Ben Carson Archives - Page 6 of 38 - Florida Politics

Report says Ben Carson has been urged to seek Florida’s U.S. Senate seat

The book-tour presidential campaign of Ben Carson limps along, even as his campaign chairman floated stories of a frightening quid pro quo that could effect Florida Republican voters.

In exchange for getting out of the race, Carson campaign chairman Bob Dees contends unnamed “billionaires” promised support for Carson pursuing the GOP Senate nomination from Florida.

“That’s been very tangible. It’s been several … two groups of billionaire types of folks that have pressured him,” Dees told the Washington Examiner Tuesday.

“People that drive super PAC activity and other endeavors and there was even discussion of a, well, we can help with the Florida [U.S.] Senate seat if he’ll just agree to do what we’d like you to do or support our guy, drop out, etc,” Dees said.

Such “help” likely would come as a surprise to David JollyRon DeSantisCarlos Lopez-CanteraTodd Wilcox, and Carlos Beruff, and their supporters and staff.

Kevin Cate: How Marco Rubio could win Florida with Donald Trump at 40 percent

There is a reason Marco Rubio is acting like Donald Trump.


If you believe averages of Real Clear Politics (RCP), with 306,619 GOP mail votes cast, Trump, polling at 40.3 percent, is dominating Rubio, polling at 20.8 percent, at 123,566 to 63,776 mail votes.

Let’s assume turnout pops and 2,000,000 Republicans vote in the primary here, that’s 15.3 percent of the ballot already locked down.

So let’s talk about the remaining 1,693,381 votes up for grabs.

If Trump maintains his 40 percent, Rubio would need to win ~ 43.5 percent of all outstanding votes from this morning through Election Day (736,224 +1).

In 2012, Mitt Romney, with all the momentum in the world, was only RCP averaging about 42 percent of the vote right before Election Day and ended up winning 46.4 percent of all votes counted. But stay with me.

With current RCP averages Ted Cruz, Jeb Bush (I know), Ben Carson, John Kasich, and “other” are pulling about 585,909 or 35 percent of the outstanding votes. To cobble together a winning number, Rubio would need to draw about 65 percent from all of these outstanding votes.

Add in the extra 4.3 percent (72,815 outstanding) not in RCP average (undecided or other, presumably), and he needs to pull a healthy 58 percent (or thereabouts) of current RCP non-Trump outstanding votes.

But, we all know that’s just not going to happen.

Kasich isn’t going anywhere until Ohio, so strip away 84,669 (5 percent) outstanding votes. Carson, depending on his laundry situation, will pull in at least 4 percent, so throw 67,735 votes in the crazy bin, in 2012, 1.3 percent of Floridians voted for a suspended campaign or other — there go another 22,013 votes.

That’s 174,417 outstanding votes entirely unavailable to Rubio.

Which leaves Cruz and his 267,554 (15.8 percent RCP) projected outstanding votes. If, by some miracle, Cruz loses Texas tonight, and every single one of his voters go to Rubio from today on, that would still only get Rubio to 683,553, or 116,448 short of his win number with Trump maintaining his 40 percent.

Throw Rubio the bonus 4.3 percent not in RCP average, and he still loses by 43,633.

All of this should feel eerily familiar to Marco Rubio. Trump’s people are basically his people from 2010. Rubio is being Marco “Rubioed” by Trump.

So, there is a how for Rubio with Trump at 40 percent, but it’s also impossible.

Rubio needs Trump voters. And that is why he’s embarrassing himself on TV.

But it won’t work.

Donald Trump will win Florida’s GOP primary March 15.


Kevin Cate owns, a public relations firm, and is a media adviser to former Gov. Charlie Crist. You can reach him at

Donald Trump at 49% nationwide among GOP voters in new CNN/ORC poll

A day before the biggest day of the 2016 presidential election cycle, Donald Trump‘s lead nationally in the GOP presidential race is at an all-time high.

