HOW HURRICANE SANDY IMPACTS THE ELECTION
One, you’re not going to see the candidates campaign in Virginia or New Hampshire for the rest of the week and perhaps for the rest of the campaign. (They can’t bring their motorcades and Secret Service protection to these areas.)
Two, three days from this campaign are essentially going to be erased. (Yes, Romney is hitting three battleground states of Ohio, Iowa, and Wisconsin. And Bill Clinton and Biden are stumping in Florida and Ohio. But how much coverage is that going to receive?)
And three, if you’re the president, you do your job. That’s probably why you saw the president — who landed in Florida yesterday — decide to return immediately to the White House today.
The only unforced error a campaign can make during this storm is acting TOO political. And the Obama campaign erased their unforced error without having today’s awkward campaign event play out on TV potentially. The person in the real bind right now is Romney. What does he do that doesn’t look overly-political or insensitive? He has no specific job right now.
FINAL PRE-ELECTION JOBS REPORT MAY BE DELAYED
The Labor Department has not yet ruled out delaying Friday’s jobs report due to the havoc caused by Hurricane Sandy, the Washington Post reports.
FLASHBACK: ROMNEY ON POSSIBLE CUTS TO FEMA
“Every time you have an occasion to take something from the federal government and send it back to the states, that’s the right direction,” Romney said during the Republican primaries at the CNN/New Hampshire GOP Debate, in response to a question about cuts to the Federal Emergency Management Agency. “And if you can go even further, and send it back to the private sector, that’s even better… we cannot afford to do those things without jeopardizing the future for our kids.”
GALLUP SHUTS DOWN TRACKING POLL
Gallup has suspended polling for its daily tracking as of Monday night and will reassess on a day-to-day basis, the polling firm announced on Monday afternoon.
“The ultimate effect on the overall picture of polling between now and this weekend, including election polling, will depend on what happens as a result of the storm, about which we will have a better understanding of on Tuesday and Wednesday of this week.”
ONE BENEFIT OF SANDY: LESS FUNDRAISING
The endless barrage of fundraising emails from Barack Obama and Mitt Romney have stopped in some of the states where Hurricane Sandy is expected to wreak the most havoc.
The campaigns have stopped fundraising emails Monday in New Jersey, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Washington, D.C.
RICK SCOTT: FLA READY TO HELP AFTER SANDY
Florida is ready to support other east coast states with disaster recovery if needed, Gov. Rick Scott said Monday via the News Service of Florida. “Our emergency management staff, National Guard, emergency response equipment and resources are on standby to support our fellow East Coast states,” Scott said. Florida had an easy hurricane season with no major storms hitting the peninsula, though Tropical Storm Debby caused heavy flooding in several areas. Hurricane Isaac menaced the state – forcing the delay of the Republican National Convention – but ultimately bypassed Florida and landed in Louisiana.
STUDY: ‘REPUBLICANS SHOULD PRAY FOR RAIN’
Scott Bomboy examines a 2007 study called “The Republicans Should Pray for Rain, which found that Republicans benefit from inclement weather: [W]hile the study focuses on the effects of foul weather on Election Day, it could be instructive as to voting patterns on November 6th, when millions of people could likely be dealing with power outages, storm damage and obstructed travel conditions. The gist of the findings from three major universities: “When compared to normal conditions, rain significantly reduces voter participation by a rate of just less than 1 percent per inch, while an inch of snowfall decreases turnout by almost .5 percent. Poor weather is also shown to benefit the Republican party’s vote share.”
@JebBush: Praying for safety of our neighbors along the East Coast. Be safe & heed warnings & instructions from governors & emergency responders.
@GovChristie: I am very disappointed in those who did not listen to my order to evacuate.
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PRESIDENTIAL RACE REMAINS DEAD EVEN
As the presidential campaign enters its final week, a new Pew Research poll finds President Obama “has failed to regain much of the support he lost in the days following the first presidential debate and the race is now even among likely voters: 47% favor Obama while an identical percentage supports Mitt Romney.”
A new American Research Group poll shows the race tied at 48%.
