort of admitted the firing could have been handled better. The Cabinet members are shocked, simply shocked, that they may have been misled.

Bottom line, Scott has a long, proud history of ignoring public records and public meetings requirements and seems more than happy to continue to walk the edges of Florida's Sunshine Law.

The Sunshine Law is not about the media - it's about a Florida's citizen's right to know that our government is doing.

Below is a letter release by the First Amendment Foundation today. (Note: Brian Crowley is a member of the Foundation's board of trustees).







 We are writing today to express our deep concerns about the lack of transparency surrounding the firing of former FDLE Commissioner Gerald Bailey and the hiring of his replacement, Rick Swearingen.  

There is intense public interest regarding this matter and we think it imperative that an independent investigation be conducted to address the serious constitutional issues related to Mr. Bailey's departure. 

The continuing controversy erodes public trust and confidence in the highest levels of our government.  Additionally, the controversy and ensuing media coverage calls into question Florida's well-deserved reputation as having the most progressive open government laws in the nation. 

Continue reading "First Amendment Foundation calls for special prosecutor " »

Tens of millions spent and Charlie Crist and Rick Scott are still tied in Quinnipiac poll

If they were trying to increase donut sales, Rick Scott and Charlie Crist would be staring through the donut hole wondering why sales aren't climbing. Maybe the biggest takeaway from today's Quinnipiac Poll is that the folks making the ad are also making tons of money.

The consultants rarely lose.

Here's the news release with full results from Quinnipiac.

The Florida governor's race is too close to call, with 44 percent of likely voters for Republican Gov. Rick Scott and 42 percent for former Gov. Charlie Crist, and 8 percent for Libertarian candidate Adrian Wyllie, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today. 

With Wyllie out of the race, Gov. Scott gets 46 percent of likely voters, with 44 percent for Crist, the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University Poll finds. This survey of likely voters can not be compared to prior surveys of registered voters. 

In the three-way matchup, Scott edges Crist 44 - 37 percent among independent voters, with 11 percent for Wyllie. Scott leads 80 - 11 percent among Republicans, with 7 percent for Wyllie and Crist leads 83 - 7 percent among Democrats, with 6 percent for Wyllie. 

Women are divided with 43 percent for Crist, 41 percent for Scott and 8 percent for Wyllie. Men go Republican 48 - 40 percent with 8 percent for Wyllie. 

With six weeks until Election Day, 81 percent of voters say their mind is made up, while 17 percent say they might change their mind. 

"When fewer than four in 10 voters think both the Democratic and Republican candidates for governor are honest, you know this has been one of the nastiest races in state history," said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll. "They have been throwing so much mud that they both are covered in it. 

"The two voter groups that will tell the tale of the election are independent voters and those who are backing Libertarian candidate Adrian Wyllie. Gov. Rick Scott and former Gov. Charlie Crist are doing about the same with their respective party bases and former Republican Crist is not having any trouble being accepted by members of his new party. 

"Wyllie voters are the bigger unknown because there is little way of predicting if they will stay with the third-party challenger or decide to switch to Scott or Crist in order to be with a winner," Brown added. 

"At this point, neither major party candidate is doing markedly better as a second choice of Wyllie voters. It is also worth considering that there is a consensus that negative campaigning tends to be a turnoff more to the very people who seem to hold the keys to the kingdom - independents and third-party voters." 

Florida likely voters do not like or do not know the candidates for governor, as Crist gets a negative 41 - 49 percent favorability rating and Scott gets a negative 42 - 48 percent favorability. For Wyllie 86 percent don't know enough about him to form an opinion. 

The major candidates also score low on character:
  • Crist is not honest and trustworthy, voters say 49 - 37 percent. Voters also say 51 - 39 percent that Scott is not honest and trustworthy;
  • Florida likely voters are divided 46 - 45 percent on whether Crist cares about their needs and problems, but they say 50 - 42 percent that Scott does not care;
  • Voters also are divided 46 - 44 percent on whether Crist has strong leadership qualities, but say 58 - 34 percent that Scott does have strong leadership qualities.
From September 17 - 22, Quinnipiac University surveyed 991 likely voters with a margin of error of +/- 3.1 percentage points. 

