Sunburn for 11/2 — A morning read of what's hot in Florida politics

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

***Friday is the final campaign finance report due for all legislative candidates prior to Tuesday’s election. The G4 totals due tonight include everything raised/spent from October 13 through November 1, 2012. On3PR will also be providing election results in legislative and congressional races next week. If you’re not getting On 3 Public Relations’ comprehensive finance reports for your clients and contacts, turn in your politico card at the door on the way out.  www.On3PR.com.***

OBAMA FIREWALL HOLDING FIRM

Nate Silver says Mitt Romney now “has few chances to win unless the state polls are systematically wrong.”

“I don’t mean for this to sound dismissive; the polling error could quite easily be correlated across the different states, and the national polls are one reason to be suspicious of the state polls.”

“But we’re at the point now where Obama may be a modest favorite even if the national polls are right. Two weeks ago, when Obama appeared to trail Romney by a point or so in the national polls, that would not have been the case.”

BOTH SIDES NERVOUS, BUT REPUBLICANS ARE MORE NERVOUS

Mike Allen: “Both sides are nervous, but Republicans are MORE nervous. They don’t find it particularly encouraging that Mitt Romney was in Florida yesterday and will be in Virginia today – two states the campaign would love to have put away by now. Is Romney’s ‘expand-the-map’ drive… a sign of confidence, or a Hail Mary frenzy because of trepidation about Ohio? The correct answer: It’s mainly an effort to project confidence at a time when Republicans fear a slow-motion reversal of fortune.”

“Top Republicans are already hinting that if Romney loses, his people will blame the storm for stalling his momentum. But D.C. GOPers acknowledge that having some of the nation’s top auto executives call you out, when you’re the business guy born in Michigan, ain’t helpful.”

SWING STATE POLLS

Colorado: Romney 50%, Obama 47% (Rasmussen); Florida: Obama 47%, Romney 47% (Newsmax/Zogby); Iowa: Obama 50%, Romney 44% (NBC/WSJ/Marist); Michigan: Obama 53%, Romney 45% (Public Policy Polling);
Nevada: Obama 50%, Romney 46% (SurveyUSA); New Hampshire: Obama 49%, Romney 47% (NBC/WSJ/Marist); Ohio: Obama 50%, Romney 44% (Newsmax/Zogby); Virginia: Obama 49%, Romney 46% (Public Policy Polling); Virginia: Romney 48%, Obama 47% (Newsmax/Zogby); Wisconsin: Obama 49%, Romney 46% (NBC/WSJ/Marist); Wisconsin: Obama 49%, Romney 49% (Rasmussen)

OBAMA CAMPAIGN OUT WITH AD FROM COLIN POWELL

The Obama campaign is out with a new ad featuring former Secretary of State Colin Powell

“When he took over… we were in one of the worst recessions we had seen in recent times, close to a depression… And I saw, over the next several years, stabilization come back in the financial community. Housing is starting to pick up… The president saved the auto industry… And the actions he’s taken with respect to protecting us from terrorism have been very, very solid. And so I think we ought to keep on the track that we’re on.”

BLOOMBERG ENDORSES OBAMA

In a surprise announcement, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said that Hurricane Sandy had reshaped his thinking about the presidential campaign, and he announced that he was endorsing President Obama.

Bloomberg has been sharply critical of both Obama and Mitt Romney but he said he “had decided over the past several days that Mr. Obama was the best candidate to tackle the global climate change that the mayor believes contributed to the violent storm, which took the lives of at least 37 New Yorkers and caused billions of dollars in damage.”

Bloomberg added he might have endorsed Romney, “except for the fact that the Republican had abandoned positions he once publicly held.”

KARL ROVE PREDICTS ROMNEY WIN

Rove says polling data and early voting favor Mitt Romney.  “In addition to the data, the anecdotal and intangible evidence–from crowd sizes to each side’s closing arguments — give the sense that the odds favor Mr. Romney. They do. My prediction: Sometime after the cock crows on the morning of Nov. 7, Mitt Romney will be declared America’s 45th president. Let’s call it 51%-48%, with Mr. Romney carrying at least 279 Electoral College votes, probably more.”

FLORIDA’S BATTLEGROUND STATUS HAS CREATED A RECORD TELEVISION AD WAR by Mary Ellen Klas of the Miami Herald

Fueled by cash from outside political groups, the arms race over political advertising has reached a crescendo in Florida, where more than $133 million has poured into the state since April to finance a record-breaking barrage of television ads.

