Last Call — A prime-time read of what’s going down in Florida politics.
BREAKING — President Donald Trump on Thursday evening called off the Republican National Convention in Jacksonville. “To have a big convention, it’s not the right time,” Trump said. “I told my team it’s time to cancel the Jacksonville component. I’ll still do a convention speech, in a different form. But we won’t do a big crowded convention, per se.”
A new Quinnipiac University Poll delivered gloomy news to the Governor’s mansion: Gov. Ron DeSantis is now underwater among Florida voters.
The Q Poll found the Republican Governor still had the confidence of 41% of the electorate, while 52% had soured on him. That’s a 31% shift from three months ago when he had a positive approval rating of 53%-33%.
The drop was mainly among Democrats and independents — voters from his own party still back him by an 82%-12% margin. Still, that’s a 6% drop from the last Quinnipiac Poll.
DeSantis’ falling stock is chained to his handling of the pandemic. Not long ago, Florida was viewed as having averted disaster. Now, headlines — and daily case numbers — routinely place it as an epicenter in the pandemic’s resurgence.
Florida feels the same, and by and large, they view the decisions from the Governor’s mansion in a negative light.
Nearly two-thirds say reopening schools is unsafe; an almost identical number feel the RNC coming to Jax next month would have been a disaster in the making; and nearly four in five voters said they supported a statewide mask mandate, a measure DeSantis has derided as unenforceable.
On his disaster management effort alone, DeSantis flunked. Just 38% approve compared to 57% who find him lacking. In April he was plus-9% on the same question.
As goes DeSantis, so goes Trump.
POTUS did trail presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden three months ago, but only by 4% — a tossup considering the poll’s margin of error of plus or minus 3.2 percentage points. Today, the former VP’s lead is 51%-38%.
“The president doesn’t escape the shifting moods and concerns of voters in Florida. His sagging numbers are a gut punch from one of the key states he keenly hopes to win,” said Tim Malloy, Quinnipiac a. University Polling analyst.
— 385,091 FL residents (+10,171 since Wednesday)
— 4,777 Non-FL residents (+78 since Wednesday)
— 3,253 Travel related
— 99,948 Contact with a confirmed case
— 3,200 Both
— 278,690 Under investigation
— 22,644 in FL
— 5,632 in FL
As of Wednesday:
Total claims: 3,264,601
— Confirmed unique claims: 3,060,998
— Claim verification queue: 308,510
— Claims processed: 2,752,488
— Claims paid: 1,786,547 (+15,306 since Tuesday)
Total paid out: $11.25 billion (+$190 million since Tuesday)
“Joe Biden leads Donald Trump 13 points in latest poll of Florida” via A.G. Gancarski of Florida Politics
“U.S. coronavirus cases surpass four million” via Jon Kamp, Allison Prank and Jennifer Calfas of The Wall Street Journal
“‘We’re talking about more than half a million people missing from the U.S. population’” via Joe Pinsker of The Atlantic
“How a 60-year-old drug became our best hope for saving people with COVID-19” via Sara Reardon of FiveThirtyEight
“White House, GOP kill payroll tax cut but flounder on broader coronavirus bill” via Erica Werner, Seung Min Kim and Jeff Stein of The Washington Post
“House passes bipartisan public lands bill; next stop President’s desk” via Allison Stevens and Jacob Fischer of the Florida Phoenix
“On MLB Opening Day, Ron DeSantis wants faster testing statewide” via Renzo Downey of Florida Politics
“Florida’s economy won’t recover from COVID-19 for more than a year, report says” via David Lyons of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel
“COVID-19 inmate toll nears 1,000 at North Florida prison” via Ana Ceballos of News Service of Florida
“Jacksonville prosecutors drop charges against 15 protesters” via Drew Dixon of Florida Politics
“Alex Penelas vows to reverse Black flight in Miami-Dade” via Spencer Fordin of Florida Politics
“Deb Barra proposes corruption unit in Orlando’s State Attorney Office” via Scott Powers of Florida Politics
“UF launches Racial Justice Research Fund to support scholarship on the Black experience” via Drew Wilson of Florida Politics
Quote of the Day
“If I only had 500 people in Florida testing, I could find a way to turn it around within 24 hours, no question. But we have so many people, so the question is how do you do that.” — Gov. Ron DeSantis, on speeding up testing results.
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