The Quinnipiac University Poll, directed by Douglas Schwartz, Ph.D., conducts public opinion surveys in Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Florida, Ohio, Virginia, Iowa, Colorado and the nation as a public service and for research. 

For more data or RSS feed- http://www.quinnipiac.edu/polling, call (203) 582-5201, or follow us on Twitter. 

1. If the election for Governor were being held today, and the candidates were Charlie Crist the Democrat, Rick Scott the Republican, and Adrian Wyllie the Libertarian, for whom would you vote? (If undecided) If you had to choose today, would you vote for Crist, Scott, or Wyllie? (Table includes leaners)
                     LIKELY VOTERS.........................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom
Crist                42%    11%    83%    37%    40%    43%
Scott                44     80      7     44     48     41
Wyllie                8      7      6     11      8      8
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       1      -      1      1      1      -
DK/NA                 5      1      4      7      3      7
1a. (If candidate chosen q1) Is your mind made up, or do you think you might change your mind before the election?
                     LIKELY VOTERS................
                     CANDIDATE CHOSEN Q1..........
                            CANDIDATE OF CHOICE Q1
                     Tot    Crist  Scott  Wyllie
Mind made up         81%    82%    83%    67%
Might change         17     16     16     32
DK/NA                 1      2      1      1
                     LIKELY VOTERS.........................
                     MATCHUP Q1 WITHOUT WYLLIE.............
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom
Crist                44%    14%    86%    39%    43%    46%
Scott                46     81      8     47     50     43
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       2      1      1      4      3      2
DK/NA                 7      4      5      9      5      9
3. Is your opinion of Charlie Crist favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.........................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom
Favorable            41%    16%    76%    37%    39%    42%
Unfavorable          49     78     12     52     53     45
Hvn't hrd enough      8      4     11     10      6     10
REFUSED               3      2      2      2      2      3
4. Is your opinion of Rick Scott favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.........................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom
Favorable            42%    72%    10%    41%    45%    40%
Unfavorable          48     21     78     50     47     50
Hvn't hrd enough      7      5     10      6      6      7
REFUSED               3      2      1      3      2      4
5. Is your opinion of Adrian Wyllie favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.........................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom
Favorable             8%     5%     6%    13%     9%     7%
Unfavorable           4      5      5      2      5      3
Hvn't hrd enough     86     89     87     84     85     87
REFUSED               2      1      2      2      1      3
6. Would you say that Charlie Crist - is honest and trustworthy or not?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.........................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom
Yes                  37%    17%    65%    32%    35%    38%
No                   49     71     16     55     56     43
DK/NA                14     11     18     13      9     19
7. Would you say that Charlie Crist - cares about the needs and problems of people like you or not?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.........................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom
Yes                  46%    26%    76%    42%    44%    48%
No                   45     65     15     52     49     41
DK/NA                 9      9      9      7      6     11
8. Would you say that Charlie Crist - has strong leadership qualities or not?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.........................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom
Yes                  46%    22%    78%    43%    43%    49%
No                   44     68     13     48     50     38
DK/NA                10     10      9      9      6     12
9. Would you say that Rick Scott - is honest and trustworthy or not?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.........................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom
Yes                  39%    64%    10%    39%    43%    35%
No                   51     25     81     51     48     53
DK/NA                10     10      9     10      9     12
10. Would you say that Rick Scott - cares about the needs and problems of people like you or not?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.........................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom
Yes                  42%    71%    13%    41%    45%    40%
No                   50     24     78     52     47     52
DK/NA                 8      5      9      7      8      8
11. Would you say that Rick Scott - has strong leadership qualities or not?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.........................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom
Yes                  58%    82%    28%    59%    64%    52%
No                   34     12     63     32     31     38
DK/NA                 8      6      9      9      6     10

Rick Scott internal poll shows him leading Charlie Crist by 7

Art by Patrick Crowley. Copyright 2014

A reliable Republican source tells Crowley Political Report that Governor Rick Scott's campaign is feeling pretty good about internal polling that shows the Republican incumbent leading Democrat Charlie Crist by 7 points among likely voters.

Important information is missing - like all the details about the poll - but it is worth noting that if indeed the campaign is looking at those kinds of numbers the mood there must be pretty good.

Of course, even a 7 point lead can collapse. 

