Marco Rubio Archives - Page 7 of 194 - SaintPetersBlog

Marco Rubio is confident that heavy Latino turnout will help him win Senate race

BRANDON — Although Marco Rubio is a clear favorite to win re-election to his U.S. Senate seat tomorrow night, he wasn’t doing a victory lap when he made a visit to the Hillsborough County Republican Party headquarters in Brandon Monday morning.

“Two-hundred and seventy-five thousand Republicans who requested a mail ballot have not returned it yet,” he told the crowd who surrounded him inside the small lobby area of the office. “We’re going to have to start guiding them, because if they have a ballot and haven’t put it in the mail yet, they’re not going to be able to vote unless they show up with that ballot, so we gotta walk ’em through that process.”

“Please come out and vote,” he implored the crowd. “What if this race comes to down to 100 votes? Whether it’s for president, senator or Congress, what if it’s one of those years? Do you want to be one of those 100 people that decided not to vote?”

Rubio has led his Democratic rival, Patrick Murphy, in virtually every poll taken between the two Senate candidates in Florida all year long. However, the Murphy camp was playing up a SurveyMonkey poll released Monday that actually shows him up by a single point, 49 percent to 48 percent. A Quinnipiac survey, however, showed the norm, with Rubio up 50 percent to 43 percent.

An emerging story that has come out of the past two weeks of early voting in Florida has been the explosion of Latino voters. Rubio has always held a substantial lead Murphy with that key demographic in polls of the Senate race, and the Cuban-American legislator said he’s earned the support of the Hispanic community.

“I don’t think anyone understands the issues in the Hispanic community better than I do,” he said. “I live in the community — my wife is from the community as well, so for me these are not political issues when we discuss them, they are things I’ve lived. It’s my life.” Rubio said there’s no one one in the Senate who has worked harder or spent more time on Latin American issues than he has. He added that it’s the beginning of a new era in politics if the much-vaunted potential of a strong Hispanic vote actually takes place this year. “I’m glad they’re voting, because that means from here on out, every candidate for statewide office and for president is going to have to care about the Hispanic community in Florida, and that’s a good thing,” he said.

There have been anecdotal reports that some in the Latino community are splitting their ticket in Florida: voting for Hillary Clinton as a statement against Donald Trump for president, but then coming back and supporting Rubio in the Senate contest. This morning marked yet another time when both Trump and Rubio were campaigning in Florida — separately, however, and not at the same event.

“We want everyone’s vote,” Rubio said. “I don’t want Hillary Clinton to be president, but people are going to have to make their own decisions. “

Dover GOP House District 59 Republican Ross Spano introduced Rubio to the crowd. Spano backed Rubio in the presidential primaries earlier this year until he dropped out after his devastating loss in the Florida primary to Trump, where he won only Miami-Dade County.

“We need men and women like Sen. Rubio to represent us,” said Spano, calling him “one of the brightest, strongest political figures that have come on the stage in several decades.”

Spano is himself running in what could be an extremely close race for re-election, against attorney Rena Frazier. Unlike Spano, however, Frazier never went up on the air with a television ad.

Meanwhile, Rubio refused to comment on whether or not he supported Amendment One, the solar power initiative which comes heavily funded from the public utility industry in Florida. He did say once again he is opposing Amendment 2, the medical marijuana initiative, saying, “if they want to legalize marijuana for medicinal purposes they should go through the FDA process to be approved just like any other medicine, but I’m not in favor of the way it was drafted and where I think it will take Florida.”

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New Florida poll shows Marco Rubio at 50%, Patrick Murphy at 43%

Sen. Marco Rubio has a big lead over Rep. Patrick Murphy in Florida’s U.S. Senate race.

A new Quinnipiac University poll shows Rubio leads Murphy, 50 percent to 43 percent. The poll found 7 percent of respondents said they were either voting for someone else or didn’t know.

The latest poll of 884 likely Florida voters was conducted from Nov. 3 through Nov. 6. It has a margin of error of 3.3 percent.

Rubio has the backing of 93 percent of Republicans, 55 percent of independent voters, and 8 percent of Democrats. The survey found 48 percent of respondents who said they already voted backed Rubio, compared to 46 percent who said they voted for Murphy.

Murphy has the backing of 88 percent of Democrats, 39 percent of independents, and 3 percent of Republicans.

The Miami Republican has led in nearly every poll since he announced he was running for re-election in June. Three polls conducted since June 25 showed the two men tied, according to RealClearPolitics. Rubio led in all of the other polls used by RealClearPolitics to calculate the polling average.

