Sunburn for 10/23 — A morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics

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A morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics.

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NEW POLL SHOW OBAMA BACK IN LEAD IN BATTLEGROUND STATES

The latest Reuters/Ipsos tracking poll finds President Obama moving slightly ahead of Mitt Romney, 47% to 46%.

However, Obama “maintains a larger advantage in the state-by-state battle that will determine the outcome of the election. Ipsos projects that Obama holds an edge in the most hotly contested states, including Florida, Virginia and Ohio, and is likely to win by a relatively comfortable margin of 322 electoral votes to 206 electoral votes.”

Other tracking polls: IBD/TIPP shows Obama up 47% to 45%, Gallup has Romney ahead 51% to 46%, Rasmussen shows Romney leading 50% to 46%, and UPI/CVoter has the race tied at 48% to 48%.

OBAMA LAYS OUT PLANS FOR SECOND TERMS; DISTRIBUTES 3.5 MILLION COPIES OF ‘BLUEPRINT FOR AMERICA”

The president is unveiling a 20-page “Blueprint for America’s Future” glossy. 3.5 million copies of the plan are being printed. 1.5 million copies will go to field offices for distribution. Laid out like a magazine on 8 ½ by 11 paper, the guide has sections on reviving manufacturing and increasing American energy productiongrowing small businesses and improving education, fixing the tax code and improving health care and protecting retirement security.

“The President, Vice President, and all of our surrogates will hold up the plan at events and ask our massive grassroots network to do everything they can to share the plan with their family, friends, neighbors, co-workers and others to reach every undecided voter in the remaining days of this election and ensure they understand the choice between continuing to move America forward and going back to the same policies that devastated our economy and punished the middle class,” an Obama official tells POLITICO’s Morning Score.

The reelection campaign obviously does not want the attacks that Obama lacks detailed plans for a second term or a clear vision for the future to take hold. It was a central Romney argument in the debate and in the spin room afterward. Chicago thinks this is preposterous, pointing to Obama’s 2-minute direct-to-camera ad and various speeches he’s delivered over the last two years. They’re also rolling out a new 60-second spot on this theme that will go up today in Florida and other battleground states.

OBAMA’S MORNING IN AMERICA

Obama put out a 60-second ad in the seven states his campaign thinks will decide the election: Ohio, Iowa, Colorado, Virginia, New Hampshire, Florida and Wisconsin. Watch here.

Mark Halperin: “As consultants of both parties will tell you, convincing voters a candidate has a plan is far more important than the details of said plan. Romney has made some progress on this front — now it is the President’s turn.”

“HORSES AND BAYONETS” DOMINATES FACEBOOK, GOOGLE, TWITTER

The term “horses and bayonets” dominated Facebook, Google and Twitter during and after Monday’s presidential debate on foreign policy.

President Obama had just 2.2 percent more mentions on Facebook than Romney during the debate.

For Obama, “horses and bayonets” seems to be the catchphrase of the night along with “whopper,” which was how he characterized Romney’s suggestion that he has apologized for the United States on the world stage. For Romney, a couple of quips generated buzz on Facebook, including “I’m still speaking.” The top 15 debate-related mentions on Facebook are here.

The top Google searches connected to the debate were: 1. horses and bayonets 2. syria 3. mali 4. drones 5. Tumult.

More than 6.5 million tweets were sent during the debate, the least of all three presidential debates but more than the vice-presidential debate. Top peak tweet moments: 105,767 tweets per minute for Obama’s “horses and bayonets” comment and 102,339 tweets per minute for Schieffer’s “I think we all love teachers.”

EMAIL I DIDN’T OPEN (BECAUSE I DON’T SPEAK SPANISH): “La Opinion Endorses Barack Obama”

4 MILLION AMERICANS HAVE ALREADY VOTED

The Associated Press reports that already four million ballots have been cast in early voting in more than two dozen states.

UNION-BACKED POLL SHOWS RACE IN FLORIDA TIED, BUT OBAMA COULD LEAD WITH EARLY VOTERS by Marc Caputo of the Miami Herald

Americans United for Change, a union-backed group, released a one-page memo from a Mellman Group poll of Florida voters showing the race dead even in Florida: President Obama and Mitt Romney are tied 47-47.

The most intriguing aspect of the poll: Obama might lead Romney 50-45 percent among voters who already cast ballots; about 5 percent refused to say for whom they voted. As today, that number of absentee-ballot voters is 830,000 in Florida. When the poll was taken (Oct. 18-21) the number of absentee voters was about 750,000.

