Round-up of stories about Florida and the 2012 presidential campaign (8/6)

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The president kept assuring the public during the debt limit debate that he was the “adult” in the room and had a handle on the situation. If this was supposed to engender confidence in his leadership, it failed miserably.
The latest polls from Florida via Quinnipiac are sending a message — a great, big stinky fish wrapped in newspaper, telling the president that his hopes for a second term are ‘sleeping with the fishes’
Gov. Rick Scott said Friday that he would like to see the field of Republican presidential candidates expanded, and he praised Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s ability to create jobs.
However, he stopped short of saying he’d support Perry, who is expected to announce soon whether he’ll run for the White House.
The president could lose his reelection bid if enough Black voters stay home because they either do not believe the Republican nominee can win or they just do not feel the same urgency to show up on election day. Not voting for your candidate is the same as voting for his or her opponent, so it could be African American voters who keep the President from a second term. In 2008, Mr. Obama won Virginia, North Carolina, and Florida by small margins on the strength of Black votes. If enough Black voters in those states stay home, then the Republican nominee will take the oath of office in January of 2013. While there are other segments of Mr. Obama’s base that are lukewarm at the moment, there is no way he can win with a smaller universe of black voters.
Most Floridians say President Barack Obama doesn’t deserve a second term following an emotional debate over the national debt ceiling, according to a Quinnipiac poll released Thursday.
The survey also showed Mitt Romney leading the pack of GOP presidential candidates in Florida and depicted a wide-open Republican U.S. Senate primary as Plant City tree farmer Mike McCalister held a slim lead.
GOP heavyweights from around the country gathered Wednesday night at a Tampa Yacht & Country Club reception as part of the Republican National Committee’s three-day summer meeting in Tampa.
To welcome them, the roster of state and local officials included Gov. Rick Scott, Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll, state Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater, former Gov. Bob Martinez and Clearwater Mayor Frank Hibbard, all Republicans, plus Bob Buckhorn, the Democratic mayor of Tampa and former Tampa Mayor Dick Greco, also a Democrat.
Florida Gov. Rick Scott talks a lot about Texas Gov. Rick Perry, but he’s coy about whether he would endorse a Perry presidential candidacy.
“I like primaries,” Scott said Friday when asked.
“I think the more people we get in the better,” said Scott, who recorded a video for a prayer service Perry is hosting in Houston on Saturday. “I think we ought to have real primaries. I think the key’s going to be whoever has the right blueprint for job creation. I think about my race: I won because people believed I was going to do a better job than my opponent of getting jobs going. I think that’s what the key’s going to be next year.”
St. Petersburg Times – Mitt Romney heading back to Tampa Bay
The Buzz is Mitt Romney will be in Tampa Bay Sept. 2 raising money and probably doing some kind of public event. Details to come.
And we hear Ann Romney will headline a low dollar fundraising event in Orlando on Aug. 30. Mitt also has a Miami event planned for Sept. 20, a couple days before the Fox News debate and CPAC convention in Orlando.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry is exploring a run for president in a behind-the-scenes effort to set up a shadow campaign that stretches from Austin to New Hampshire to Miami.
Perry’s potential bid is more of a whisper campaign than a presidential campaign at the moment, but he’s aggressively courting fundraisers and political consultants — even if they’re allied with other candidates.
The debt ceiling deal has not stopped President Barack Obama’s approval rating from plunging in Florida, and Mitt Romney is now running neck-and-neck with him in the state, a new poll finds.
The Quinnipiac University poll also shows Texas Gov. Rick Perry moving into second place in the GOP primary to pick an opponent for Obama, even though Perry has yet to announce his candidacy.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.