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In Central Florida, Barack Obama says justice, fairness, environment, Civil Rights all on the ballot

Making one last plea for Florida to support Democrat Hillary Clinton and validate his own legacy, President Barack Obama told a big, boisterous crowd in Kissimmee Sunday that democracy itself is on Tuesday’s ballot.

Obama made it clear that all Democratic Party priorities and his own legacy are to be judged in the election.

“You have proof that your vote matters. And I’m not going to be on the ballot this time. But everything we’ve done is on the ballot. Justice is on the ballot. Fairness is on the ballot. Looking out for working people is on the ballot. Higher wages is on the ballot. Protecting the environment is on the ballot. Treating people fairly is on the ballot. Civil Rights is on the ballot,” Obama said. “Our democracy is on the ballot!”

Obama’s second speech in the greater Orlando area in nine days followed a 18-minute warm-up show by R&B legend Stevie Wonder, who energized the crowd by debuting a song he said he wrote Saturday night for Hillary Clinton, plus several of his biggest hits, including “Superstition” and “Sunshine of My Life.”

Obama’s motorcade did not arrive at Osceola Heritage Park Stadium until after Wonder left the stage, so he missed the show. But he met an excited crowd reported in the range of 11,000, filling most of the grandstands at the minor league baseball park, plus most of the infield.

While Obama spoke highly of Clinton and of Florida Democrat’s U.S. Senate nominee U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy, he spent most of his 30-minute speech at least indirectly attacking Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and Republican U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio.

“On the one hand you have someone who may be the most qualified person to ever run for the presidency. On the other hand, you’ve got The Donald,” Obama said. “There is a reason that so many Republicans,, so many conservatives,, have denounced Donald Trump,, even if sometimes they said, ‘well we’re going to vote for him anyway.’ That is because Donald Trump is uniquely unqualified to be president, temperamentally unfit to be commander in chief.

“We cannot have a commander in chief who suggests it’s OK to torture people, or to ban entire religions from our country, or insults POWs, or attacks Gold Star moms, or talks down our troops,” Obama said.

Obama drew on a news report Sunday that Trump’s campaign had banned him from tweeting, for fear he might tweet something so outrageous in the last two days of the campaign that he could cost himself votes. So Obama ridiculed Trump for his apparent lack of self control.

“I just read, apparently his campaign has taken away his Twitter. In the last two days they had so little confidence in his self control, so they just said, ‘We’re going to take away your Twitter.’ Now, if somebody can’t handle a Twitter account, they can’t handle a nuclear code.”

Otherwise, Obama’s speech was very similar to the one he delivered at the University of Central Florida on Oct. 29, showing a new-found confidence buoyed by his strong rise in public opinion polls, expressing pride in his accomplishments, and assuring the crowd that Clinton, and only Clinton, would carry them forward.

Only now Obama expressed a greater sense of urgency, considering that Clinton’s solid-looking lead of late October has largely vanished in many polls, and Election Day is nearly here.

“Two days Florida. Two days to decide the future of this country,” Obama said. “And I need you to go vote. I need your help to help finish what we started eight years ago.

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Joe Biden, Jimmy Buffett to hold GOTV rally in St. Petersburg on Monday

Jimmy Buffett has a message for Floridians: Get out and vote.

Buffett is scheduled to perform at a get out the vote rally for Democrats Hillary Clinton, Patrick Murphy, and Charlie Crist on Monday. The Florida music icon will be joined by Vice President Joe Biden and Jill Biden, the vice president’s wife. The event comes just one day before Election Day, and is meant to encourage voters to get to the polls.

Murphy and Crist are also expected to attend. Murphy faces Sen. Marco Rubio in the U.S. Senate race, and trails Rubio in the polls an average of 3.2 percentage points, according to RealClearPolitics. Crist, the former governor of Florida, is hoping to unseat Rep. David Jolly in Florida’s 13th Congressional District.

The addition of the Bidens to the roster shows just how important Florida is to the presidential race. Clinton has an average lead of 1 percentage point over Donald Trump in the Sunshine State, according to RealClearPolitics. The margin isn’t much larger nationwide, where RealClearPolitics shows she has an average lead of 1.8 percentage points.

The vice president and his wife will attend a rally at 1:15 p.m. at Florida A&M University, 1668 South Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard in Tallahassee before heading to St. Petersburg.

Buffett is expected to perform a short set of songs with Country Music Musician of the Year Mac McAnally. The event is schedule for 5 p.m. at Albert Whitted Park, 480 Bayshore Drive SE in St. Petersburg. The event is free, but tickets are required.

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Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump make closing arguments in new TV spots

Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are making one last push to appeal to voters, taking to the airwaves this weekend.