A CNN-ORC poll released on Monday has Trump at 49 percent support. Marco Rubio is a distant second with 16 percent. Ted Cruz is third with 15 percent.

Ben Carson has 10 percent, and John Kasich is at 6 percent.

Trump and Rubio both have seen their popularity rise 8 percentage points from a similar poll taken last month. The CNN/ORC poll from January had Trump at 41 percent, and Rubio at just 8 percent. Kasich was only at 1 percent in that survey.

On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton tops Bernie Sanders 55 percent to 38 percent in the new poll, a slightly wider margin than she held in late January before any primaries or caucuses were held.

The CNN/ORC Poll was conducted by telephone Wednesday through Saturday among a random national sample of 1,001 adults. Results for the 418 registered voters who are Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents have a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 5 percentage points. It is the same for results among the 427 Republican and Republican-leaning voters.

Donald Trump holds 20 point lead over Marco Rubio in Florida

Donald Trump is dominating Marco Rubio in a new poll of likely Republican Florida primary voters.

According to a Public Policy Polling survey released Thursday night, Trump holds a 20-point lead over Rubio. Trump leads the Republican pack with 45 percent in the Sunshine State, followed by Rubio at 25 percent. Ted Cruz is at 10 percent, followed by John Kasich at 8 percent and Ben Carson at 5 percent.

Trump dominates in a head-to-head match up with Rubio. In a two-man race, Trump leads Rubio 52 percent to 38 percent. Rubio would win over voters who supported Cruz, Kasich and Carson; but Trump would maintain a double-digit win over Rubio.

Florida has the most delegates at stake in the March 15 winner-take-all primary. Rubio has said several times he thinks he can win his home state. During an appearance on the Today Show on Friday morning, he said: “We are going to win Florida.”

“We’re not behind by double digits in Florida. Those polls that they’re doing, that you’re citing are wrong. Not only do we have our own numbers, but I know my state,” he told “Today Show” hosts Matt Lauer and Savannah Guthrie. “We’re going to win Florida, and we’re going to do well on Super Tuesday.”

The Public Policy Polling survey comes one day after two Florida polls showed Rubio trailed Trump in the Sunshine State. A Quinnipiac University Poll showed Trump with a double-digit lead over the Florida senator; while an Associated Industries of Florida survey showed a much narrower margin between the two men.

There may be room for movement in the polls. Thirty-six percent of respondents said it was possible they would change their mind before the March 15 primary.

Public Policy Polling surveyed 464 likely Republican primary voters in Florida on Feb. 24 and Feb. 25. The Republican poll has a margin of error of 4.6 percent.

AIF poll shows Donald Trump leads Marco Rubio by small margin

Don’t call Florida for Donald Trump quite yet.

Trump continues to lead in Florida, but that margin is shrinking, according to a new Associated Industries of Florida survey of likely Republican primary voters. Trump leads the GOP field with 34 percent, followed by Marco Rubio with 27 percent. Ted Cruz rounds out the Top 3 with 17 percent.

The survey found Rubio is the most well liked among the top three Republican hopefuls. Sixty-seven percent of respondents said they had a favorable opinion of Rubio. Of those, 20 percent stated that they had a very favorable opinion of the Florida senator. Nine percent of respondents said they had a very unfavorable opinion of Rubio.

Fifty-two percent of respondents said they had a favorable opinion of Trump; while 51 percent said they had a favorable opinion of Cruz.

That margin separating Trump and Rubio paints a much different picture of the race from the Quinnipiac University Poll released earlier Thursday. In that survey, Trump leads the Republican pack with 44 percent compared to Rubio’s 28 percent.

On Wednesday, Rubio told CBS This Morning that he will “win in Florida.”

Florida’s winner-take-all primary is on March 15. Millions of Floridians requested vote-by-mail ballots, and thousands of votes have already been cast.

The poll found Ben Carson and John Kasich tied with 5 percent support. It also found 12 percent of respondents said they were undecided.