Still, several recent polls have shown Scott with a lead - including a University of Florida/Tampa Bay Times poll that gave Scott a 5 point edge over Crist. Other polls have suggested that Crist has a small lead within the margin of error - essentially placing him even with Scott.

What does it all mean?

Win or lose, this is already a remarkable turn around for a governor who barely won four years ago and throughout most of his first term has been enormously unpopular with Floridians. Scott's campaign strategy has been less about trying to improve his approval ratings and more about destroying Crist.

One thing is clear - Crist still has a lot of work to do if he wants to become the first person to serve as both a Republican and Democratic governor.



New Charlie Crist ad focuses on education as new Q-Poll drops

As a new Quinnipiac poll hits today Democratic candidate for Florida governor Charlie Crist unveiled this new ad: 


And now here's the new Quinnipiac Poll. Complete poll results are at the end of the news release from Quinnipiac.

Florida Republican Gov. Rick Scott trails former Gov. Charlie Crist, running as a Democrat, by a narrow 45 - 40 percent margin in a two-way race. When Libertarian candidate Adrian Wyllie is added to the mix, the race is too close to call, with 39 percent for Crist, 37 percent for Scott and 9 percent for Wyllie, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today. 

This compares to a 48 - 38 percent Crist lead in a head-to-head matchup without Wyllie in an April 30 survey by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University. 

Today, Scott leads former State Sen. Nan Rich 41 - 34 percent in a two-way race. Wyllie gets his strongest support from independent voters who back Crist over Scott 45 - 38 percent in a two-way matchup, but split with 36 percent for Crist and 34 percent for Scott, with 12 percent for Wyllie, in the three-way race. Republicans back Scott 79 - 12 percent in the two-way, and 74 - 9 percent, with 5 percent for Wyllie, in the three-way. Democrats go from 78 - 10 percent for Crist in the two- way to 73 - 9 percent, with 6 percent for Wyllie. 

Florida voters give Scott a negative 43 - 48 percent approval rating, one of his best scores in almost four years in office, and a negative 40 - 45 percent favorability rating. Crist gets a split rating, 40 percent favorable and 42 percent unfavorable. For Wyllie, 92 percent don't know enough about him to form an opinion.

 "The campaign to be Florida's next governor tightens slightly and takes on a new dimension with a third candidate in the running," said Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll. "Libertarian Adrian Wyllie is not, at this point, a serious contender to win the governorship. But he may have a great deal to say about who does win." 

"Virtually no one knows much about Wyllie, but there are a lot of Floridians who aren't keen on either of the major party candidates, Gov. Rick Scott or former Gov. Charlie Christ," Brown added. Gov. Scott does not deserve to be reelected, Florida voters say 51 - 40 percent. Both candidates get low grades for character:

  • Voters say 51 - 40 percent that Scott is not honest and trustworthy, and say 48 - 39 percent that Crist is not honest and trustworthy;
  • Scott doesn't care about their needs and problems, voters say 52 - 41 percent, and Crist doesn't care, voters say by a slim 47 - 44 percent;
  • Scott has strong leadership qualities, voters say 54 - 38 percent, compared to 49 - 43 percent for Crist.

Florida voters say 48 - 36 percent that Crist is more compassionate than Scott. There is only a small gender gap on this question.

Voters are divided on Crist's party change, from Republican to independent to Democrat, as 47 percent say it's a positive thing and 45 percent say it's negative, compared to a 52 - 40 percent positive score April 30.

"Scott and Crist have been saturating the airwaves with negative ads about each other. An old campaign maxim holds that you can't throw mud without getting dirty yourself and that seems to be what's happening here," Brown said. "Because Wyllie is so unknown and presumably unable to compete in the air war at this point, how he does may be a function of how unhappy voters are with the major party choices."

 From July 17 - 21, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,251 registered voters with a margin of error of +/- 2.8 percentage points. The Quinnipiac University Poll, directed by Douglas Schwartz, Ph.D., conducts public opinion surveys in Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Florida, Ohio, Virginia, Iowa, Colorado and the nation as a public service and for research. 

Continue reading "New Charlie Crist ad focuses on education as new Q-Poll drops" »

Rick Scott ads hurting Charlie Crist according to new poll



A new poll from Public Policy Polling shows Republican Governor Rick Scott and Democrat Charlie Crist tied at 42-42. The Scott campaign has been hammering Crist for months in a series of television advertisments. Crist is not expected to run his ads until later this summer.

