Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
February 13, 2016

Posts in "Florida"

January 31, 2016

Handicapping the GOP Race Past Iowa


NORTH CHARLESTON, SC - JANUARY 14:  Republican presidential candidates (L-R) Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), Donald Trump and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) participate in the Fox Business Network Republican presidential debate at the North Charleston Coliseum and Performing Arts Center on January 14, 2016 in North Charleston, South Carolina. The sixth Republican debate is held in two parts, one main debate for the top seven candidates, and another for three other candidates lower in the current polls.  (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

While Trump, center, and Cruz, right, have established themselves as front-runners, Rubio has broken away from other establishment candidates. (Scott Olson/Getty Images File Photo)

Have we entered a new period in American politics, when establishment candidates on the GOP side don’t win their party’s nomination? That is the question I posed in a June 4, 2015 column. It is still a relevant question.

While I answered that it is a mistake to assume that the establishment candidate would inevitably win the GOP nomination, I doubted that combative candidates such as Donald Trump and, to a lesser extent, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, could pass the smell test for most Republicans.

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January 11, 2016

NRCC Names Furst Johnson IE Director


07/12/05.U.S. BORDER SECURITY--Rep. Katherine Harris, R-Fla.,testifies before Senate Foreign Relations on border security. Other witnesses were Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass., and Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. McCain has been working on a bill with Kennedy that would offer limited guest worker visas. He said Arlen Specter, R-Pa., chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, is ready to hold hearings on both proposals. Cornyn and Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., have filed an amendment providing a comprehensive set of immigration changes. The amendment would give the federal government more power to remove illegal aliens from the country quickly and allow the government to revoke visas for suspicious immigrants. Among other provisions, the amendment also would require the Homeland Security Department to issue documents to aliens that can be verified through fingerprints or other means. Harris is sponsoring border security legislation in the House..CONGRESSIONAL QUARTERLY PHOTO BY SCOTT J. FERRELL

Furst Johnson was communications director for former Rep. Katherine Harris’ 2004 campaign. (Scott J. Ferrell/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

National Republican Congressional Committee Deputy Executive Director and General Counsel Jessica Furst Johnson will be the committee’s Independent Expenditure Director for the 2016 cycle.

“Jessica was instrumental in helping us win our historic Republican majority in 2014 and we are excited she will lead our IE unit in 2016,” said NRCC Executive Director Rob Simms in a release first obtained by Roll Call.

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January 8, 2016

Obama’s Empty Campaign Threat on Gun Control


FAIRFAX, VA - JANUARY 7:  (AFP OUT) U.S. President Barack Obama listens to a question from Arizona Sheriff Paul Babeu during  a live town hall event with CNN's Anderson Cooper  (R) at town hall at George Mason University on January 7, 2016 in Fairfax, Virginia. The president this week announced new, relatively mild executive actions to regulate the gun industry.  (Photo by Aude Guerrucci-Pool/Getty Images)

Obama listens to a question from Pintal County, Ariz., Sheriff Paul Babeu during a town hall event on Thursday. (Aude Guerrucci/Pool/Getty Images)

In the heat of his push for more gun control, President Barack Obama threatened to withhold support from anyone, including Democrats, who didn’t support “common-sense” changes. But based on the political realities of this cycle, his comments aren’t likely to dramatically impact Senate races.

“Even as I continue to take every action possible as president, I will also take every action I can as a citizen,” Obama wrote in a New York Times op-ed. “I will not campaign for, vote for or support any candidate, even in my own party, who does not support common-sense gun reform.”

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December 30, 2015

Top Races in 2016: The South


ST. PETERSBURG, FL - NOVEMBER 6:  Volunteer David Bowser peeks outside the Pinellas County Democratic Party headquarters November 6, 2012 in St. Petersburg, Florida. Bowser showed up to provide rides to polls for those in need. The swing state of Florida is a hotly-contested battleground that offers 29 electoral votes. (Photo by Edward Linsmier/Getty Images)

Volunteer David Bowser peeks outside the Pinellas County Democratic Party headquarters in St. Petersburg on Election Day 2012. (Edward Linsmier/Getty Images File Photo)

Editor’s note: This is the third in a series of looks at the most competitive House and Senate races in the 2016 election cycle.