The Associated Industries of Florida poll was conducted Tuesday and Wednesday evening. The poll surveyed 600 likely Republican primary voters and has a margin of error of 4 percent.

Marco Rubio trails Donald Trump by 16 in new Florida Q-Poll

Donald Trump is clobbering Marco Rubio in Florida, according to a new poll of likely Republican voters.

A Quinnipiac University Poll released Thursday showed Trump has a commanding lead over Florida’s native son. The survey showed Trump led the GOP field with 44 percent of the vote, followed by Rubio with 28 percent of the ballot.

On Wednesday, Rubio told “CBS This Morning” anchors he believed he could win his home state.

“Well, we’ll win in Florida now that Gov. (Jeb) Bush is no longer in the race,” Florida’s junior U.S. senator told CBS News’ Gayle King. “Him and I split a lot of the support in Florida, so that will help us.”

Bush suspended his campaign on Saturday after a poor showing in three early primary states. In the days since his announcement, many of his Florida supporters have thrown their support behind Rubio.

“Florida is the single biggest prize of the primary season because it is the largest state to allocate delegates on a winner-take-all basis. If Sen. Rubio can’t win in his own home state, it is difficult to see how he can win elsewhere,” said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll in a statement Thursday.

The Quinnipiac University poll surveyed 705 likely Florida Republican primary voters from Sunday through Wednesday. It has a margin of error of 3.7 percent.

The poll indicates Floridians want the Republican nominee to be a strong leader, with 32 percent of respondents saying that was the most important quality, while 23 percent said honesty.

Among likely Republican primary voters in the Sunshine State who wanted a candidate with strong leadership qualities, 66 percent picked Trump, while 16 percent picked Rubio. The men are tied at 30 percent among voters who wanted a candidate who is honest.

The poll found 30 percent of likely Republican primary voters who said they supported a candidate said they might change their mind before the March 15 election.

The poll could signal trouble for Rubio. The Florida senator hasn’t won a nominating contest yet, placing second in the South Carolina primary and the Nevada caucus. He came in third in Iowa,  fifth in New Hampshire.

The Quinnipiac University survey is the first poll of Florida primary voters in about a month, and all of the recent polls showed Trump with a commanding lead. The new poll found Ted Cruz in third place with 12 percent, John Kasich at 7 percent, and Ben Carson at 4 percent.

Marco Rubio to Ted Cruz campaign: “Who’s going to be held accountable?”

In the race to get to a one-on-one showdown with Donald TrumpMarco Rubio and Ted Cruz are doing a great job cannibalizing each other.

Monday’s example: A Rubio media availability in Las Vegas, where Florida’s junior senator again went on the offense over Cruz’s bare-knuckle brawling style of campaigning.

“Who’s going to be held accountable for making up this video? Who’s held accountable for lying about Ben Carson? Who was held accountable for the robocalls, and who was held accountable for the commercials on television that they had to pull down?”

Spoiler alert: no one.

Rubio lamented a “disturbing pattern of deceptive campaigns … and flat out lying” in the MSNBC footage.

Likely more disturbing: the banner under Rubio that said “Trump holds big lead in Nevada.” A condition that is the case in many of the upcoming primary states, including Florida.

Mitch Perry Report for 2.22.16 – Rubio’s narrow pathway

Sorry, GOP Establishment, but Ben Carson and John Kasich aren’t shutting down their campaigns.

Those rallying around Marco Rubio Monday morning are hoping they would, two days after Donald Trump‘s decisive victory Saturday night in South Carolina forced Jeb Bush out of the race.

Rubio says it’s a three-man race between himself, Trump and Ted Cruz, but he needs to come up with victories soon if he’s going to be a serious challenger to the New York City business mogul.

Kasich has no path to the nomination, says Terry Sullivan, Rubio’s campaign manager. In a memo distributed Sunday, Sullivan wrote, “The path for winning the nomination for John Kasich looks unrealistic given the threshold requirements in most states. With the current state of the race, Kasich is currently not in contention for 81.7 percent of the delegates awarded during the week of March 1st. He hasn’t shown any ability to appeal to voters outside the very small moderate/liberal subset of the Republican primary electorate. He has fewer resources, lower name ID, and less national infrastructure than Jeb Bush, who last night determined there was no path to the nomination.”