"Rick Scott's ad blitz has taken a big toll on Charlie Crist's image in Florida," said Dean Debnam, president of PPP in press release. "Although Scott himself remains unpopular, he's driven Crist's negatives high enough to make this into a toss up race."

Scott remains at a high 48 percent disapproval with only 39 percent of those surveyed approving his job performance. Crist also is at a high 48 percent disapproval with 32 percent approval.

Read the entire poll here: Download PPP_Release_FL_610

New poll suggests Rick Scott has spent a lot of money for nothing

Not long ago, Crowley Political Report suggested that if Gov. Rick Scott's poll numbers did not improve his campaign could find itself struggling to explain the bad news to supporters and donors.

Well, the Scott campaign got very bad news today. After spending nearly $7 million over the past two months on campaign ads, Quinnipiac released a poll showing Scott trailing former Gov. Charlie Crist by 10 points.

Crist 48 - Scott 38.


And Crist's lead has actually increased since January 30 when that Q-poll showed Crist leading by 8 points, 46-38.

There are other polls that suggest the race is much closer. But Quinnipiac is one of the polls that gets the most attention. It makes for a miserable meeting in the Scott campaign office. And if that spread doesn't keep them up at night, there is this - Florida voters say 53 - 39 percent that Scott does not deserve reelection.

From the poll news release:

Women back Crist 51 - 33 percent and say 49 - 33 percent that he is more compassionate. Men are divided in the matchup with 44 percent for Crist and 43 percent for Scott, but say 50 - 38 percent that Crist is more compassionate.

Independent voters back the Democrat 48 - 34 percent and say 52 - 31 percent he is more compassionate.Crist's political party shift from Republican to independent to Democratic is a positive thing showing he is a pragmatist, 52 percent of voters, including 60 percent of independent voters, say, while 40 percent say it is negative, showing he has no core beliefs.

 "So far, Florida Gov. Rick Scott's television barrage apparently has had no impact on the race. The incumbent has not been able to reduce former Gov. Charlie Crist's lead. In fact, voters see Crist's party switch in a positive light and the incumbent's effort to tie Crist's support for Obamacare has not yet borne fruit," said Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll.

Scott can still win. It is likely to be a close race as voters start paying more attention in the Fall. But this and other polls suggest Scott's campaign still has some retooling to do. 

They can't start soon enough.

Complete poll results on the next page.

Continue reading "New poll suggests Rick Scott has spent a lot of money for nothing" »

Rick Scott's new ad hits Crist

 Another week, another new ad from the campaign of Florida Gov. Rick Scott.  These ads ask an unintended question - is it working?

There is only one reason Florida's Republican governor has already spent nearly $7 million - and climbing - to bolster his image while tearing apart Democrat Charlie Crist. Scott remains one of Florida's most unpopular governors.

A private Republican poll taken several weeks ago, shows that 46 percent of the state's registered voters disapprove of Scott's job perfomance. 45 percent approve. 9 percent are undecided. 52 percent of women disapprove.

That's what these campaign ads are really about - changing those numbers.

Which leads us back to the question - Is it working?

When the next public polls are done, Scott will need to show that he has seriously closed the gap with Crist - who has had an 8 point lead - or even surpassed Crist.

Failure to make significant inroads, particularly since Scott has had the airwaves to himself, would be deeply unsettling to Scott's campaign and to the Republican Party.

Should Scott's formidable onslaught fail to make a serious dent - Scott may have to spend a lot of his money since GOP donors may decide to sit out the rest of the race. And worst case is that some of Scott's supporters may drift to Crist just to protect themselves should Crist return to the governor's mansion.

Here's the latest video: 

New Poll suggests Jeb Bush should stay out of 2016 presidential campaign

First let's start with something Crowley Political Report has been saying for a decade - Jeb Bush is not going to run for president. Yes, Jeb says he is thinking about it. Yes, there are some folks who would love to see him run (although that apparently does not include his mother). 

Jeb is just being polite when he says he is thinking about it. Of course he is. It's hard not to when Republican operatives, the national media, and Bush admirers keep urging him to think about it.

As a side note - it should be remembered that Bush has not run for office since his 2002 reelection campaign for Florida governor.