The South region includes: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia.

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December 9, 2015

Hispanic Voters Only One Problem for GOP


UNITED STATES - NOVEMBER 1: GOP Presidential candidate Mitt Romney appears at a campaign stop at the Patriot Center at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. Current polls have President Obama neck and neck in the state the day before the election. (Photo by Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call)

Obama carried Hispanic voters 71-27 percent over Romney in 2012. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Republicans’ decline with Hispanic voters over the past two presidential races is undeniable and improvement with the growing demographic is an imperative to improve the party’s White House prospects. But a new interactive tool helps demonstrate that the GOP’s Electoral College challenge goes well beyond the party’s problem with Latino voters.

David Wasserman wasn’t joking when he tweeted that the Swing-O-Matic would be “hours of fun for political numbers nerds.” The Cook Political Report’s House Editor teamed up with FiveThirtyEight to create a fun, interactive tool to try to project the 2016 presidential race.

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December 3, 2015

New Florida Lines Change Outlook in 5 House Races


UNITED STATES - FEBRUARY 3: Rep. Daniel Webster, R-Fla., listens during the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Railroads, Pipelines and Hazardous Materials Subcommittee hearing on "How the Changing Energy Markets Will Affect U.S. Transportation" on Tuesday, Feb. 3, 2015. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Florida’s new congressional map makes Webster’s 10th District decidedly more Democrat. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

After years of court battles, the Florida Supreme Court finally decided on a new congressional map that changes the dynamic in a handful of districts.

The results must be bittersweet for Democrats, who have been crying for “fair districts” for quite some time and could net as many as three seats in Florida next year. But they will also likely lose one of their stars, freshman Democratic Rep. Gwen Graham, whose 2nd District is now so Republican that it’s hard to see her even attempting to run for re-election.

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November 11, 2015

EMILY’s List Support Isn’t Early Enough for Senate Hopeful


UNITED STATES - SEPTEMBER 21: Democratic candidate Pam Keith, who is running for the U.S. Senate in Florida, is interviewed by CQ Roll Call, September 21, 2015. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Keith is running against much better-funded candidates for the U.S. Senate seat in Florida. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Pam Keith is a pro-choice Democratic woman running in one of the most competitive Senate races in the country, but the first-time candidate is having trouble getting EMILY’s List interested in her candidacy in Florida.

EMILY’s List was founded 30 years ago to elect pro-choice Democratic women to office. EMILY is an acronym for “Early Money Is Like Yeast,” because “it makes the dough rise.”

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August 26, 2015

Campaign Committees Open Holes While Filling Others


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Democrats believe Heitkamp could be a competitive candidate for governor but would loosen the party’s hold on her Senate seat. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Democrats want to hold the White House, take back the majorities in the Senate and the House, and gain ground in governorships. But what happens when those are conflicting goals?

In Florida, strategists at the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee are excited Rep. Patrick Murphy is running for the state’s open seat. But Murphy is leaving behind a competitive House district that will be difficult for strategists at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee to hold next fall.

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August 21, 2015

Crist, Culver Contemplate Humbling Transition to the House


TAMPA, FL - OCTOBER 24:  Florida Gov. Charlie Crist (R) answers a question during the Times/CNN Senate and Gubernatorial debates at the Marshall Student Center at the University of South Florida, Tampa October 24, 2010 in Tampa, Florida. Republican Marco Rubio, Florida Gov. Charlie Crist and Rep. Kendrick Meek (D-FL) are in contention for a U.S. Senate seat and battled it out live on-air during the Times/CNN Senate and Gubernatorial debates.  (Photo by Scott Mcintyre-Pool/Getty Images)

Crist, shown here debating Rubio during their 2010 Senate campaign, is considering a run for the House. (Getty Images File Photo)

It’s not easy to transition from governor to become one of 100 senators. But former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist and former Iowa Gov. Chet Culver are contemplating something even more humbling — jumping from chief executive to become one of 435 in the House.