The presidential race alone has shattered Florida’s previous records and nationwide “this election year will go down as a record pulverizing year for political advertising,’’ said Erika Franklin Fowler, co-director of the Wesleyan Media Project which tracks political ads.

Since June 1, more than 915,000 presidential ads have been aired on broadcast and national cable television across the nation, the group reported last week. That is a 44.5 percent increase over a similar period in 2008 and a 43.7 percent increase over 2004.

SURE, FLORIDA IS BIG IN THE ELECTORAL COLLEGE, BUT NOT AS BIG AS IT SHOULD BE by Frank Cerabino of the Palm Beach Post

s of last year’s count, there are 311.5 million Americans. The voices of all these people are represented by the 538 electors in the electoral college.

That works out to 579,167 Americans for each member of the electoral college.

Florida’s population is about 19 million people. So our fair share of electors should be our population (19 million) divided by the Americans/per electors number (579,167).

When you do that, Florida should get 33 electoral college votes. But we get only 29.

EMAIL I DIDN’T OPEN: “Obama Supporters Chainsaw Romney ‘Zombies’ in Ultra-Violent $20K Ad” from Luke Montgomery

‘I’M TIRED OF BRONCO BAMA’

Everyone wants the campaign over, even this 4-year old girl captured on this viral video.

SABATO’S CRYSTAL BALL FORECASTS DEMOCRATS WILL KEEP U.S. SENATE

The University of Virginia political scientist and his team add the caveat that they feel confident with Dems retaining control as long as the race does not break hard for Romney in the final days. Their current Senate projection is 52 Democrats to 46 Republicans, with two leftover toss-ups: Arizona and Wisconsin, Sabato writes with Kyle Kondik. They’re giving Indiana to the Democrats, and North Dakota and Nevada to the Republicans.

DEMOCRATS CRUSHING GOP AMONG INFREQUENT VOTERS by Adam Smith of the Tampa Bay Times

Of the nearly 414,000 Floridians who did not vote in the last three general elections, Democrats have an advantage of more than 53,000 votes. Of the more than 482,000 Floridians who have only voted in one of the last three general elections, Democrats lead by more than 77,000 – a total of more than 132,000.

** The Florida Health Care Affordability Summit, taking place in Orlando, Fla., on January 10-11, 2013, will bring some of the most knowledgeable stakeholders in health care to the table – from health plans, hospital executives and health care providers, to some of Florida’s biggest employers and elected officials – to discuss how to make Florida healthier and bring affordable, accessible, quality health care to Floridians. To register to attend or for more information, please visit www.healthcareflorida.com ***

EARLY VOTING AND ABSENTEE BALLOT TOTALS TOP 3 MILLION

Through Wednesday, the state said, 1,376,148 people had voted early in Florida. Democrats led in early voting with 638,956 to Republicans’ 505,722, and the rest unaffiliated and minor-party voters.

Also through Wednesday, the state said, 1,680,432 had voted absentee. Republicans led in absentee voting with 734,095 to the Democrats’ 659,893, and the rest unaffiliated and minor-party voters.

TWEET OF THE DAY: @stevebousquet: Enjoy the ride: When Ag Commish Adam Putnam says he’s “excited” to spend 2 days on bus with LG Carroll, she shouts: “Let the rumors begin!”

ALLEN WEST’S PRIMARY OPPONENT ENDORSES DEMOCRATIC CHALLENGER PATRICK MURPHY

Rep. Allen West’s GOP primary opponent endorsed the controversial Floridian’s Democratic challenger Wednesday and is slamming West.

“As a Republican for over 30 years, I’m embarrassed by the radical fringe that has taken over the party,” Martin County Sheriff Bob Crowder said in a statement released through Democrat Patrick Murphy’s campaign.

“Crowder is a Democrat and a sore loser,” West campaign manager Tim Edson told the Huffington Post. “I’m shocked he waited this long. Perhaps Crowder hopes to continue cozying up to local Democrats so he can be their nominee against Allen West in 2014.”

NEW HASNER AD HAMMERS FRANKEL ON DIGITAL DOMAIN, PRIVATE BATHROOM 

With just days remaining until the race is decided, Republican Adam Hasner is hammering Democrat Lois Frankel with this ad.

He calls out Frankel for taking Digital Domain contributions (without referencing Digital Domain by name), and continues to criticize Frankel for the $13,000 bathroom that was built for the West Palm Beach mayor’s office under Frankel’s watch.

