TFS Express Lane: Sunday September 18

  • Florida has experienced polling errors that favored Democrats in every election cycle since 2014, and in 2012, polls over-estimated the GOP advantage. While various theories as to why this is the case are out there, the bottom line remains that polls are a snapshot in time, based on specific controlled questions, not an election prediction. With that in mind, our Dave Trotter built a model in 2018 and 2020 that pretty much nailed how the state would turnout. This year, we’re doing the same, and therefore while we take polling very seriously, we put polls in the proper context.
  • So speaking of polls, Val Demings hasn’t led Marco Rubio in a major public poll in a month, yet she hasn’t lost ground either. What’s alarming about the polls from a Democratic standpoint is how consistent they are, in giving Rubio somewhere between a 2 to 4 point advantage. It’s these close-shave statewide races that almost always go GOP, beginning with Betty Castor’s US Senate loss to Mel Martinez in 2004 and culminating with Ron DeSantis narrow win in 2018 that have defined the Democrats failure in Florida.
  • Our Kartik Krishnaiyer has been beating the drum on his Twitter feed (@kkfla737) that Democrats in Florida need to do more to publicly link Governor Ron DeSantis to Russian interests. This past week, that narrative got a boost as DeSantis’ Martha Vineyard flights were conducted under a contract with a company that has donated to the RPOF and has Kremlin ties. How will this be played in the campaign is a mystery, since Democrats have to this point been tentative about playing DeSantis unwillingness to divest from Russia.
  • Hurricane Maria hitting Puerto Rico was a big moment in Rick Scott’s efforts to woo Hispanic voters. Scott did well in showing empathy with Puerto Rico while taking tangible steps as Florida Governor to help the Island. Will Ron DeSantis do anything remotely similar in the wake of Fiona’s direct strike on the Island? Considering DeSantis’ commitment to race-baiting and willingness to exploit asylum seekers, chances are he won’t lift a finger.
  • We had a fascinating Mayoral debate at the Tallahassee Tiger Bay Club on Friday. We will dive into some deeper thoughts on that tomorrow in TFS Express Lane.
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