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “Anybody who thinks those states are in the bag is half in the bag themselves.” — Obama adviser David Axelrod, quoted by Greg Sargent, about Mitt Romney locking up North Carolina, Virginia, and Florida. He also noted, “We have added millions to TV spending in each of these states. We are doubling down.”

ROMNEY HEARTS FLORIDA by Adam Smith of the Tampa Bay Times

The number of Florida events by Mitt Romney, Ann Romney and Paul Ryan in October? 16. The number of Barack Obama, Michelle Obama and Joe Biden events in Florida this month? Six.

Republicans say this points to the Obama team being far more confident about winning Ohio (The RealClear average has Obama up 1.8 percentage points) than Florida. They may be right.

But it also may point to team Romney being far less confident about must-win Florida than they hoped to be at this point.

>>>Ann Romney will be appearing at a rally in Winter Park Wednesday. It will be the third Florida stop of the day for her. She starts in Tampa at a 12:40 p.m appearance at Wright’s Gourmet House , then goes to Lakeland for a 2:40 p.m. stop at Fresco’s Bakery & Bistro.

NO STATE AS IMPORTANT AS OHIO

Nate Silver: “Unlikely does not equal impossible, but Ohio is central enough in the electoral math that it now seems to matter as much as the other 49 states put together. I am not sure whether I should be congratulating you or consoling you if you happen to be reading this in Toledo.”

***Today’s SUNBURN is also sponsored by Corcoran & Johnston Government Relations. With more than 45 years of combined legislative and regulatory knowledge and experience, Corcoran & Johnston’s ability to navigate through the processes and politics of government and deliver for their clients is unmatched.***
TWEET, TWEET: @stevebousquet: Gov. Rick Scott, who was helping his son-in-law complete his ballot last weekend, says: “It’s a long ballot.”

TEAMS BEGIN PROCESSING FLAWED ABSENTEE BALLOTS IN PALM BEACH COUNTY by Ashleigh Walters of FLDemocracy2012

Nine teams have started on a process that would last through Election Day: copying and processing thousands of flawed absentee ballots.

Of the absentee ballots that have been returned to the county, 8,000 of them were unreadable by machines.  They must be individually copied by humans to go back into the machines.

Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections Susan Bucher said, “We’re just here to make an exact duplicate of the ballot.”

Bucher says the issue came from the printer in Arizona, and that fault does not lie with the county.

“We did proofread it, they sent us a file and the file contained the accurate ballot.  Unfortunately, they didn’t print that one.  We have a technician that feeds ballots into machines and just mails them.  And we got a proof of the ballot, they just gave us the wrong proof,” she said.

With both presidential campaigns watching closely, Bucher allowed one Republican, one Democrat and one Independent to watch the nine teams of two who were copying ballots, sitting behind them to serve as quality control.

DEMINGS VS. WEBSTER A TIE? FRANKEL UP TEN OVER HASNER?

There are new polls out in two of Florida’s battleground congressional races, both with interesting results worth examining.

In the Val Demings vs. Dan Webster race, a mid-October poll commissioned by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee found that Democrat Val Demings is trailing U.S. Rep. Dan Webster by two percentage points — well within the poll’s five-point margin of error, reports Aaron DeSlatte of the Orlando Sentinel.

Webster’s camp is dismissing the poll.

“This outdated poll is nothing but a campaign gimmick to ease the anxieties of liberal donors who have poured over $4 million into a race that is no longer competitive.  Releasing a DCCC-sponsored poll nearly two weeks after it was taken is at best political negligence and at worst partisan desperation,” said Kirsten Borman, a consultant to the Webster campaign.

Meanwhile, in CD 22, Democrat Lois Frankel is touting the results of an internal poll showing her with a ten-point lead over Republican Adam Hasner, 47% to 37%. Click here for a PDF copy of the polling memo from Anzalone Liszt Research.

VERN BUCHANAN CAMPAIGN TOUTING ENDORSEMENTS OF MUCH SOUGHT AFTER LONGBOAT OBSERVER AND THE PELICAN PRESS NEWSPAPERS.

BONDI WON’T TAKE STAND ON MERIT RETENTION via the News Service of Florida

“I’m not taking a position,” Bondi told reporters. “I have several cases before the Supreme Court.” Justices Barbara Pariente, Peggy Quince and R. Fred Lewis are facing merit retention votes next month amid a concerted campaign by conservatives to remove them from the bench.

MONEY GIVEN TO PRO-DEM GROUP WON’T BE GOING TO NANCY SODERBERG by Matt Dixon of the Florida Times-Union

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida is supporting GOP state Senate candidate Aaron Bean, but last week gave $75,000 to a group “associated” with his opponent, Democrat Nancy Soderberg.

