Patrick Murphy – Page 7 – Florida Politics

New Florida poll: 28% of registered Republicans who already cast ballots voted for Hillary Clinton

It’s an admittedly small sample, but a new poll shows that among the early and mail-in vote in Florida, 28 percent of registered Republicans already voted for Hillary Clinton.

Conversely, only 6 percent of registered Democrats have voted for Donald Trump.

That’s according to a TargetSmart/William & Mary survey. It also shows that with a week before the election, Clinton leads Trump 48 to 40 percent. That’s a dramatic contrast to several recent polls putting the race much closer. 

The RealClearPolitics average in Florida now favors Trump by one percentage point.

Clinton’s lead increases to 55-37 percent among those who said they have already voted.

The survey reached 311 respondents who voted early in the 2016 general election, either absentee, by mail or in-person, according to data from Florida’s secretary of state that was matched back to the TargetSmart voter file.

The survey reached 407 respondents who had NOT voted early in the 2016 general election, either absentee, by mail or in-person, using data from the Florida secretary of state that was cross-matched with the TargetSmart voter files.

Complete poll results are scheduled to be released later Wednesday.

The poll shows Marco Rubio leading Patrick Murphy in the U.S. Senate race, 49 percent to 43 percent. Among early voters, Rubio has a much bigger lead, 51 percent to 39 percent.

As of early Wednesday morning, 1.79 million Republicans have voted, as well as 1.77 million Democrats.

Joni Ernst-affiliated PAC gives $5K to Brian Mast in CD 18

Brian Mast, the Republican candidate in Florida’s 18th Congressional District, reported $8,700 in contributions in a new filing with the Federal Election Commission Monday, including $5,000 from a committee backing Iowa Sen. Joni Ernst.

Mast is running against self-funding Democrat Randy Perkins for the seat currently held by Democratic U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy, who is running for Marco Rubio’s Senate seat.

Ernst, elected in 2014, has become a major player in GOP politics and is best known for her annual “Roast and Ride,” a fundraising event she hosts alongside other Republican politicians which includes a motorcycle parade.

Last week, Mast reported about $95,000 in new contributions in FEC filings, and through Oct. 19 he had raised about $2.3 million and had about $400,000 on hand.

Perkins had raised more than $8.5 million through Oct. 19, though only about $685,000 of that money has come from individual contributors.

Bob Graham announces his support for fellow Democrat Bob Buesing’s state Senate bid

With just eight days to go before the voting ends in Florida, state Senate District 18 Democratic hopeful Bob Buesing received some welcome news Monday when former Florida Governor and U.S. Senator Bob Graham endorsed him.

“Bob Buesing is the right person to work across the aisle to address Florida’s challenges and get things done for the people of Senate District 18 in Tallahassee,” said Graham in a statement issued by the Buesing campaign early Monday. “I’m endorsing Bob because he’ll be a fresh voice in Tallahassee dedicated to protecting our environment and drinking water, strengthening our public schools, and providing innovative new ideas to grow good jobs here at home in Florida. The people of Hillsborough County can count on Bob Buesing to always put their interests first.”

“I am deeply honored to have earned the endorsement of former U.S. Sen. Bob Graham,” said Buesing. “Gov. Graham’s legacy of service to our state is a testament to all that can be accomplished when you prioritize the needs of the people you are elected to serve and work together across party lines. I am proud to share Sen. Graham’s dedication to putting people first and I will look to his example as a member of the Florida Senate.”

The endorsement from the 79-year-old Democratic icon (who turns 80 next week) could be a boost for Buesing, who is still relatively unknown in local politics as he attempts to defeat Republican Dana Young in the Senate race. Buesing is also being squeezed by progressive icon Joe Redner, a former Democrat turned independent who is polling in double figures in the contest.

Unlike President Obama, who endorsed a number of Florida Democrats running for state legislative seats earlier this month, Graham has been very selective in terms of his endorsements.