Today, a new ABC/Washington Post Poll suggests that it would be an uphill battle for Bush to win the White House.

Rick Klien, ABC political director, writes:

The poll has plenty of good news for Hillary Rodham Clinton. Two-thirds of Americans say they’d consider voting for Clinton in 2016, and a full 25 percent say they will definitely support her. Again, among all Americans – not just Democrats, or Democrats and independents – one in four say they are fully on board for Hillary Clinton right now, no questions asked.

As for Jeb Bush? He has the rock-solid support of just 6 percent, a level that puts him alongside Mike Huckabee and Gov. Chris Christie. He ranks below Sen. Rand Paul, and even Mitt Romney.

What’s worse for him, nearly half of Americans – 48 percent in the poll – say they will definitely not support the former Florida governor for president.


As one close Bush adviser told CPR, "Jeb has a good life, why would he want to put himself through a campaign."

Maybe Jeb should listen to his mother and end the speculation now.

Read more about the poll here.

Rick Scott ducks Chuck Todd question about veto

UPDATE: Gov. Rick Scott's press office asked Crowley Political Report to add this statement:

“I don’t want to tell Governor Brewer what to do, she can do what’s best for her state. From my understanding of that bill, I would veto it in Florida because it seems unnecessary. In Florida we are focused on economic growth, and not on things that divide us. We are for freedom here in Florida.  And we want everyone to come here, create jobs, and live in freedom, and that includes religious liberty. I am very much opposed to forcing anyone to violate their conscience or their religious beliefs, and of course, I’m very much opposed to discrimination. As a society, we need to spend more time learning to love and tolerate each other, and less time trying to win arguments in courts of law. Other states can spend their time fighting over issues like this, but in Florida we are laser focused on creating jobs and opportunities. It’s working, and we need to keep it going and will not get distracted by this or anything else.” – Gov. Rick Scott


Poor Rick Scott. Florida's governor is either terribly ill-advised or he is not following good advice. Whatever the case, Scott's performance on Chuck Todd's The Daily Run Down, was at times painful to watch.

While many Republican leaders are condemning Arizona legislation allowing businesses, based on religious beliefs,  to refuse service to gay customers, Scott insists he knows nothing about the legislation.

Asked by Todd whether he thinks Arizona Gov. Jane Brewer should veto the bill, Scott said, "Chuck I have not seen that bill. What I'm focused on is they have some Spring training teams I want to get back to Florida."

Yup. Scott talked about Spring training. Wonder which adviser told him that was a good idea?

Todd tried again - "Do you think, a bill like that...religious beliefs should be used as a basis for somebody denying services to a gay couple?"

Scott: "I haven't seen that bill. But I can tell you I am trying to recruit companies every day to our state."

Todd does what a reporter does best. Ask the question. Ask again. Let the answers speak for themselves.

Given a chance to weigh in on allowing undocumented immigrants to receive in-state tuition prices, Scott instead talks about how tuition is too high for everyone. When pressed he said, "I will certainly look at it."

A clip is shown of former Gov. Charlie Crist accusing Scott of not fighting hard enough for Medicaid. Todd asks Scott to reply.

Scott: "First thing I did when we came into office is we revamped our Medicaid program to make sure that its a program that our state could afford and our citizens could get taken care of.  Now let's look at what's happened with ObamaCare....."

Screeeeeech. So let's stop for a moment and note that Scott quickly pivots away from the question by switching to his ObamaCare talking points.

Todd: "Let's stick first to Medicaid...."

Nope. Not gonna do it. Scott rambles about the Florida legislature and informs Todd and viewers that "we have three branches of government."

Yes. Yes we do.

Early in the interview, Todd notes polls showing that Florida voters give Democrat Crist far higher approval ratings for his time as governor than they do Scott. And Todd notes that a recent Quinnipiac Poll found that 54 percent of those surveyed do not think Scott deserves a second term.

Todd: "Why do you think Charlie Crist's days as governor are being remembered more fondly then your days as governor?"

Scott goes right to the talking points: 'Let's look at the facts. While he was governor the state lost 832,000 jobs....."

 Talking points are swell. But sometimes a candidate needs to toss the talking points. Scott clearly needed to do that during this interview. 

