Former Vice President Joe Biden may be seeing his strongest polling lead in the country from a new Florida Atlantic University survey of the Sunshine State Democratic electorate (1/9-12; 494 FL likely Democratic primary voters). The FAU results find Mr. Biden holding a 42-16-10-7-6-5% margin over Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), and businessman Andrew Yang, respectively. Here, ex-South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg drops all the way down to also-ran status with 3% support.
If this type of ratio were to hold for Mr. Biden, the delegate apportionment would only include he and Sen. Sanders, with the former Vice President clinching almost three-quarters of the state’s major 219 member delegation at the Democratic National Convention.
The US Census Bureau officers released their latest population projections in order to measure national population growth for the period between July 1, 2018 and July 1, 2019. The results find the national rate of growth slowing to 0.5%, mostly as a result of decreased immigration. The peak period for the decade came during the July 1, 2014 – July 1, 2015 period when the growth rate registered 0.73%.
With these numbers come the ability to project which states will gain and lose congressional seats in 2020 reapportionment. The national reapportionment will be calculated and announced after the 2020 census is completed. The states will receive their congressional seat quota a year from now, with a release typically coming during the period between Christmas and New Year’s.
If current projections prove correct, Texas looks to gain three seats, Florida two, with Arizona, Colorado, Montana, North Carolina, and Oregon each slated to gain one. The losing states look to be Alabama, California, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and West Virginia.
If these projections prove true, California will lose a seat for the first time in history. It’s also realistic that the actual totals could yield a two-seat loss for Illinois or New York, and possibly both. Right now, it appears ten congressional seats will change states, but that number could grow. Usually, the actual numbers tend to differ slightly from the early published projections.
As has been the case since the turn of the century, the state of Florida is one of the nation’s bellwether political domains. Therefore, the new Mason-Dixon survey (12/11-16; 625 FL registered voters) about how Sunshine State voters feel about the impeachment process is worthy of notice. A bare majority, 50%, oppose President Trump’s impeachment according to this mid-December data cell. A total of 46% support the impeachment, which is yet another issue over which the Florida electorate splits virtually in half.
A couple of the sample segments are interesting. Voters in all geographic regions of the state generally oppose impeachment, except for those in Southeast Florida, which would support the process by a 56-38% count. Stark differences are present within the genders. Florida women support impeachment, 53-44%, but men oppose, 38-57%.
When north Florida GOP candidate Ted Yoho was first running for Congress in 2012, he made a pledge to serve only eight years if elected. Yesterday, on a local radio program, Rep. Yoho announced that he is keeping his pledge and will not seek re-election next year. His move means that now 37 US House seats are open for their next election, 26 currently in the Republican column.
Florida’s 3rd District, anchored in the city of Gainesville, is safely Republican with Rep. Yoho averaging just over 57% of the vote in his two elections within this current district configuration. Republican presidential nominees Donald Trump, Mitt Romney, and John McCain all finished between 54.6 and 56.6% of the vote illustrating very consistent voting patterns. Therefore, the eventual August 25th Republican primary winner will have the inside track toward clinching the general election.
Two-term Rep. Francis Rooney (R-Naples), who previously served as US Ambassador to the Holy See, announced over the weekend that he will not seek a third term next year. Mr. Rooney, 65 years of age, had been on the unofficial retirement watch list particularly when raising only $6,600 for the campaign cycle. The Rooney retirement means there are now 27 open House seats in the current cycle, 20 coming from the Republican side.
The 19th District, located in southwestern Florida and anchored in Ft. Myers and Cape Coral, is safely Republican (Trump ’16: 60-37%). We can expect a crowded August 25th Republican primary that will likely choose the district’s next Congressman.
A total of 219 House Democrats and one Independent have signed the petition pledge indicating they will vote for at least some version of an impeachment resolution. Doing so would impeach, or indict, the President, and send the charge to the Senate for a potential trial and motion to remove from office. Among the signers are several members who have competitive re-elections, are in Trump districts, or have primary competition. The lone Independent, Rep. Justin Amash (I-MI), will likely face attacks from both sides as he presumably seeks re-election as an Independent or minor party nominee.
The Democrats supporting impeachment who already face credible general election opposition are (listed alphabetically by name) Reps: Cindy Axne (IA), Gil Cisneros (CA), Sharice Davids (KS), Antonio Delgado (NY), Abby Finkenauer (IA), Lizzie Fletcher (TX), Andy Kim (NJ), Susie Lee (NV), Elaine Luria (VA), Tom Malinowski (NJ), Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (FL), Chris Pappas (NH), Katie Porter (CA), Harley Rouda (CA), Elissa Slotkin (MI), Abigail Spanberger (VA), and Lauren Underwood (IL).
A rare Florida presidential primary poll was released yesterday from Florida Atlantic University (9/12-15; 407 FL likely Democratic primary voters) and while former Vice President Joe Biden has an advantage beyond the polling margin of error, the seeds are planted for a tight three-way contest.
The results find Mr. Biden leading with 34%, while Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Bernie Sanders (I-VT) are tied at 24% apiece. Way back are South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg at 6%, California Sen. Kamala Harris pulling only 4%, Miramar, FL Mayor Wayne Messam finally getting on a polling board at 3%, and ex-Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-TX) and businessman Andrew Yang attracting 2% apiece. Under this configuration, Mr. Biden would capture approximately 91 delegates as compared to Sens. Warren and Sanders clinching 64 first ballot delegate votes apiece.
Miami-Dade Firefighters local union president Omar Blanco has filed a 2020 congressional campaign committee with the Federal Election Commission, the prelude to him announcing his candidacy. Should he win the 26th District Republican nomination, he will face freshman Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (D-Miami) in a seat the Democrats converted away from Republican hands in 2018. The presence of a Hispanic Republican union president as the GOP nominee will make this race one to watch.
Donna Shalala, the former Health & Human Services Secretary and president to both the University of Wisconsin and Miami University, won a south Florida congressional seat in the last election. She defeated former Spanish-language channel news anchorwoman Maria Elvira Salazar, 52-46% in the 2018 general election. Yesterday, in an expected move, Ms. Salazar announced that she will return for a re-match next year.
The region that comprises the 27th District was in Republican hands for 30 years in the person of Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen. Her retirement last year allowed Shalala to win the open seat, in a district that had been significantly changed in the 2015 state Supreme Court redistricting mandate. This will be a competitive 2020 campaign, but Rep. Shalala must be regarded as a clear favorite for re-election.
Freshman Rep. Ross Spano (R-Dover/Lakeland) has drawn one opponent while another exits for a different race. Freshman state Rep. Adam Hattersley (D-Hillsborough County) formally announced his congressional campaign yesterday, prompting candidate Andrew Learned to leave the congressional campaign to instead compete for Hattersley’s open state House seat. Two minor candidates remain, but it is now likely that Messrs. Spano and Hattersley will battle for the congressional seat in the fall of 2020.
This area, just east of Tampa, has been in Republican hands since the Lakeland anchored congressional seat was created as the 12th District in the 1991 redistricting plan. During that span, Republicans Charles Canady, Adam Putnam, and Dennis Ross had all held the seat prior to Mr. Spano winning last November.
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