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Florida Southern College

New polling shows alarming trend, many Floridians unaware how government works

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Many Floridians are unable to answer simple questions about how government works, says a new survey of residents by Florida Southern College. Even those with college degree missed some of the answers from questions included on exams administered to those becoming new citizens of the nation. For example, only 65 percent could name Rick Scott as governor of Florida. The poll, conducted April 2-14 and April 17-19 by the FSC Center for Polling and Policy Research, took responses from 377…

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Bill Rufty: Diverse Florida electorate crucial in presidential election

in 2017/Top Headlines by

If you are a presidential candidate, you can’t come to Florida with a single, cookie-cutter campaign and speak to issues based on national surveys. Florida is one of the most diverse and perhaps, with 29 electoral votes, the most crucial swing state in the presidential election, University of South Florida political science professor Susan MacManus told a large audience Thursday evening. MacManus was the leadoff speaker for the new season of the Florida Lecture Series hosted by the Lawton M.…

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In celebration of a barrier breaker

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In 1949, an educator applied to the University of Florida Law School and was turned down. The applicant, Virgil Hawkins, was black. The law school and the court system in Florida were white and racist. The application began a nine-year fight going all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, which ruled for Hawkins. That landmark fight will be celebrated as part of Black History Month in a special program at 7 p.m. Saturday in Branscomb Auditorium on the campus…

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Ed Smith leaves Florida House race for school board

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Polk County Commissioner Ed Smith, a Lake Alfred Republican, has pulled out of the Republican Primary for Florida House District 41, and has entered the nonpartisan race for Polk County School Board against incumbent Dick Mullenax. Smith said his decision to switch to run for a local office is based “solidly on the health of my wife.” The change in races leaves two candidates in the Republican Primary for the legislative seat and to woo Smith’s large bloc of supporters…

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Applying salt shaker test to Florida Southern College poll

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

Can a poll have flawed methodologies and still be relatively “accurate?” Of course it can, much in the same way a dart can be close to its intended target even if the player throwing the dart does not use good form. It might be that way with the newly released Florida Southern College poll, which shows, like many others, Trump leading and Rubio in second place in the Republican Party Presidential Preference Primary (PPP). But, the poll itself and the…

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Dena DeCamp elected Florida Republican Women president

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Amid a weekend of candidates, policy discussions and a closer role with the state Republican Party, delegates to the Florida Federation of Republican Women Convention in Orlando elected Dena DeCamp of Lakeland as their new president Saturday. She was first vice president of the state federation, President of the Republican Women’s Club of Lakeland and is a former vice chair of the Polk County Republican Executive Committee. Former state Rep. Deborah Tamargo, who chairs of the Hillsborough County Republican Executive Committee, was…

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Judicial history that changed government and life

in Apolitical/Top Headlines by

At a Wednesday night book signing for “50 Years of Justice,” a look at the history of the Federal Court Middle District of Florida, author James M. Denham noted that the district, which stretches from Jacksonville to Fort Myers with federal courthouses in Jacksonville, Ocala, Orlando Tampa and Fort Myers, has been responsible for numerous rulings that changed government and society. A meticulous researcher, Denham is professor of history at Florida Southern College in Lakeland and is director of the…

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