Katy Burnett is working hard on putting together a fantastic event this upcoming weekend in Gainesville and will have her musings later in the day so check back then! For now, here are Kartik Krishnaiyer’s weekly musings.
97 million tourists visited Florida in 2014. While this number falls short of Governor Scott’s lofty goal to have 100 million visitors in 2014, it’s still a record and exceedingly impressive. Almost 4 million of the visitors came from Canada and 11.5 million tourists came from outside North America. – KK @kkfla737
Mike Allen at Politico has debuted his “five most likely to win” column regarding Republican Presidential hopefuls for 2016. Jeb Bush tops the list edging out Scott Walker for the top spot. But somewhat surprising perhaps is that Marco Rubio sits third on the list ahead of Ted Cruz, Chris Christie, Rand Paul, John Kasich and others. Rubio has had a bumpy two years, but his bromance with the Washington press never ended and it seems they are determined to maintain the viability of his potential candidacy for whatever reason. – KK @kkfla737
Rep. Manny Diaz Jr. (R-Miami) is anxious for Florida to create it’s own foreign policy doctrine to try and influence the US Congress. House Memorial 727 would “uphold the embargo until such a time when this arcane dictatorship is no longer in power and the most basic human and civil rights are once again recognized in Cuba.” Perhaps not so coincidentally, since President Obama announced the historic shift in Cuba policy late last year, his approval rating has shot up by ten points. – KK @kkfla737
The Florida Democratic Party has gone from opposite extremes – focusing on rural small North Florida counties to large urban South & Central Florida ones, to back and forth between the two. But as I have stated time and again the lack of emphasis on medium sized counties particularly ones along I-75 and I-95 is among the biggest reasons why Democrats continue to lose statewide. Florida Democrats have lost 17 of the last 18 races for statewide office in a purple state at the national level. Statistically this number seems impossible given the voter statistics in the state. While Florida Democrats like to use “gerrymandering” as a constant issue for failures, the inability to develop an infrastructure in counties with large populations for activation in statewide campaigns has nothing to do with districting on legislative level. In fact, as we have pointed out Democrats have had a far more favorable map in the State House to run from since 2012 potentially putting more areas in play and creating an opportunity to build infrastructure in these areas. But thus far it hasn’t been done. In the next few weeks as we continue our look at the party’s woes and fixing it, we will focus on medium sized counties and areas where the Democrats can be competitive at the House level. – KK @kkfla737