In addition to backing Hillary Clinton and Patrick Murphy in the high-profile races for president and U.S. Senate, the only other state legislative Democrat Graham has endorsed this cycle has been Ben Diamond, running in the Pinellas County House District 68 race against Republican JB Benshimen. 

Email insights: Patrick Murphy campaign ties Marco Rubio to Donald Trump in spooky scenario

Rep. Patrick Murphy is hoping to give voters a scare this Halloween.

In a Halloween-themed email, the Murphy campaign once again tried to tie Sen. Marco Rubio to GOP nominee Donald Trump.

“Floridians in search of a fright this Halloween, need to look no further than the spineless senator and the orange monster he wants to make president,” the campaign said in an email. “There is no haunted houses scarier than the White House, with Donald Trump’s finger on the nuclear codes and Marco Rubio dutifully by his side.”

The Murphy campaign has been hammering Rubio over his ties to Trump for weeks now, repeatedly calling on him to revoke his support for Trump. Murphy frequently pivoted to Trump during the final U.S. Senate debate last week, hoping to tie the Miami Republican to the Republican nominee.

For his part, Rubio has tried to sidestep questions about Trump, saying voters have to make their own decisions. During a stop in Naples last week, he once again said he has disagreements with both candidates, but doesn’t “want Hillary Clinton to be president.”

“This Halloween, amidst the goblins and ghouls, witches and vampires, there lurks a ghost more terrifying than them all: the ghost of Trump past,” according to the Murphy campaign.

Rick Scott says ‘there’s a clear choice’ in 2016 election

With about a week until Election Day, Gov. Rick Scott remains confident Donald Trump come out on top.

“I think Trump is going to win, and I think the reason he’s going to win is that there’s a clear choice,” he said following a stop in Fort Myers. “Even though we’ve added 1.2 million jobs since I got elected in 2010, it’s still the No. 1 issue in the country. He’s created jobs; he knows how to create jobs. She’s never created jobs.”

Scott said the nation needs someone at the helm who can work to defeat ISIS and “defend Americans against terrorism.” Hillary Clinton, he said, had the chance to do that during her time as secretary of state, but made little progress.

The Naples Republican commended FBI Director James Comey for re-opening the investigation into Clinton’s use of a private email server, saying he’s hopeful he “truth will come out.”

“It seems like what she’s done her whole life is worry about herself, instead of the people she says she wants to serve,” said Scott. “I’m glad that Comey did what he did and hopefully the investigation will come out with the truth.”

According to the Associated Press, the FBI obtained a warrant over the weekend to begin reviewing newly discovered emails that may be relevant into the investigation into Clinton’s use of a private email server.

The inquiry, which closed without charges in July, resurfaced Friday when Comey alerted members of Congress to the existence of emails that he said could be pertinent to that investigation. The FBI wants to review the emails to see if they contain classified information and were handled properly, the focus of the earlier Clinton inquiry.

Scott has been largely absent from the campaign trail, but has been somewhat involved in the presidential race. He is the chairman of “Rebuilding America Now,” a pro-Trump super PAC, which released an advertisement over the weekend focused on the email scandal. The new ad is part of an ad buy in the Philadelphia area.

The race in the Sunshine State is tight. According to RealClearPolitics, Trump has a slight lead — a half of a percentage point — over Clinton.

But the presidential race isn’t the only key race playing out in Florida. All eyes are on the race between Sen. Marco Rubio and Rep. Patrick Murphy, which could determine control of the U.S. Senate. According to RealClearPolitics, Rubio has an average lead of 5.6 percentage points.

“Sen. Rubio has done a great job as our senator for the last six years, he deserves to be re-elected,” said Scott. “He’s going to continue to focus on what’s good for Florida families.”

Scott encouraged Floridians to get out and vote, either by mail, early or on Election Day. According to the state Division of Elections, more than 3.7 million Floridians have already voted either by mail or in person during the early voting period.

_The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Randy Perkins receives backing of one-time opponent Jonathan Chane

Randy Perkins has received the support of his one-time opponent.

Democrat Jonathan Chane announced Monday he was endorsing Perkins, his Democratic primary opponent in Florida’s 18th Congressional District.