NATIONAL TRACKING POLLS
From Sunday night/Monday: ABC News/Washington Post: Romney 49%, Obama 48%; Politico/George Washington University: Obama 49%, Romney 48%; Public Policy Polling: Romney 49%, Obama 48%; Reuters/Ipsos: Obama 49%, Romney 46%
SWING STATE POLLS
CNN POLL OF FLORIDA
50% of likely voters in the Sunshine State say they are backing Republican nominee Mitt Romney, with 49% supporting President Barack Obama. The former Massachusetts governor’s one point margin is well within the survey’s sampling error.
“The results are unchanged from a one-point margin for Romney in mid-October, except for each candidate gaining a percentage point and the number of truly undecided voters dwindling away to almost nothing,” says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland.
The survey indicates that there is a slightly larger pool of persuadable voters, often called “uncommitted voters” in this election cycle.
TWEET, TWEET: @charliecristfl: Proud to stand with President Clinton earlier today in Orlando in support of President @BarackObama.
ROMNEY IN TAMPA ON WEDNESDAY
According to Romney’s campaign, he and and Connie Mack will both appear at Landmark Aviation, 2450 N. Westshore Boulevard, Tampa, at 10:45 a.m. Wednesday for a rally. Doors open at 8:45 a.m.
TWEET, TWEET: @JeremySWallace: Life in swing state: In 48 hours, Joe Biden, Mitt Romney and Michelle Obama will combine to hit 8 events on Wed/Thurs.
1.9 MILLION FLORIDIANS HAVE ALREADY VOTED
About 1.9 million Floridians have already cast ballots, according to numbers made available by the Department of State. Of the 1,865,896 people in Florida that voted through Sunday by absentee ballot and early voting, Democrats accounted for 784,444 votes and Republicans accounted for 774,304. More than 307,000 ballots have been cast by voters who don’t belong to either major party.
ROMNEY RACKS UP MORE FLA. NEWSPAPER ENDORSEMENTS
Many of the papers that endorsed Romney– including Florida Today, the Pensacola News Journal, and the Naples Daily News – endorsed Obama in 2008.
Florida Today: “Romney has a clearer vision for a modern economy. He has a better understanding than President Barack Obama of what could help manufacturers and service companies grow and hire. And he has executive experience and a record of problem solving that Obama did not have before taking office.”
Florida Times-Union: “If Obama is elected, the likely outcome is four more years of gridlock. The nation can’t stand anymore of it; the issues are too great.”
Naples Daily News: “This time four years ago, this newspaper’s editorial board sized up the state of the economy and other issues and concluded the country needed a change, to Obama. While we believe the national economy is on the way back, we believe it will take another administration change, to Romney, to bring the leadership that will make that recovery timely, robust and sustainable.
Pensacola News Journal: “We’re confident Romney can find a way to get people working again.”
QUOTE OF THE DAY: “When you act like that, when you blame other people and when you use profane language, and when you act like you’re a 10-year-old, sometimes as in the debates, I don’t think that independent voters and undecided voters are really moved by that.” — Former Governor Jeb Bush in an interview with Newsmax.
***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.***
PPP POLL: BILL NELSON WITH COMMANDING LEAD OVER CONNIE MACK
Nelson looks to have a pretty commanding lead heading into the final week of the campaign, 50% to 42% over Republican for Connie Mack, according to a new survey from Public Policy Polling.
Nelson’s approval rating is on positive ground for the first time in quite a while at 44/41. Mack continues to be quite an unpopular candidate with only 36% of voters rating him favorably to 46% with a negative one. Nelson is winning independent voters 51/36 even as Obama is simultaneously losing them, and he’s also taking 17% of the Republican vote.
>>>Democrats lead the generic Congressional ballot in the state 48%/45%.
RASMUSSEN POLL: NELSON AHEAD JUST THREE. View findings here.
Two key takeaways from Rasmussen poll: 1) Nelson leads 55% to 41% among early voters; 2) 16% of Florida voters describe the U.S. economy as good or excellent, but 48% think it’s in poor shape.
MACK’S WIFE ALSO FIGHTING FOR POLITICAL LIFE
As Mack tries for a come-from-behind defeat of Nelson, Mack’s wife, U.S. Rep. Mary Bono Mack, is also in a tough race, the Hill reports.
TIMES EDITORIAL: JUST SAY ‘NO’ TO ALL AMENDMENTS
“The best way to send a message to Tallahassee that Floridians want fairer taxes and less extreme government is to say “no” to the 11 state constitutional amendments on the Nov. 6 ballot. Florida doesn’t need a single one of the measures authored by the Legislature and presented with attractive but deceptive titles and dense summaries.”