Perhaps true, but Kasich actually may have a shot at winning a state or two (obviously Ohio, on March 15), and he presents a distinct brand of Republican leadership that is appealing to center-right voters, those who supported Bush and/or Chris Christie.

Upshot? He ain’t goin’ nowhere.

Actually, Kasich was back in his home state on Sunday to sign a bill prohibiting Ohio from contracting for health services with any organization that performs or promotes abortions, blocking government funds to Planned Parenthood. According to CNN, Planned Parenthood isn’t explicitly named in the legislation, but the law will prevent more than $1 million in funding from the state health department from going to the nonprofit to fund programs such as HIV testing, health screenings and prevention of violence against women

Kasich also received the backing Sunday of billionaire financier Stanley F. Druckenmiller. So, no, Kasich isn’t departing anytime soon.

And Carson?

Despite his disappointing last place finish in the Palmetto State, the former pediatric surgeon somewhat incredulously told his supporters that “this is only the beginning.”

Say what?

Rubio can only win if the other guys get out. But they’re not. When asked about that at one point his advisers were saying that South Carolina would be the place where he would get his first victory, he said that Trump’s success is because there are so many candidates still in the race, versus the one-on-one matchup in the Democratic primary.

True. But it’s not going to change in the next few weeks, meaning Marco’s chances are very, very slim at this point. However, he is still in it right now.

In other news …

Jeb Bush’s failure this year on the campaign trail marks him as the fourth former Florida governor to strike out when attempting to become president.

• • •

If you like your politics with some controversy, then you have to admit that Alan Grayson did not disappoint at his appearance at the Tiger Bay Club in Tampa on Friday afternoon.

• • •

Tampa’s move to decriminalize possession of weed seems to have freaked out the editorial board over at The Tampa Tribune.

Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz jostle to claim ‘alternative-to-Donald Trump’ vote

Republicans Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz battled to emerge as the true anti-Trump on Sunday as the billionaire businessman took an ever-so-brief break from his trademark braggadocio to say his drive for the GOP nomination isn’t unstoppable — yet.

Fresh off a commanding victory in South Carolina, Donald Trump declined to say the nomination was his to lose. But he quickly went on to declare, “I’m really on my way.” Soon enough, in a television interview, he was toting up electoral math all the way through Election Day and concluding, “I’m going to win.”

The candidates’ diverging flight plans demonstrated how the campaign spreads out and speeds up now. Nevada’s GOP caucuses are Tuesday, and then a dozen states vote in the March 1 Super Tuesday bonanza.

Trump was in Georgia exulting over his latest victory, Cruz headed for Nevada, and Rubio embarked on a Tennessee-Arkansas-Nevada trifecta.

On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton savored her weekend win in the Nevada caucuses as Bernie Sanders acknowledged that while his insurgent campaign has made strides, “at the end of the day … you need delegates.” He looked past Tuesday’s Democratic primary in South Carolina to list Colorado, Minnesota, Massachusetts and Oklahoma as places where he has a “good shot” to do well.

Rubio and Cruz used the Sunday morning news shows to spin rosy-road-forward scenarios after complete but unofficial returns in South Carolina put Trump way up top, with Rubio squeaking past Cruz for second. But with roughly 70 percent of Republicans in national polls declining to back Trump, Cruz and Rubio tried to cast themselves as the one candidate around whom what Rubio calls the “alternative-to-Donald-Trump vote” can coalesce.

Rubio also took an aggressive run at Trump, faulting him for a lack of specifics on policy.

“If you’re running for president of the United States, you can’t just tell people you’re going to make America great again,” he said on CBS’ “Face the Nation.”

