Last Call for 5.9.24 — A prime-time read of what’s going down in Florida politics

A digest of the day's politics and policy while the bartender refreshes your drink.

Last Call — A prime-time read of what’s going down in Florida politics.

First Shot

Be sure to check your inbox for Sunburn tomorrow morning, because we’re leading off with a fresh Florida Chamber poll.

The survey covers Donald Trump vs. Joe Biden Part Deux, the race between U.S. Sen. Rick Scott and challenger Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, and, of course, where voters stand on the recreational pot and abortion rights amendments less than six months out from Election Day.

Also, expect a check-in on information on the ballot amendments regarding hunting rights, homestead exemptions, public campaign finance, and partisan school board elections.

Unfortunately, we can’t give you the results until tomorrow — if we did, it wouldn’t be a Sunburn exclusive, would it?

But here’s what we can say: Voters told pollster Cherry Communications that their top issue this election cycle wasn’t marijuana or abortion rights. It wasn’t even the economy. Voters’ top concern this year is … drumroll … illegal immigration. 

Approximately one in six voters said immigration was the top issue facing the state, putting it a couple of points ahead of the erstwhile No. 1, skyrocketing property insurance premiums. Still, six months is an eternity in politics, so hurricane season still has a chance to change some minds.

Evening Reads

—“Most of Donald Trump’s kids, including Barron, named presidential convention delegates for Florida” via Steven Lemongello of the Orlando Sentinel

—”‘Time, patience, cold blood’: Mexico prepares for a potential Trump win” via Natalie Kitroeff of The New York Times

—”Rick Scott says Florida Hispanics will choose him over a Latina. He may be right” via Max Greenwood of the Miami Herald

—”Florida’s major power company prepares for this year’s hurricanes by dealing with a fake one” via Terry Spencer of The Associated Press

—”America has too many schools” via Sara Randazzo and Matt Barnum of The Wall Street Journal

—”Bookies at the baccarat table: A new scandal grips Las Vegas” via Gus Garcia-Roberts of The Washington Post

—“Who really has brain worms?” via Katherine J. Wu of The Atlantic

—”How TikTok Shop ads turned an obscure, inaccurate book into a bestseller” via A.W. Ohlheiser of Vox

Quote of the Day

“It’s not just about statecraft, people need soulcraft.”

— Gov. Ron DeSantis, on the First Lady’s Hope Florida initiative.

Put It on the Tab

Look to your left, then look to your right. If you see one of these people at your happy hour haunt, flag down the bartender and put one of these on your tab. Recipes included, just in case the Cocktail Codex fell into the well.

Watch out, student protesters — U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio isn’t a fan, and he’s thinking about ordering a Give’em the Boot.

Instead of comparing his past legal issues to former President Donald Trump’s current ones, U.S. Sen. Rick Scott should sip on a Plead the 5th.

Attorney General Ashley Moody isn’t running for Governor yet, but she gets a Nature Boy for earning an early endorsement from Ric Flair.

Breakthrough Insights

Tune In

Panthers travel to Boston as playoff series continues

The Florida Panthers continue their Stanley Cup playoff series against the Boston Bruins tomorrow (7 p.m. ET, TNT) and Sunday (6:30 p.m. ET, TBS) with both games scheduled to be played in Boston.

The Panthers split the first two games of the series in South Florida. In the opener on Monday, the Panthers scored first on a Matthew Tkachuk goal but the Bruins then scored five straight goals to win the first game of the series.

Game two was nearly a mirror image of the opener. Boston scored first, followed by six Florida goals, including a pair by Aleksander Barkov, to even the series at one game each.

Barkov has been on a tear in the playoffs, scoring four goals and assisting on six more in seven postseason games this season. 

Panthers’ games are nothing if not exciting. During the regular season, Florida played in 25 games in which they or their opponents scored at least five goals. The trend has continued in the playoffs. In their last five playoff games, including the final three games of the opening round against the Tampa Bay Lightning, the winner has scored at least five goals.

The winner of the series will advance to the Eastern Conference finals against the winner of the New York Rangers-Carolina Hurricanes series. New York leads the series 2-0 with Game 3 scheduled for tonight in Raleigh, North Carolina.


Last Call is published by Peter Schorsch, assembled and edited by Phil Ammann and Drew Wilson, with contributions from the staff of Florida Politics.

Staff Reports


  • Richard D

    May 9, 2024 at 7:05 pm

    According to the Wikipedia article about him, Rick Scott was the CEO of a healthcare corporation during the time when it was engaged in massive fraudulent activities which included ripping off Medicare and Medicaid. It says that Scott took the 5th Amendment’s right to silence 75 times during the trial(s) and, somehow, came away without any criminal conviction. Articles about it never explain how Scott escaped conviction even though he was the CEO when all the fraud was being perpetrated.


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    May 9, 2024 at 7:46 pm

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