Watch it below: 

UF poll gives Charlie Crist 7 point lead over Rick Scott and does O'Reilly want Crist to win?

Crist cartoon
While Charlie Crist is popping up all over the place promoting his new book, The Party’s Over: How The Extreme Right Hijacked the GOP and I Became A Democrat, a new University of Florida poll suggests that Crist is maintaining a healthy lead over Rick Scott.

Crist's attempt to return to the Florida governor's mansion as a Democrat gets a lot of scorn from his former fellow Republicans many of whom trash him at every opportunity.

Not Fox's Bill O'Reilly. Crist was on O'Reilly's program Tuesday night and the usually combative O'Reilly was like a puppy in Crist's lap. 

Was O'Reilly suggesting he wouldn't mind if Crist defeated Scott?

Does the spin stop there?

Read the poll results from UF below:

A poll of registered voters in Florida by the Bob Graham Center for Public Service at the University of Florida in collaboration with UF’s Bureau of Economic and Business Research revealed high interest in Florida’s governor’s race, with 95 percent of likely voters reporting either “a great deal of interest” (66 percent) or “a fair amount of interest” (29 percent).

“For months now, political analysts have been describing Florida’s 2014 governor’s race as the top race in the nation. The only question has been whether Floridians are as interested in the race as national election forecasters are,” Susan MacManus, political science professor at the University of South Florida, said. “Now we know they are, and it’s only February.”

The poll also found that 47 percent of likely voters would vote for Democratic candidate Charlie Crist if the election were held today, while 40 percent would vote for Republican incumbent Rick Scott. In a matchup with U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, 46 percent would vote for Nelson, a Democrat, and 42 percent would vote for Scott.

In a race against former state Sen. Nan Rich, 41 percent would vote for Scott and 36 percent would vote for Rich, a Democrat.

Sixty-three percent of respondents approved of Crist’s tenure as governor, and 27 percent expressed disapproval. When asked about Scott’s performance, 45 percent expressed approval, and 46 percent expressed disapproval.         

Continue reading "UF poll gives Charlie Crist 7 point lead over Rick Scott and does O'Reilly want Crist to win?" »

New Quinnipiac Poll offers grim news for Rick Scott: Crist leads 46-38

Despite countless appearances claiming credit for Florida's growing economy, and a steady barrage of anti-Crist efforts by his campaign and the Florida Republican Party, Gov. Rick Scott remains in a deep hole behind former Gov. Charlie Crist.

Quinnipiac Univerisity released its new poll this morning showing Crist leading Scott 46-38. While Scott has somewhat chipped away at .Crist's lead, Republicans must be worried.

Perhaps the worst news is this: Only 41 percent of those surveyed believe Scott is doing a good job while 49 percent believe is not doing a good job as governor.

And this is an important note: 53 percent think Crist did a good job as governor while only 36 percent should not.

Finally, the poll found that 54 percent of those surveyed believe Rick Scott should not get a second term as governor.

Democrats will feel very happy this morning.

See more poll results below:

Continue reading "New Quinnipiac Poll offers grim news for Rick Scott: Crist leads 46-38" »

Gay marriage, marijuana and the Battle of Olustee

This week in Florida we have learned that – some folks, including at least one legislator, are still fighting the Civil War insisting that a monument to Union soldiers should not be built at the site of the Battle of Olustee.  A law suit was filed in an effort to overturn Florida’s ban on gay marriage.  And polling suggests most Floridians support legalizing medical marijuana.

 That gentle swooshing sound you hear is millions of non-Floridians shaking their heads in wonder. They can be forgiven for not quite understanding how so many Floridians can support gay marriage and medical marijuana while some are still fighting the Civil War.

 One of the sad truths about Florida is that many of the folks who moved to the Sunshine State over the past 25 years, settled in places like South Florida and have never traveled further north than Disney World. They know little, and care less, about North Florida. To be fair, many folks in North Florida view everything south of Orlando with great suspicion.

 It also explains why running for statewide office is very complicated. As Florida tops 19 million in population and edges past New York to become the third largest state, the politics in this swing state continues to bewilder those in the other 47 states.

 Imagine what folks reading the New York Times must have thought when they learned that some Floridians are still fighting the Battle of Olustee.

Continue reading "Gay marriage, marijuana and the Battle of Olustee" »