LOCAL GOVERNMENTS VS. REALTORS ON AMENDMENT 4 via The Buzz
Realtors say the amendment will help revive the state’s weary housing market, create thousands of jobs and ensure that homeowners don’t see higher property tax bills when their home values fall.
Funded by dues money from the state’s 115,000 real estate agents and additional support from the National Association of Realtors, the Yes on 4 campaign is a well-funded operation with a catchy seven-word slogan for the complex 700-word amendment: “Tired of getting your assets taxed off?”
Advocacy groups for local governments are pitching a different message as they try to convince voters that most of Amendment 4’s tax relief will go to businesses, new homeowners and snowbirds — not permanent residents.
BLUE CROSS CASH TO NANCY SODERBERG COMMITTEE BECOMES ISSUE DURING SD 4 DEBATE by Matt Dixon of the Florida Times Union
A $75,000 check Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida gave to a group “associated” with state Senate candidate Nancy Soderberg has complicated a line of attack her campaign has relied on.
The Soderberg camp has hammered Republican Aaron Bean for receiving big money help from the health care industry. “I would like to know what you have promised them,” Soderberg asked during a Monday debate on WJCT.
This time, though, Bean had the chance to point to the BCBS money. “Just last week, BCBS gave her $75,000,” said Bean, who chaired a health care committee as a member of the Florida House and currently works for Shands Jacksonville.
“Let’s be clear and get that on the record, we both have received money from the health care industry,” he added.
OUTSIDE GROUP WHACKS JOSH SHULMAN IN HD 69. View the mailer here.
MEET AND GREET WITH HD 89 INCUMBENT BILL HAGER at the Grease Burger Bar in West Palm Beach beginning at 5:30 p.m. Invite here.
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5 QUESTIONS FOR SEN. PAULA DOCKERY (Full interview here)
Including: As a member of the media now, what’s your take on the capital press corps?
DOCKERY: When I first came in, the media – especially the print media – was in a much better financial position. And so a newspaper might have a reporter who was an expert on transportation, an expert on education…So when a reporter stuck a microphone in a legislator’s face and asked a question, they knew the subject matter. And a legislator couldn’t get by with an incorrect answer because they’d be pressed on it.
Now you have reporters who are supposed to cover all subjects, and when they ask a legislator a question, they don’t really know if what the legislator is telling them is factually correct or their opinion or what-not. So you don’t have those probing, follow-up questions…and that’s very dangerous in the legislative process.
CRYSTAL RIVER NUKE PLANT ON AGENDA
The Florida Public Service Commission meets 9:30 a.m. in Tallahassee to discuss Progress Energy Florida’s pending decision whether to repair or retire its Crystal River nuclear power generating plant, the costs of replacement power during the three years it has been idle, and other issues that may come up.
FLORIDA TEACHERS UNION CALLED WEAK IN NEW STUDY
Florida’s teachers union is among the weakest in the nation, working with limited resources and a “feeble reputation,” according to a new national study released today.
The Florida Education Association, however, called the study by the Thomas B. Fordham Institute “laughable” and of little value.
“It’s a right-wing think tank, and you have to question, what’s the political game?” said Andy Ford, the association president.
PERSONNEL NOTES: SALLY WEST LEAVES FRF FOR WALGREENS…
Sally West, longtime Florida Retail Federation director of government affairs, accepted a position this month with the Walgreen Company as the Southeast Manager of State Government Relations.
…REBECCA MATTHEWS ADDS TO RESPONSIBILITIES AT OIR
Matthews is adding director of the Office of Insurance Regulation’s office of government affairs to her job duties, while continuing as deputy chief of staff. Her new role will include working in both legislative and Cabinet capacities. Matthews was previously legislative affairs director for both the Florida Department of Management Services and the Florida Lottery. She has also worked as vice president of communications at the Florida Bankers Association.
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HAPPY BIRTHDAY belatedly to Bascom Communication’s Kristen Bridges
INSTAGRAM reports “There are now 10 pictures per second being posted with the hashtag #sandy — most are images of people prepping for the storm and images of scenes outdoors.”
THE TEN WORST GAFFES OF 2012: Brad Phillips compiles the list of the ten worst media disasters of the 2012 presidential campaign.