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Mitch Perry Report for 5.3.16 – Only six more months of hearing about Hillary vs.The Donald – every day

Well today’s the Indiana primary, and aren’t you all excited about that?

I didn’t think so. A CNN/ORC poll released yesterday shows more than eight of 10 Americans believe Hillary Clinton will challenge Donald Trump for president in November. That was taken before Indiana votes today … or Nebraska next week … or California and New Jersey next month.

But it’s still more fun to talk about a contested convention than start talking every day about a Hillary vs. Donald confrontation, since that’s still a full half-year away!

OK, enough of this: Will this be it for Ted Cruz tonight? It’s been over for quite awhile for the Texas Senator. But you wouldn’t believe that if you tune into cable news — and why would you, since it’s all about ginning up interest (The Sanders/Clinton race tonight could be close, we should add).

Seriously, I’m sure everyone reading this watches their fair share of CNN, Fox and/or MSNBC. I’m telling you I’m trying to walk away from the flat-screen though, because there’s nothing really that new to learn.

I felt a little wistful watching John Heilemann try to keep the excitement up on his Bloomberg show, “With All Due Respect.” Heilemann was a great writer/reporter for New York magazine for years. Now he makes $1 million acting like every other pundit on cable. Good for him. Bad for us.

However this race, thanks to Donald J., has been great for everyone’s ratings (and clicks).

Since the start of the year, CNN’s prime-time audience has more than doubled to 435,000 viewers a night in its target demographic of 25- to 54-year-olds, according to Nielsen.

The Wall Street Journal reports that in the fourth quarter last year, CNN’s average price for a 30-second prime-time spot was about $7,000, up from about $5,000 a year earlier. Fox News and MSNBC also have raised prices.

Thank God Trump survived, and Cruz didn’t, those network honchos are believing. Also a lot of political reporters.

But if it ain’t new, is it really news?

And before we go to the other news of yesterday, a quick shoutout to my sister Michele out in Richmond, California.  Happy Birthday!

In other news …

David Jolly, a former lobbyist, said on Sunday that he doesn’t believe ex-members of Congress should go back into the lobbying game, prompting a response from one of his GOP senate opponents, Todd Wilcox.

Although the business establishment supports the Tampa Bay Express toll lanes project, they’ve kept that support relatively close to the vest in recent months. Not anymore, as they announced the creation of a coalition with a website backing the $3.3 billion proposal. Meanwhile, TBX opponents howled upon learning the news.

Tampa attorney Bob Buesing becomes the first (and only, presumably) Democrat to enter the Senate District 18 seat in Hillsborough County — where he’ll likely face Dana Young in the fall.

Defying his leadership, Sarasota area Congressman Vern Buchanan says he doesn’t care — and is calling for the Congress to fully fund President Obama’s $1.9 billion request to combat the Zika virus.

And while Hillsborough County Commissioners dream up new ideas on where to come up with funding transportation that won’t include a sales tax, County Administrator Mike Merrill just shakes his head.

Written By

Mitch Perry has been a reporter with Extensive Enterprises since November of 2014. Previously, he served five years as political editor of the alternative newsweekly Creative Loafing. Mitch also was assistant news director with WMNF 88.5 FM in Tampa from 2000-2009, and currently hosts MidPoint, a weekly talk show, on WMNF on Thursday afternoons. He began his reporting career at KPFA radio in Berkeley and is a San Francisco native who has lived in Tampa since 2000. Mitch can be reached at mitch.perry@floridapolitics.com.

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