“In the past few weeks, I have become increasingly alarmed at what I am seeing coming from Brian Mast and his campaign,” said Chane in a statement “The fact that Mast so strongly supports Donald Trump, even as many national Republican leaders are seeking to distance themselves from the GOP nominee, shows me that Mast is an out-of-touch extremist. I am asking everyone who voted for me in the primary to support Randy Perkins.”

Chane said Perkins is committed to working “across the aisle to improve our economy and protect Medicare and Social Security.”

Perkins received 60 percent of the vote in the Aug. 30 primary. Chane came in second with 32 percent, followed by John Xuna at 7 percent.

Perkins faces Mast in the hotly contested race to replace Rep. Patrick Murphy in Florida’s 18th Congressional District.

Direct mail round-up: Jack Latvala reminds Pinellas voters what’s at stake this election

A new mailer from Clearwater Republican state Sen. Jack Latvala offers a simple message: “This election is not just about Washington D.C.”

Latvala’s mailer lets Pinellas County voters know what he believes is at stake this November — at both the state and local levels — with a handy voters’ guide for down-ballot races.

“It’s also about Florida and Pinellas County!” he says.

On the congressional level, the mailer suggests support for Republicans Marco Rubio for U.S. Senate and David Jolly for Florida’s 13th Congressional District. Photos of Democratic opponents — Congressman Patrick Murphy and former Republican Gov. Charlie Crist — are shown shadowed with their faces crossed out.

“Of these men, who can best be trusted to keep our taxes low, our nation secure and government out of our lives,” the flyer says. “YOUR VOTE could make the difference in these races.”

As for representing Pinellas in Tallahassee, Latvala is joined by state Reps. Chris Latvala of House District 67 and Chris Sprowls of HD 65.

“Do we want to turn back the clock on our state to a time when crime rates were skyrocketing, taxes were increased every year, and our public schools had no accountability?” Latvala asks. “YOUR VOTE can keep leaders like Jack Latvala, Chris Sprowls, and Chris Latvala fighting for us in Tallahassee!”

Locally, the flyer endorses Mike Mikruak for Pinellas County Commissioner; if he wins, it could result in a return to Republican majority on the board.

“YOUR VOTE for Mike Mikurak can help Republicans win back the majority on our County Commission that was lost in 2014 for the first time in 50 years!” the mailer says.

With such discord at the top of the presidential ticket this year, Latvala’s flyer reminds us that all politics — and good governance — is indeed local.

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Randy Perkins sinks another $1M into CD 18 race, 2nd since Oct. 20

Democratic CD 18 candidate Randy Perkins put another $1 million of his own money into his campaign last week, according to a new notice filed with the Federal Election Commission.

Perkins’ Oct. 27 contribution follows a separate $1 million cash infusion he made Oct. 20, and he has now put nearly $8 million of his own money into his campaign since filing for the seat.

Through Oct. 19, Perkins had only raised about $685,000 through individual contributions.

Brian Mast, Perkins’ Republican opponent in the race to take over for exiting U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy, also filed a trio of new notices with the FEC ahead of the weekend, showing about $95,000 in new contributions.

Most of Mast’s contributions came in from individuals, though he did get a little help from former Florida U.S. Sen. George LeMieux as well as U.S. Reps. David McKinley of West Virginia and Andy Harris of Maryland.

Due to self-funding, Perkins holds a strong lead in total fundraising and had about $233,000 on hand Oct. 19. Mast, through the same date, had raised about $2.3 million and had about $400,000 of that money on hand.

CD 18 covers the whole of St. Lucie and Martin counties as well as part of northern Palm Beach County and has a near-even voter registration split between Republicans and Democrats.

The district voted narrowly for Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney four years ago.

New Senate Leadership Fund ad blasts Patrick Murphy for lying about, well, everything

A new ad from the Senate Leadership Fund blasts U.S. Senate hopeful Patrick Murphy with a litany of what they say are his sins – lying, embellishing and not doing much in Congress.