At a later rally in Franklin, Tennessee, a Nashville suburb, Rubio took note of the smaller GOP field after Jeb Bush‘s departure from the race, and celebrated his biggest crowd of the campaign, estimated at more than 3,000 people. Rubio avoided criticizing his GOP rivals, instead highlighting his efforts to help middle-class families.

Cruz, for his part, stressed his conservative bona fides and said he was the lone “strong conservative in this race who can win. We see conservatives continuing to unite behind our campaign,” he told NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

With Bush gone from the race, Rubio was hoping to pick off past donors to the Bush campaign and looking to benefit as well from a cessation in the millions of dollars in negative ads run by the Bush campaign and its allies.

Rubio also suggested it was only a matter of time before John Kasich and Ben Carson folded as well. He hinted it would be better to get that winnowing over with, saying, “the sooner we can coalesce, the better we’re going to be as a party in general.”

Not so fast, Kasich countered. “We’re getting big crowds everywhere we go,” the Ohio governor insisted, listing Vermont, Massachusetts and Virginia as places he can shine.

Cruz tried to brush right past his apparent third-place finish in South Carolina and instead hark back to his victory over Trump in leadoff Iowa.

“It is becoming clearer and clearer that we are the one campaign who can beat Donald Trump,” Cruz told reporters before a campaign stop in rural Nevada.

The Texas senator said his path to victory calls for a strong showing on Super Tuesday, and that Texas was “clearly the crown jewel” of that day.

Rubio, a Florida senator, highlighted the big delegate take available in the five-state round of voting on March 15, which includes his home state. He noted that round offers victors a “winner-take-all” share of delegates rather a proportional share.

Cruz scoffed at Rubio’s strategy, saying: “They’re trying to wait until March 15 to win a state.”

Trump suddenly had nice things to say about Bush, the candidate he had hammered so relentlessly when they were rivals. As for Rubio, Trump told “Fox News Sunday” that “I start off liking everybody. Then, all of a sudden, they become mortal enemies.”

At a rowdy Atlanta rally, Trump crowed over his big South Carolina win, saying “we’re just doing one after another.” Spitting out the superlatives, he called his sweep of all 50 delegates there “amazing,” ”beautiful,” ”conclusive” and “very, very decisive.”

Clinton was happy with her Nevada win but acknowledged she has work to do in persuading voters that she has their best interests at heart.

“I think there’s an underlying question that maybe is really in the back of people’s minds and that is, you know, is she in it for us or is she in it for herself?” Clinton said on CNN. “I think that is a question that people are trying to sort through.”

Working to increase his support among black voters, Sanders visited a Baptist church luncheon following services in West Columbia, South Carolina, and talked up the country’s economic recovery under President Barack Obama.

Republished with permission of the Associated Press.

Email Insights: Marco Rubio campaign tells SC voters to be on lookout for dirty tricks

Marco Rubio has a message for South Carolina voters: Watch out for dirty tricks come Election Day.

The Rubio campaign said Friday it was telling South Carolina voters to be on high alert for funny business from supporters of Ted Cruz. In an email, Alex Conant, a spokesman for the Rubio campaign, said they won’t allow “Ted Cruz to do to Marco in South Carolina what he did to Ben Carson in Iowa.”

On the night of the Iowa caucuses, the Cruz campaign left messages for supporters that said Carson was dropping out of the race. According to The New York Times, the message told supporters to urge Carson supporters to caucus for Cruz. One problem: Carson wasn’t dropping out.

“Cruz has proven that he is willing to do or say anything to get elected. Over the last 10 days, the Cruz campaign has lied, smeared, fabricated and even Photoshopped,” Conant said.

“We fear the worst dirty tricks are yet to come. We strongly urge all South Carolina Republicans to beware of suspicious news reports, emails and social media posts during tomorrow’s voting. The Cruz campaign will do anything to stop Marco Rubio’s momentum.”

According to averages of South Carolina polls, Cruz and Rubio are battling it out for second place in South Carolina. The GOP primary is Saturday.

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