The company’s legislative affairs shop said there is a good reason they gave the check to Principled Leadership For Florida.

“We have been given assurances that no Florida Blue money will go to Nancy Soderberg,” said Russ Jollivette, the company’s senior vice president of public affairs. “I have had the chance to talk to Nancy Soderberg, and she knows where we are in this race.”

He said that when the contributed to the group, it was with the understanding that the money would help the campaigns of other Democratic candidates throughout the state. He would not say which candidates the money would help.

ASSOCIATED INDUSTRIES OFFERS ENDORSEMENT OF DOROTHY HUKILL IN SENATE DISTRICT 8

Representative Dorothy Hukill  has been endorsed by Associated Industries of Florida (AIF) Senate District 8. “We were impressed by your appreciation of the free enterprise system and support for policies that will promote a prosperous economy for all Floridians,” wrote Tom Feeney, President and Chief Executive Officer of AIF.

LAWYERS, INTERNET CAFES FUNDING GROUP LINKED TO KAREN CASTOR DENTEL IN HD 30 by Jason Garcia of the Orlando Sentinel

Castor Dentel recently signed on with a fundraising committee, known as “Citizens for Integrity in Government,” that allows her to sidestep the traditional $500-per-donor limit on campaign contributions. A pair of incumbent House Democrats, Reps. Alan Williams of Tallahassee and Janet Cruz of Tampa, are also associated with the group.

The committee has raised $74,500 over the last three weeks alone. The biggest checks include $20,000 from the Florida Justice Association, the trial-lawyer lobbying group; $10,000 from Searcy, Denney, Scarola, Barnhart & Shipley, a West Palm Beach-based personal-injury law firm; $10,00 from International Internet Technologies, which provides software to the strip-mall gambling operations known as Internet cafes (which Plakon has sought to ban in the Legislature); and $25,000 from U.S. Sugar Corp. and one of its subsidiaries, Southern Gardens Citrus Processing Corp.

IN HD 68, DEMOCRATS POKE FUN AT FRANK FARKAS’ SELF-DESCRIBED “BLOOPERS”: View the mailer here.

THE ‘MYSTERY’ OF HD 69 CANDIDATE JOSH SHULMAN: View the mailer here.

CAMPAIGN PROFILES

>>>2 newcomers scramble for votes after Horner’s exit from state House race

>>>Janet Adkins faces Democratic, write-in challengers in re-election race

>>>Lake Ray and Karen Morian face off for District 12 House seat

>>>Nancy Argenziano seeks a comeback

>>>Political vet John Thrasher facing novice challenger for state Senate seat

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BLOG POST OF THE DAY – FLORIDA LEADS RACE TO THE BOTTOM ON UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION by Kenneth Quinnell

Under new rules implemented by Florida Gov. Rick Scott and his allies in the state legislature, it is getting harder and harder for working families who have lost their jobs to obtain the unemployment compensation that they have earned.

Florida’s unemployment compensation system was already one of the toughest in the nation before Republicans revised the rules to make it even more difficult for workers who have hit tough times to receive vital financial resources. Unlike any other state’s system, applicants are now required to apply online, with no option available for those who do not have Internet access to complete the application. Historically, applicants could use a call-in system to complete the requirements, but that option has been eliminated. The legislation was originally sponsored by state Rep. Doug Holder.

US REP. DENNIS ROSS TAPS NEW COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR via Brittany Davis of the Miami Herald

Polk County Republican Congressman Dennis Ross announced that Deputy Chief of Staff Anthony Foti will also be the communications director for his congressional office.

Foti, an attorney, has a long history in Republican politics, representing clients before congress and working as director of external affairs for the Republican National Convention in 2008.

FLORIDA CITRUS COMMISSION MEETS

The Florida Citrus Commission’s committees meet Wednesday morning. Issues to be discussed include assessment rates for 2012-13, the domestic marketing plan, school marketing, the Florida Citrus Outlook report and trends in orange and grapefruit sales. In the International Marketing Committee, commissioners will talk about a Japanese branding product and give progress reports on various country efforts.

POLYTECH BOARD MAKES PLANS

The board of trustees of Florida Polytechnic University will meet to discuss the state’s newest university.

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BORED YET?: A new Pew Research poll finds that 63% of the public says the presidential campaign is interesting, while 28% say it is dull. Last month, 53% found the campaign interesting. From January through June, majorities said the campaign was dull, and no more than about four-in-ten found it interesting.

CELEBRITY EMAIL OF THE DAY: “Why I support Claire” from Sheryl Crow

HAPPY BIRTHDAY to superstar Andrea Penton.

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.