***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.***

LEGISLATIVE CANDIDATES SIDESTEP FUNDRAISING CAP by Jason Garcia of the Orlando Sentinel

More than ever this election cycle, candidates for the Florida Legislature are evading that cap by establishing murky political committees that accept checks in four-, five- and even six-figure amounts — and then spending that money on their own campaigns.

“Frankly, what drives all this is that Florida’s $500 limit is arcane. It’s just too low given the cost of modern campaigns,” said John French, a Tallahassee election-law expert who helps organize such committees, primarily for Republicans. “In politics, it’s kind of like the law of physics: Money find its own level.”

CANDIDATES ALREADY LINING UP FOR 2014 via the News Service of Florida

With the 2012 election still days away, 16 candidates have filed paperwork to run for state House seats in 2014, notes the News Service of Florida.

The list includes seven incumbents who were unopposed this year or clinched re-election during the Aug. 14 primary elections. Those incumbents are Rep. Clay Ingram, R-Pensacola; Rep. Charles Van Zant, R-Keystone Heights; Rep. Ritch Workman, R-Melbourne; Rep. Dana Young, R-Tampa; Rep. Darryl Rouson, D-St. Petersburg; Rep. Matt Caldwell, R-Lehigh Acres; and Rep. Daphne Campbell, D-Miami.

The list also includes newcomer Victor Torres, D-Orlando, who ran unopposed for a House seat this year, and newcomer Ray Rodrigues, R-Ostero, who locked up a seat in a primary.

Among others planning to run in 2014 are Rep. Brad Drake, R-Eucheeana, and Rep. Eric Eisnaugle, R-Orlando, who are not on the ballot this year after being drawn into new districts with other incumbents. They will seek to return to the Legislature after those incumbents are term-limited in 2014. By filing the paperwork with the state Division of Elections, the candidates are able to collect contributions for their campaigns.

CAMPAIGN PROFILES

In House District 24, political newcomer Travis Hutson of Elkton faces Flagler County Commissioner Milissa Holland of Palm Coast and no-party candidate Michael Cornish.

In House District 42, Democrats see a chance to pick up a seat in a race marred by a prostitution scandal. The Republican nominee’s name won’t be on the ballot — but that of the incumbent who left the race will be.

***Ron Sachs Communications is Florida’s preeminent public affairs communications firm. Ron Sachs Communications provides its clients with a competitive advantage built on strategic relationships, dynamic creativity and smart and aggressive communications strategies that generate superior results. If you want to win, you’ll want to have Ron Sachs Communications on your side. www.RonSachs.com***

AHCA CHANGE TO MEDICAID PAYMENT RATES TO COST HOSPITALS $60 MILLION by Jim Saunders of the News Service of Florida

The reductions will be spread among dozens of hospitals across the state and were announced as AHCA finalized rates for the 2012-13 fiscal year. The issue centers on a complicated process that involves local governments contributing hundreds of millions of dollars in Medicaid money that can then be used to draw down additional federal funds for hospitals.

Local governments agreed to put up $392.7 million that would go to two pots of money for hospitals, but the 2012-13 budget approved by lawmakers only called for spending $367.3 million in those areas. AHCA said it had to stay within the budgeted amount — leading to reductions in what hospitals expected to receive.

FLORIDA STILL #1 IN SHARE OF HOMES IN FORECLOSURE

Among the 50 states, Florida still has the highest percentage of mortgaged homes in some stage of foreclosure, but that figure dipped again in September to 11.5 percent from 12.4 percent a year earlier, according to CoreLogic. New Jersey ranked No. 2, with 7.3 percent of mortgaged homes in some stage of foreclosure in September, according to the Irvine, Calif.-based data firm.

TALLAHASSEE’S GOVERNORS CLUB CELEBRATING 30 YEARS TONIGHT!

The Club will celebrate its 30th Anniversary with a smashing party this Friday, November 2nd.  All three levels of the Club will be flowing with an abundance of amazing food and cocktails for every taste.  Enjoy a fresh Florida Seafood Bar, Asian Fare, Tuscan Delights, Cigar & Bourbon Bar and finish off the evening in our Sweet Shop.  Dance the night away to the live music of Acme Rhythm and Blues!

***Today’s SUNBURN is brought to you by Tucker/Hall — a top-notch public affairs and public relations firm. Visit TuckerHall.com to read about their team, success stories and case studies.***

 2012 ELECTION SPENDING WILL TOP $6 BILLION, says the Center for Responsive Politics.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY belatedly to Rep. to be Cary Pigman, and this weekend to Senator Jack Latvala.

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.