Both campaigns released advertisements Saturday, with each painting a starkly different picture of the election. The new ads come as polls show a dead heat between the two candidates. According to RealClearPolitics, Clinton leads Trump nationwide on average 1.8 percentage points.

The Clinton campaign released a 60-second spot featuring the Katy Perry song “Roar.” The ad features images of voters and scenes from campaign stops as the words “I’m voting for …” scroll across the screen. The ad ends with the words “I’m voting for a president,” before Clinton is heard saying she approves the message.

The disclaimer at the end of the ad is the only time Clinton is heard speaking in the advertisement. By contrast, the Trump campaign released a 2-minute spot — called “Donald Trump’s Argument for America” — narrated by the candidate. And while the Clinton spot is largely positive, the Trump ad has a more negative tone.

“The political establishment that is trying to stop us is the same group responsible for our disastrous trade deals, massive illegal immigration, and economic and foreign policies that have bled out country dry,” the GOP nominee is heard saying in the advertisement. “The political establishment has brought about the destruction of our factories and our jobs, as they flee to Mexico, China and other countries all around the world.”

He continues by saying the “only thing that can stop this corrupt machine” is you.

“The only force strong enough to save our country is us,” he says. “The only people brave enough to vote out this corrupt establishment is you, the American people.”

The Clinton ad, according to POLITICO, is running in Florida, Arizona, Colorado, Iowa, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin through Election Day.

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Marco Rubio makes closing argument in new TV ad

Sen. Marco Rubio is making his closing arguments in his final TV spot.

According to the Rubio campaign, 30-second spot, called “Debt,” is meant to discuss each generation’s “debt and duty to the next.

“America is the greatest country in the world, and keeping it that way is every generation’s debt to the next,” he says in the advertisement. “Today, our country is more divided than ever and our challenges are growing more grave, threatening who we are and everything we hope to be.”

He goes on to say the upcoming election “is about the future, and about keeping America the one place in the world where any dream can still come true.”

Rubio faces Rep. Patrick Murphy in the Nov. 8 general election. The Miami Republican has led in almost every poll since announcing his re-election bid. According to RealClearPolitics, he has an average 3.2 percentage point lead over Murphy.

Rubio is hitting the trail this weekend to rally support in the final weekend of early voting. He is expected to attend three get out the vote events Saturday, starting the day with a rally at the Sandshaker Lounge in Gulf Breeze. From there, he’ll attend a rally at RV Connections at Panama City, before wrapping up his North Florida swing at the Republican Party of Florida’s Jacksonville Beach Victory Office.

More than 5.7 million Floridians have already voted, according to the state Division of Elections. State records show nearly 2.3 million Democrats and nearly 2.3 million Republicans have voted by mail or in person during the early voting period. Democrats have edged out Republicans on early vote totals by a margin of more than 7,000 votes.

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The smartest guy in the room thinks Hillary Clinton will win Florida

With four days before The. Most. Important. Election. Ever. comes to its conclusion, it’s difficult to separate the signal from the noise when it comes to polling and predictions.

Right now, everyone is as much an expert about politics as they are in theories about how “Game of Thrones” will end.

So many people are nervous about the outcome of the election, they will hang on to a single shred of data — “But Hispanic NPA early voting is up 28 percent over 2012!!!” —as firmly as a rock climber grips the side of the mountain.

As my friend Mac Stipanovich likes to say during times like this, the British Empire was built on three words, “Steady, men. Steady.”

Steady, friends. Steady.

It’s during times like this that I am grateful for my friendship with Ryan Tyson of Associated Industries of Florida. At this point in the game, he is the smartest guy in the room.

“Ryan’s intellect is matched only by his incredible capacity to question everything, to guess at nothing, and to demand excellence of himself and everyone around him,” says Democratic strategist Steve Vancore, founder of VancoreJones Communications.

At AIF, he has a small group of funders who finance arguably the most extensive polling operation in the state. In the run-up to the election, he surveys at least five thousand Floridians per week. In other words, he is the opposite of the fly-by-night polling shops which drop into the state like an unwelcome relative and skew the Real Clear Politics average with their unreliable numbers.

For example, CNN’s latest survey of Florida is based on an electorate that has five-point advantage for the Democrats. That’s about as likely to happen as the Cubs winning the World Series. Oh, wait, that metaphor no longer works, so insert another one.

Like Nate Silver, Tyson believes in the need for extensive data sets, preferably collected over long periods of time, from which one can then use statistical techniques to incrementally change probabilities up or down relative to prior data. This “Bayesian” approach is named (thanks Wikipedia!) for the 18th century minister Thomas Bayes, who discovered a simple formula for updating probabilities using new data.

So what is going to happen? What does the smartest guy in the room think will happen Tuesday?

