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RealClearPolitics Politics Nation Blog

 

Blog Home Page --> House -- Florida -- 24

Obama Drops Into Florida's Political Frenzy

President Obama makes his fourth visit to Florida today, one of only a half dozen states outside the Beltway he's visited that many times since entering the White House. He'll find a Sunshine State again rich with political intrigue, where major developments in the gubernatorial, Senate and Congressional races just this week point to an election cycle as busy as any in recent memory.

Obama's visit - to deliver an address on his space policy and to raise money for the Democratic National Committee - of course points to his own political interest in the state. Not since 1976 had a Democratic presidential nominee won 51 percent of the vote in Florida, as Obama did two years ago. But recent polling shows that his standing has slipped there as in many battlegrounds from 2008, something that could affect the entire Democratic ticket this fall.

Democrats had a voter registration advantage of 660,000 in 2008, after the party added 500,000 voters to its rolls between the 2006 and 2008 elections. Republican registration rose by 130,000. However, after a successful election year that also included picking up two Republican House seats, the party has no apparent edge in this year's midterm elections.

"I think it's lining up to be a pretty Republican year in Florida," said Central Florida University political scientist Aubrey Jewett, co-author of the book Politics in Florida. "Florida-specific polls show Obama's approval rating is about where it is around the country. And the average Floridian isn't happy with the health care bill."

Continue reading "Obama Drops Into Florida's Political Frenzy" »

FL 24: Feeney Way Behind

If a candidate's first ad of the cycle is one apologizing for bad behavior in Washington, it's probably not a surprise that he or she would find themselves in serious political trouble, like Florida Rep. Tom Feeney does.

A new DCCC poll conducted 10/14-15 by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research surveyed 400 likely voters for a margin of error of +/- 4.9% shows just how much ground the incumbent has to make up. Feeney and ex-State Rep. Suzanne Kosmas, the Democratic nominee, were tested.

General Election Matchup
Kosmas...........58
Feeney...........35

Feeney's first ad of the cycle was a candidate-to-camera ad in which the third-term Republican apologized for his past associations with disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff. After the ad, Feeney's favorable ratings stood at just 28% favorable to 51% unfavorable.

This year, we've seen a lot of incumbents with bad poll numbers. But the two polls out of Florida today showing Feeney and Rep. Tim Mahoney trailing by such huge margins are unique.

Another Abramoff Target?

Florida Republican Tom Feeney, who has found himself on the periphery of a scandal that has already nabbed former Reps. Bob Ney and Tom DeLay, may be closer to the center of the probe than many thought. The congressman, the Orlando Sentinel reports, has paid almost $28,000 to a Baltimore company that specializes in data recovery.

The company, FTI Consulting, can recover deleted emails and unearth other electronic information, and aides confirm that Feeney has turned documents over to the Justice Department. The FBI had contacted the Sentinel regarding emails between reporters and former Feeney Chief of Staff Jason Roe regarding a 2003 trip Feeney took to Scotland to play golf, a trip paid for by Abramoff.

Feeney paid about $5,600 for the trip, which he said was the amount owed, though records show Abramoff paid about $20,000 per person for the trip.

Feeney's district, which contains suburbs north of Orlando, is not a rock-solid Republican seat. The three-term incumbent has won easily, though former State Rep. Suzanne Kosmas is hoping to give Feeney a strong race. The congressman, though, just can't help opening himself up to new attacks: Tonight, Cassidy and Associates lobbyist Todd Boulanger, a close associate of Abramoff, holds a fundraiser for the increasingly embattled incumbent.