Last Call for 6.18.24 — 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.

Ed. Note — Sunburn will be off tomorrow, as Florida Politics joins POLITICO and other news outlets in celebrating Juneteenth. Don’t worry; the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics will return to your inbox on Thursday morning. Enjoy the holiday, and thanks for being a supporter!

First Shot

New polling from Morning Consult shows President Joe Biden is underwater in 45 states, including Florida.

Biden has had at best tepid voter support for most of the past two years, but the most recent measure is a major shift from the early days of his first term, when he was underwater in just 18 states.

Heading into a likely rematch against former President Donald Trump, most swing states aren’t sold on Biden — voters in Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin are more likely to disapprove of the incumbent than approve of him.

His rating in the key 2024 battlegrounds is climbing from its nadir in February, however, with a minus-16 approval rating in Wisconsin being a major improvement according to Morning Consult.

Still, that’s no better an approval rating than the President has in Florida, a state that has trended increasingly Republican and that few onlookers view as a competitive state in the 2024 presidential contest.

Check out the full Morning Consult tracker data.


Long shot or no, Florida Democrats are putting energy into Biden-Harris 2024.

On Monday, Tallahassee Rep. Gallop Franklin, Commissioner Brenda Holt, and the first Vice Chair of the Florida Democratic Party, Judy Mount, joined senior citizen Democrats for a postcard-writing voter engagement event to mark the launch of Seniors for Biden-Harris in Florida, a national organizing coalition to mobilize older voters.

More than 50 area seniors attended the kickoff event in Quincy and wrote over one hundred postcards to Florida voters.

Speakers at the event highlighted the Biden-Harris administration’s work to reduce prescription drug costs, cap the price of insulin at $35 for seniors and strengthen Social Security and Medicare.

They also warned that a second Trump administration could raise costs for seniors, citing the former President’s recent statements that he’d cut Social Security and Medicare and repeal Biden’s prescription drug caps, among other things.

“Joe Biden has a proven record on issues important to seniors, like lowering the cost of health care and prescription drugs, and he continues to work to bring down costs and help ensure older folks can afford to stay in the homes where they built their lives. It’s amazing to see this launch of Seniors for Biden in Gadsden because he gets it — seniors are a powerhouse at the polls and are crucial to winning Florida,” Franklin said.

“The choice before us is as clear as day: We either re-elect President Joe Biden, who will fight for Florida’s seniors or let Donald Trump wreak havoc on the benefits and health care that millions rely on.”

Evening Reads

—“Why so many Americans have misconceptions about crime trends” via Judd Legum of Popular Information

—”The most dangerous bias in today’s America” via David Frum of The Atlantic

—”Democrats see glimmers of hope in Florida. Are they seeing things?” via Lisa Lerer and Patricia Mazzei of The New York Times

—”Joe Biden to give legal protections to undocumented spouses of U.S. citizens” via Zolan Kanno-Youngs of The New York Times

—”See how the national debt grew to more than $34 trillion” via Jeff Stein and Alyssa Fowers of The Washington Post

—”Rent hikes loom, posing threat to inflation fight” via Will Parker of The Wall Street Journal

—”What ‘boommates’ are and why you might want to join them” via Michael J. Coren of The Washington Post

—”Yes in God’s backyard? This housing solution may be the answer to your prayers.” via Rachel M. Cohen of Vox

Quote of the Day

“Instead of working with me to ban Congressional stock trading, the Ethics Committee is now opening new frivolous investigations. They are doing this to avoid the obvious fact that every investigation into me ends the same way: my exoneration.”

— U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz, on the House Ethics Committee investigation into him.

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.

Rep. Tom Keen could get a rematch with Erika Booth in House District 35. Luckily, there’s a perfect cocktail for that.

Order a Big Fish for members of the Fish & Wildlife Foundation of Florida, who put their money down in favor of an amendment that would protect hunting and fishing rights in Florida.

Young Tallahassee grads can enjoy a Capital City Spritzer — and the fact that they live in one of the top U.S. cities for new college graduates.

Breakthrough Insights

Tune In

Panthers on cusp of Stanley Cup

The Florida Panthers are one win away from the franchise’s first Stanley Cup championship as they host Game 5 of the Finals tonight against the Edmonton Oilers (8 p.m. ET, ABC).

The Panthers took the first two games of the series at home by a combined score of 7-1, then won Game 3 in Edmonton to take control of the series. The Oilers pushed back in Game 4 with an impressive 8-1 win to stave off elimination and send the series back to Amerant Bank Arena in Sunrise.

Edmonton star Connor McDavid scored a goal and assisted on three others in Game 4. In the process, he broke Wayne Gretzky’s record for most assists in a single postseason. McDavid has assisted on 32 Edmonton goals during this year’s playoffs.

Florida has never won a Stanley Cup and had to navigate through a tough Eastern Conference playoff bracket, beating in-state rivals Tampa Bay in the first round, then the Boston Bruins and New York Rangers to earn a spot in the Finals. The Rangers accumulated more points than any team in the league this season, but the Panthers beat New York in six games to advance. The Panthers have never faced an elimination game in this year’s postseason. The Oilers needed seven games to beat the Vancouver Canucks in the second round.

If the Oilers win Game 5, the series will return to Edmonton for Game 6 on Friday. Game 7 is scheduled for South Florida on Monday, June 24, if necessary.


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


Florida Politics is a statewide, new media platform covering campaigns, elections, government, policy, and lobbying in Florida. This platform and all of its content are owned by Extensive Enterprises Media.

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Contributors & reporters: Phil Ammann, Drew Dixon, Roseanne Dunkelberger, A.G. Gancarski, Anne Geggis, Ryan Nicol, Jacob Ogles, Cole Pepper, Gray Rohrer, Jesse Scheckner, Christine Sexton, Drew Wilson, and Mike Wright.

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