Tyson does not like to make predictions. He certainly does not like making his forecasts public, although he’ll occasionally toss FloridaPolitics.com or POLITICO Florida a bone.

But what Tyson is telling the people who write six- and seven-figure checks to finance his operation is that Hillary Clinton will win Florida, somewhere in the range of two to four points. For those who say African-American voter turnout is not where it was in 2012, Tyson will tell you a surge in Hispanic voter participation is making up for it.

(Another smart guy, Daniel Smith, bears this out. He tweeted today, “Highest # of blacks voted EIP to date … 48.5k blacks turned out …. but even slightly more Hispanics, 49.1k.”

Tyson is also telling his members Marco Rubio will win re-election, but that’s not much a surprise at this point.

If Clinton is able to win the Sunshine State, there’s really no path to victory for Donald Trump.

So for Clinton supporters, steady. Steady.

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Marco Rubio has a 6-point lead over Patrick Murphy in new Florida poll

Another day, another poll showing Sen. Marco Rubio ahead in the Sunshine State’s U.S. Senate race.

A Quinnipiac University poll released Thursday shows Rubio has a 6 percentage point lead over Rep. Patrick Murphy. According to the poll, 50 percent of respondents backed Rubio, compared to 44 percent for Murphy. Five percent of voters said they either didn’t know who they were voting for or were voting for someone else.

The poll of 626 likely Florida voters has a margin of error of 3.9 percent.

The new Quinnipiac University poll found Rubio has support from 54 percent of independent voters and 87 percent of Republicans. He also leads among white voters with a college degree (56 percent-40 percent) and without a college degree (59 percent-35 percent).

Murphy, the poll found, is supported by 59 percent of non-white voters. He also has the backing of 83 percent of Democrats and 38 percent of Republicans.

“Candidates with a 16-point lead among independent voters rarely lose, and Sen. Rubio, who has that edge over Rep. Patrick Murphy, appears to be pulling away from the challenger,” said Peter A. Brown, the assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll, in a statement. “But anything is possible.”

Murphy does appear to have an edge among those respondents who voted early. According to the poll, 50 percent of respondents who said they voted early backed Murphy, compared to 45 percent who picked Rubio.

The Miami Republican has led in nearly every poll since he announced he was running for re-election in June. Three polls conducted since June 25 showed the two men tied, according to RealClearPolitics. Rubio led in all of the other polls used by RealClearPolitics to calculate the polling average.

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Florida poll: Hillary Clinton at 49%, Donald Trump at 47%

With less than a week until the election, the race in Florida remains tight.

A new CNN/ORC poll found Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are essentially tied in Florida. The poll found 49 percent of likely Florida voters said they were backing Clinton, while 47 percent said they supported Trump. Libertarian Gary Johnson received 3 percent support, while 1 percent said they backed Green Party candidate Jill Stein.

The poll of 773 likely voters has a margin of 3.5 percent.

Clinton received support from 73 percent of non-white voters and 34 percent of white voters. She also saw support from 39 percent of independent voters, and 58 percent of voters who identified as moderates.

The poll found 65 percent of white men and 54 percent of white women said they backed Trump. He also received support from 63 percent of white voters without a college degree.

The CNN/ORC poll showed Sen. Marco Rubio’s lead over Rep. Patrick Murphy appears to be narrowing. The poll showed 49 percent of voters back Rubio, while 48 percent back Murphy.

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Report: FBI investigating donor scheme tied to Patrick Murphy

The FBI is investigating an alleged illegal donation scheme involving Rep. Patrick Murphy, according to a new report.

The Hill reported Tuesday that FBI is investigating a scheme involving a wealthy Saudi family that supports Murphy. According to the report, the Hill found no evidence Murphy was involved in the alleged scheme, and the campaign declined to say whether he was aware of the probe.

“This complaint was written by a Republican super PAC willing to say anything to elect Marco Rubio,” said Murphy campaign spokesman Joshua Karp told The Hill. “Neither Patrick nor any current or past employees have ever been contacted regarding this matter, and we are confident an examination of the facts will result in its dismissal.”

According to The Hill, the investigation goes back to Murphy’s first congressional run in 2012. The claim, originally made by the Senate Leadership Fund, is that Ibrahim Al-Rashid, a friend of Murphy’s and political donor, coordinated a straw donor scheme to help Murphy.

The super PAC filed a complaint in June with the Federal Election Commission. According to The Hill, the complaint alleged 11 donors participated in a scheme to funnel contributions to Murphy.

Murphy is running against Sen. Marco Rubio in the state’s contentious U.S. Senate race. Rubio currently has an average 5.6 percentage point lead over Murphy, according to RealClearPolitics.

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