Monday Musings – HD-21, Kristin Jacobs, Pam Bondi, AG Race, Ukraine, Hurricane Wilma anniversary, 2004 Hurricanes and impact on elections

There’s been a whole lot of talk about reading the absentee and early vote returns and if they are good signs for the Democrats or the Republicans.  While the memo wars are quite amusing, the bottoms line is this:  early voting is still a fairly new idea and it is still continuing to change voting behaviors.  While Republicans are still definitely ahead, the margins are significantly lower than other years in absentee voting, so there may be some surprises in store.  With all the talk of a Republican super-majority in the House, there are quite a few places where the math just does not add up.  In my own district, for example, there is some questionable numbers.  Even though Representative Keith Perry is the established incumbent and all polling has indicated that he is the heavy favorite, the early voting number tell a very different story.  House District 21 is my district and it is a very moderate district.    Representative Keith Perry, however, is not a moderate on any issue, taking far right stances and aligning himself far to the right on many social issues.    While the logical (and indeed probable) answer is that Representative Perry is cruising to an easy victory, the early voting numbers show there’s a surprising pocket of hope for newcomer Jon Uman.

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The Democrats are outvoting Republicans in the district by over one thousand votes with over a quarter of the vote cast.  With the traditional Republican lead in absentee votes extinguished, the numbers do not look good for Perry unless there is a large R turnout on election day.  If this trend continues, this race is under anybody’s radar, yet could surprise everyone – granted, it’s a long shot, but the chance is there.  –   KB@BurnettKaty 

Incoming Broward Democratic House member Kristin Jacobs who has spent the last 16 years on the County Commission in Broward County made the New York Times this weekend for her strong leadership on Climate Change. Jacobs is the rare breed of individual who was an environmental activist who got elected to office running on an anti-corruption platform in 1998. She is also rare in that in Florida’s largest urban counties, the general flow is that state legislators run for County Commission, not the opposite. But facing term limits, Jacobs jumped into an open House seat and was elected overwhelmingly in the August 26th Democratic Primary.  – KK @kkfla737

Even though Pam Bondi has been making headlines with her strong poll numbers in the last couple weeks, George Sheldon has certainly fought back strong and closed the gap.  With her continued battle against marriage equality in the headlines and precious few accomplishments beyond the regulation of ‘pill mills’, it seems like she simply has no message to take to voters.  The reality is the many voters focus on several issues and Bondi has not championed enough issues to draw much support beyond the label Republican’?   While her popularity in the polls is astonishingly high given her record, Sheldon has been creeping up slowly with his consistent messaging.   Will it be enough to get him over the edge on election day and help overcome Bondi’s deep fundraising advantage?  Probably not, but he is certainly in a better place than he was a week or two ago.  –   KB@BurnettKaty   NOTE: TFS EDITOR-IN-CHIEF KARTIK KRISHNAIYER IS EMPLOYED BY THE SHELDON CAMPAIGN AS DEPUTY CAMPAIGN MANAGER. HE DID NOT CONTRIBUTE TO THIS MUSING.

Our readers are focused on Election Day as they should be but a quick foreign policy thought. When the Ukrainian Revolution and Euromaidan protests took place, the feeling was Ukraine was going in an ultra-nationalist and right-wing direction. Despite our writers consistent advocacy of the Ukrainian position in its disputes with Russia, I had real concerns about the nation going the way of other Eastern European countries where the leftist governments of the Cold War era were ultimately replaced by neo-facist and reactionary right-wing Governments of the NATO enlargement era. However, Petro Poroshenko who was elected on a slightly left-of-center platform over the summer as Ukraine’s President has steered a course where the nation has separated itself from Russian domination without becoming a reactionary nationalist/psuedo-racist state. Poroshenko is rapidly becoming a star on the international stage and if he can hold Ukraine together he could become one of the most significant world leaders of this era. – KK @kkfla737

This week marked the 9th anniversary of Hurricane Wilma’s landfall in southwest Florida and the devastation it raked upon the southern portion of the state. Hurricane’s have played a unique role in Florida’s history, but after the terrifying Hurricane seasons of 2004 and 2005 the state has more or less been fortunate since. In 2004, the state was hit by four storms and election work was disrupted for a long period of time in much of the state. In fact, I still believe the 2004 election results in Florida were impacted directly by the disruptions created by Hurricanes in Democratic vote rich areas. Not that John Kerry would have won Florida otherwise, but Betty Castor might have been in the US Senate, had campaigns in Palm Beach and St Lucie Counties in particular not been disrupted. With regards to Wilma it created a significant imprint on south Florida and changed the insurance industry in the state forever.   – KK @kkfla737

3 comments

  1. I am voting for Uman, but the numbers in HD 21 are very misleading. While the Democrats may be outvoting the Republicans in District 21, many of these “Democrats” are Southern Democrats that vote Republican. In 2012, Dixie County was 60% Democrat, and Bill Nelson received 40% of the vote and Obama received 26% of the vote. Less than half of the “Democrats” voted for Obama. Bill Nelson did somewhat better, but not close to what one might expect with 60% Democrats. The numbers in Gilchrist County tell a similar story. Many of Alachua County’s Democrats (those living in Newberry, Alachua, High Springs, and many others living west of I-75 in HD21 in unincorporated Alachua County) vote Republican. Since 2012, the counties have grown less Democratic (Dixie from 60% in 2012 to 57% in 2014; Gilchrist from 39% in 2012 to 36% in 2014; Alachua from 43% in 2012 to 42% in 2014 (including the whole county, not just the western half)). While I share your desire for a Democratic victory, I do think the math adds up.

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    1. I don’t know – almost 3 thousand of the voters (which is up to over 17,000) are voters who voted in 2012 but not 2010, hinting that we may have some spillover. Charlie Crist is also doing extremely well in Alachua county, so there may be some spill over. The springs issue is a huge deal around here and the Republican refusal to debate the springs bill is a huge sore spot, even with many local Republicans.

      I think there is hope.

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    2. I don’t know – almost 3 thousand of the voters (which is up to over 17,000) are voters who voted in 2012 but not 2010, hinting that we may have some spillover. Charlie Crist is also doing extremely well in Alachua county, so there may be some spill over. The springs issue is a huge deal around here and the Republican refusal to debate the springs bill is a huge sore spot, even with many local Republicans.

      I think there is hope.

      Like

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