Archive for the ‘Florida primary’ Category

Hillary Will Win FL–Will the US Notice?
January 29, 2008

The Clintonistas are out on the talk-show rounds, arguing that her expected FL win will be a big story. Cong. Kendrick Meek (D-Miami) contended on MSNBC that Florida will be the first big and diverse state to weigh in on the Democratic contest, and therefore, its verdict carries weight.
Fair enough–IO, NH, NV, and SC are small. Michigan has voted, but only Hillary’s name was on the ballot there.
In Florida, she’ll almost certainly roll up a lopsided win. All the latest polls show her up 20 points. None of them were taken after Barack Obama’s big SC win, or after the big names in the Kennedy clan proclaimed the Illinois Senator the rightful heir to JFK’s New Frontier legacy.
But Monday’s Quinnipiac poll makes it appear the Clinton votes in FL are pretty firm. 82% of her supporters here say there’s little or no chance they’ll change their minds. Only 69% of Obama’s FL backers are similarly firmed up.
Certainly, the announcement that Clinton will hold her primary-night party at the Signature Grand in Davie is a clear sign she expects to win, and wants to focus attention on Florida, after 4-1/2 months of avoiding public appearances here like the plague.
She’s after a coast-to-coast platform to proclaim her win, to proclaim FL’s long-neglected Democratic votes now have real significance. Will pundits and headline-writers across the country be impressed?
It seems unlikely. Almost all the pre-primary coverage of Florida focusses on the incredibly tight race between John McCain and Mitt Romney. When I asked NBC’s Tim Russert about the significance of a Hillary win (we had Russert on a Sunday-morning special on the primary), he repeated the prevailing pundit wisdom on the subject– that FL’s Dems are taking part in a meaningless “beauty contest” that will give the Clinton campaign no boost, heading into the 22 primaries on caucuses on February 5th.
Indeed, the only way the Democratic result here might get major media attention is if Obama comes within 10-points of Clinton. An unexpectedly close tally might lead to a spate of “momentum” stories about the Obama campaign.
Clearly, the Clinton folks think that’s a remote prospect, so she’ll be here to claim her moment in the FL sun.

Prediction– The Pledge Will Hold
January 16, 2008

The Democratic contenders have stayed out of Florida, under their pledge to punish Florida’s against-the-rules re-scheduling of its primary (FL, essentially, performed what we called “cutsies” back in grade school, cutting in the primary line before Super Tuesday, Feb 5th).
Now, the Obama campaign is muttering by leaked memo that Hillary’s people may be about to go back on the pledge. I would bet dollars to doughnuts that won’t happen.
Here’s why– the race here doesn’t seem to be close. The Quinnipiac poll this week had Clinton 20-points up on Obama. She doesn’t need to come here to win.
He doesn’t need to break the pledge and come here either, because a loss in FL can be dismissed by the Obama people as– “Hey, we didn’t compete in Florida– no biggie.” Look how little buzz Hillary got for winning Michigan last night– her serious opponents weren’t even on the ballot there.
But where it is close– really close– is Nevada, which holds its caucuses soon. And South Carolina, which votes on the 26th (three days before FL does) is also not a runaway– polls there show a substantial but not insurmountable lead for Obama there.
And in NV & SC, voters take that pledge thing seriously. When Obama said hello to some reporters who’d gathered outside a FL fundraiser a few months back, a Las Vegas paper did a serious piece questioning whether he’d broken the pledge. Those early states want to keep their place in line, and want to see FL punished for “cutsies”.
So– put yourself in Hillary’s place. Will you risk losing a couple of points in the next couple of states– where things are close and crucial– to come here and try to pad your 20-point lead? Winning in NV will help her more in Florida, in terms of momentum and excitement, than holding a couple of events on Miami Beach.
True– the Clinton campaign looked into holding a low-$, big crowd fundraiser at the Miami Beach Convention Ctr. just before our primary. That was apparently the source of the Obama campaign’s concerns.
But even such a fundraiser– technically legal under the Pledge– would not play well in all-important NV & SC. So Hillary will do a pair of under-the-radar, no-press-allowed events on Miami Beach this weekend… tucking away another $750,000 but not actually meeting anyone Floridians for free, or singing to anyone but the choir.

Obama’s FL Visit– Pt 2
October 2, 2007

A follow–up on yesterday’s post on Obama’s phantom campaign visit– even his modest and not very content-filled interaction with FL reporters may get him into hot water with voters in early-primary states who resent Florida’s attempt to leap-frog ahead in the process.
Check out the article in the Las Vegas paper this morning…..

http://www.lvrj.com/news/10174761.html

DNC Says "No Way"
September 25, 2007

No surprise here– the national Democrats are rejecting a request by Sen. Bill Nelson and Cong. Alcee Hastings that sanctions against Florida’s Democrats be lifted. Democratic Chairman Howard Dean sent a letter to the Floridians last night, pointing out that delegate selection rules were overwhelmingly approved over a year ago, and rejecting any suggestion he re-visit the issue.
Nelson has hinted he’ll sue, the Dean and the DNC don’t back down. No word yet on any lawsuit.
Florida’s being punished for moving its primary to January 29th. DNC rules allow only four states to choose delegates before February 5th, and Florida isn’t one of them.
So the standoff continues– and the Associated Press reports that Florida’s Republican party has sent out a mailing to Democrats, urging them to switch to a party where their votes will count toward selecting delegates. The January 29th primary date also violates Republican Party rules, but the GOP is only cutting Florida’s delegates in half, and isn’t banning its candidates from campaigning here.