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Mitch Perry Report for 8.26.16 — Mason-Dixon says the presidential race in Florida is super close

Attention, Florida Democrats: Time to get off you a** if you want Hillary Clinton to win the state in November.

A Mason-Dixon poll shows the Trump-Clinton battle in a virtual tie, with the former secretary of state up by two points, 44 percent to 42 percent.

As has been said a thousand times, Trump cannot win the presidency without winning Florida, but according to this poll 10 days before Labor Day, he could win the Sunshine State in November.

By any stretch, this has been one of the most extraordinary weeks of the presidential campaign to date. Trump’s flip-flop on immigration has been absolutely fascinating to watch (as is seeing his surrogates trying to explain where he’s now at). And Clinton’s speech on the alt-right in Reno yesterday was something I don’t know if we’ve ever heard in a national campaign like this.

“When he was getting his start in business, he was sued by the Justice Department for refusing to rent apartments to black and Latino tenants,” Clinton said. “Their applications would be marked with a ‘C’ — ‘C’ for ‘colored’ — and then rejected. Three years later, the Justice Department took Trump back to court because he hadn’t changed. And the pattern continued through the decades. State regulators fined one of Trump’s casinos for repeatedly removing black dealers from the floor. No wonder the turnover rate for his minority employees was way above average.”

That’s tough stuff.

Meanwhile, the New York Times has a major story today on Saudi Arabia and rigid and fundamentalist strain of Islam known as Wahhabism. Concurrently, some members of Congress this week have penned a letter to President Obama, calling on him to withdraw his Congressional approval for a $1.15 billion sale of weapons to the Saudis, “until Congress can have a broader debate about American military support for the Saudis,” according to the Times. 

Will Obama listen to them?

In other news..

Ben Diamond and Eric Lynn confronted each other in the waning moments of the radio debate between the two House District 68 Democratic candidates on Thursday.

Tim Canova made history yesterday by announcing he has received more than 200,000 individual contributions in his campaign to defeat Debbie Wasserman Schultz in Florida’s 23rd Congressional District next Tuesday. Unfortunately, not a whole lot of them are inside the district, which is why DWS remains the favorite in the race.

More than 86,000 voters have participated in the primary election in Hillsborough County as of Thursday morning.

Tampa Police Chief Eric Ward says his department continues to cite bicyclists less.

A Southern Heritage group is tagging state Rep. Ed Narain with an F-minus grade, but the SD 19 candidate isn’t losing any sleep over it.

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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