Florida Influencer Poll: Sending up Israel, sending out Mike Hill

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The Israel visit was a "big win" for Gov. DeSantis.

With historic trips to Israel and rhetoric about stoning gays, so much for the “post-Session doldrums.”

Beyond the primary season sport of prognosticating on presidential races, Florida’s political cognoscenti have plenty to gossip about.

So Florida Politics asked more than 100 tapped-in Influencers about the long-term implications of current events.

Leaked audio of state Rep. Mike Hill, a Pensacola Republican, chuckling about stoning gays turned a town hall into a career-defining moment. We asked politicos how Florida House leaders should address the situation.

The bulk of responses suggest Hill must face a combination of censure and losing committee assignments, similar to U.S. Rep. Steve King. About 43 percent of both Republican and Democrat Influencers favor that approach, along with 25 percent of nonpartisans.

About 19 percent on respondents favor a simple censure, including 24 percent of Republicans, while 7 percent want Hill to lose all his committee assignments over the matter.

Then there’s 19 percent of Influencers who want Hill expelled from the chamber. That’s the thought for 39 percent of Democrats who answered the question. But it’s also the feeling of about 11 percent of Republicans and 25 percent of independents polled.

“He clearly didn’t learn from Frank Artiles’ mistakes,” wrote one Influencer. “A quick, vanilla apology would’ve gotten him out of risk. Now he will certainly face meaningful consequences, and should be expelled.”

In less bigoted news, Gov. Ron DeSantis led an historic trip to Israel. It included an overseas “ceremonial” Cabinet meeting and a signing event for anti-Semitism legislation.

A heavy majority of Influencers scored the Israel visit overall as a “big win” for DeSantis.

About 30 percent of respondents that it could even have national, presidential implications. That includes 36 percent of Republicans, 18 percent of Democrats and 13 percent of no-party people.

But 38 percent said it was just a win, albeit a big one, without such long-term ramifications. That’s the prevailing feeling of half our Democratic Influencers, along with a quarter of independents and 17 percent of GOP respondents.

Another 26 percent of Influencers said the verdict is still out on the Israel trip, and 6 percent saw no benefit at all because the public wasn’t paying any attention.

Then there’s that constant subject of political gossip — who’s winning Florida?

When asked which Democrat will win Florida’s March 27 Democratic presidential primary, a full 68 percent of Influencers said the same name: Joe Biden.

The former vice president serves as odds-on favorite for 68 percent of Democrats, but also 67 percent of Republicans and a whopping 75 percent of nonpartisans. Just 32 percent of Influencers listed someone else.


The Florida Influencer Poll is conducted monthly and solicits opinions on current events from the state’s top consultants, fundraisers, PR mavens, lobbyists and staffers.

Those who fancy themselves as “Influencers” and want to take part in future polls can send an email to [email protected].

The Influencers who took part in this survey are: Tom Alte, Danielle Alvarez, Phil Ammann, Jon Ausman, Roger Austin, Mario Bailey, Albert Balido, Wayne Bertsch, David Biddle, Taylor Biehl, Ron Bilbao, Katie Bohnett, Kevin Cate, Rachel Cone, Jordan Connors, Josh Cooper, Gus Corbella, Husein Cumber, Karen Cyphers, Jim Daughton, Claudia Davant, Richard DeNapoli, Victor DiMaio, Ryan Duffy, Pete Dunbar, Barry Edwards, Alia Faraj-Johnson, Mark Ferrulo, Marty Fiorentino, Matt Florell, Shawn Foster, Towson Fraser, Erin Gaetz, Julia Gill Woodward, Pamela Goodman, Joel Greenberg, Joe Gruters, Marion Hammer, Rich Heffley, David Johnson, Jeff Johnston, Todd Josko, Eric Jotkoff, Fred Karlinsky, Natalie Kato, Micah Ketchel, Lori Killinger, Jonathan Kilman, John Konkus, Jeff Kottkamp, Kartik Krishnaiyer, Kelsey Lehtomaa Frouge, Beth Lerner, John Lux, Jesse Manzano, Roly Marante, Frank Mayernick, Kathy Mears, James Miller, Ed Moore, Rhett O’Doski, Edie Ousley, Jenna Paladini, Alex Patton, Darryl Paulson, Anthony Pedicini, Kirk Pepper, Gretchen Picotte, Ron Pierce, Ben Pollara, Evan Power, Noah Pransky, Cissy Proctor, Bert Ralston, Foyt Ralston, Marc Reichelderfer, Sydney Ridley, Jim Rimes, Scott Ross, Evan Ross, Preston Rudie, Elnatan Rudolph, Meagan Salisbury, April Schiff, Pierce Schuessler, David Shepp, Patrick Slevin, Adam Smith, John Stemberger, Mac Stipanovich, Alan Suskey, Sarah Busk Suskey, Kevin Sweeny, Herbie Thiele, Cory Tilley, Heather Turnbull, Kyle Ulrich, Christian Ulvert, Steven Vancore, Sam Verghese, Ashley Walker, Nancy Watkins, Screven Watson, Christian Weiss, Doug Wheeler, Andrew Wiggins, Susie Wiles, Alan Williams and Skylar Zander.

Jacob Ogles

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at [email protected].

One comment

  • Seber Newsome III

    June 11, 2019 at 6:17 am

    If Mike Hill is censored in any way at all, there will be dire consequences at the polls in 2020. You Republicans better find a backbone and support a true Republican, “Conservative” in Mike Hill. It seems that the LBGTQ crowd is trying to change politics and forcing people into believing in their lifestyle. Well, I dont, and the people in Mike Hills district dont either. Do what you want behind closed doors, but try to force your sinful lifestyle on others. You see it everywhere, they are tying to make everyone think that men with men is perfectly normal, IT IS NOT!!! If the Republicans support this lifestyle, they are going to destroy the party.

Comments are closed.


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