The criticisms have been leveled before by Murphy’s detractors and his opponent Marco Rubio – the ad says Murphy lied about everything from his business record to his education.

“He lied about his education,” the ad states. “Murphy’s claims of business experience, outright false. Why did he pad his resume? He doesn’t have a record. He was ranked one of America’s least effective congressmen. In a do nothing congress, Murphy’s at the bottom of the barrel.”

The ad says it’s “no wonder” Murphy “misleads, exaggerates and outright lies” about all of those things.

“Marco Rubio and his allies are getting desperate as the polls have tightened and Patrick’s campaign has the momentum,” said Galia Slayen with the Murphy campaign. “Marco Rubio earned the worst voting record of any Florida Senator in nearly 50 years. He supports sexual abuser Donald Trump for president, but refuses to answer if he trusts Trump to keep us safe. Rubio’s special interest allies are trying to distract from his spineless cowardice with this false and desperate attack ad. Floridians deserve better.”

Barack Obama: ‘This is the moment where America has to take a stand’

At the University of Central Florida Friday night, a triumphant-sounding Barack Obama made a bold declaration to voters — in this election, no less than the direction of America was at stake.

The president, no doubt buoyed by resurgent popularity and comforted by the realization that the end is near, proclaimed fellow Democrat Hillary Clinton a worthy bearer of his progressive legacy.

“This is the moment where America has to take a stand and decide what it is what we believe in and who we are,” Obama told 9,000 people inside the CFE Arena, and a reported 7,000 more outside.

“And we’re not going to believe in fear. Instead, we’re going to lift up hope. If you want hope instead of fear, then you will elect Hillary Clinton as president of the United States!”

That stand, in Obama’s words, is for a more progressive America.

In his 42-minute speech, Obama acknowledged he didn’t accomplish everything he wanted, and that he made some mistakes.

But he did boast a list of accomplishments: 20 million more people on health insurance, reducing dependence on foreign oil, recognizing global warming and fighting to reduce carbon emissions. He also promoted his expansion of Civil Rights, preservation of abortion rights, the fight for women’s rights, reduced unemployment, increased wages, and the creation of a country where “You can marry the person you love.”

“Across the board, by almost every measure,” he said, “we are significantly better off now than we were eight years ago.”

“All the progress we’ve made over the last eight years goes out the window if we don’t win this election,” he added.

Obama seldom mentioned Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump‘s name — calling him “that other guy” — but repeatedly compared him with Clinton, characterizing the Democratic candidate as prepared and optimistic, while Trump was unprepared and fear mongering.

At one point, Obama praised Clinton as a meticulous hard-worker, who knows issues in depth, accusing Trump of “just making stuff up.”

“You don’t want at the slacker as your president,” he said. “You want somebody that knows what they’re talking about.”

Using his speech in front of a college student-dominated crowd, Obama pushed for the election of Democratic U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy over Republican incumbent U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio.

Obama criticized Rubio for taking many of the conservative stands that he said would end many of his progressive initiatives, including a vote to defund Planned Parenthood, opposing abortion, walking away from comprehensive immigration reform and “the Latino community;” and not believing in climate change.

That led the crowd, which often cheered Obama with defining, high screams — as if at a 1964 Beatles concert — to chant, “Patrick, Patrick, Patrick.”

But the chant never gained momentum and died off pretty quickly.

When Obama took a brief swipe at Trump’s comments about and alleged behavior toward women, a man in the back of the arena climbed over the railing of the upper deck, positioned himself on folded-back risers, and began shouting: “Bill Clinton is a rapist!”

It went on for several minutes before an Orange County deputy sheriff managed to talk him back over the railing and escorted him out.

Obama described an optimistic and diverse America, saying, “That’s the America I love.

“That’s why through all the ups and downs I haven’t been worried about this country,” he continued.

“Because, I’ve seen the heart and soul of the American people, and it is good, and it is decent, and it is strong, and it is resilient, and there is only one candidate in this race who I believe can continue the progress that we’ve made, and I know that because she’s been working all her life to make America better. And that’s the next president of the United States, Hillary Clinton.”

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