Earlier this month, my Roll Call colleague Kyle Trygstad sat down with some of the “recovering governors,” a 10-member caucus of former chief executives serving in the Senate, to talk about the challenges of transitioning to a legislative body.

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August 5, 2015

Democrats, Party Switchers and the Ghost of Ed Jany


Rep. David Jolly

Jolly might’ve faced a competitive race had Democrats not cleared the field for a candidate who dropped out. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

 

Former Republican state Sen. Tom O’Halleran announced Tuesday he was running as a Democrat in Arizona’s 1st District. It’s not the first time party strategists have crossed the aisle to recruit, and O’Halleran isn’t even the only party-switcher running this cycle.

Last cycle, Democratic strategists cleared the primary for former Republican Ed Jany in Florida’s 13th District in one of the most ill-conceived ideas in recent electoral history. Democrats knew Jany’s party switch was too recent for him to appear on the ballot with his new party, thanks to the so-called “Charlie Crist rule,” which says a candidate must be registered with a party a year before filing for office from that same party. But they failed to account for Jany’s candidacy collapsing under the weight of resume questions soon after the filing deadline. Consequently, Democrats didn’t have a candidate against GOP Rep. David Jolly last fall and punted a competitive seat to Republicans.

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July 9, 2015

Key Races in 2016: Politicial Landscape Taking Shape


A few key races across the country next year will determine the balance of power in the Senate. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

 

Election Day is more than a year away, but the field of most competitive Senate and House races is already starting to take shape. While the political environment could change over the next 17 months, the landscape is largely set as a handful of races in each region will likely decide the majorities in the next Congress.

The fight for the Senate is likely to be decided in the Midwest, where Democrats have takeover opportunities in Illinois, Wisconsin, Ohio, and a longer-shot opportunity in Indiana. If Democrats can win three out of those four states, they will be well on their way to gaining enough seats to take control of the Senate.

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June 30, 2015

Top Races to Watch in 2016: The South


The Faith & Freedom Coalition

Rubio’s decision not to run for re-election while he runs for president creates a hot race for a pivotal Senate seat.

 

Editor’s note: This is the first in a series of looks at the most competitive House and Senate races in the 2016 election cycle. The South region includes: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia.

Florida Senate: From competitive primaries to the general election, the race to replace GOP Sen. Marco Rubio should have it all. Rubio left his party a competitive open seat to defend in the wake of his White House bid. The Republican field is still taking shape, but a competitive primary looks likely. Reps. Ron DeSantis and Jeff Miller, and Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera are running. Rep. Patrick Murphy is running on the Democratic side, but could be joined by colorful Rep. Alan Grayson in what would be an entertaining primary. Even though there is uncertainty about the nominees, the general election is likely to be one of the most competitive in the country, and a virtual must-win for Democrats to get back to the majority. The Rothenberg & Gonzales Political Report/Roll Call rates the race as a Pure Tossup.

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April 21, 2015

The Mystery of a Possible Florida Senate Candidate


Elections 2016

Lopez-Cantera, left, could run for Senate. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images File Photo)

A handful of Republicans are currently being mentioned as possible Senate candidates for the Florida seat being vacated by Marco Rubio, who is running for the GOP presidential nomination.

Former Rep. Bill McCollum, who has run repeatedly (and often unsuccessfully) for statewide office, is mentioned, as are a handful of House members, including Rep. Ron DeSantis, a tea party favorite. Full story

April 7, 2015

Open Florida Senate Seat Moves to Pure Tossup


Elections 2016

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Republican Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida is expected to announce his presidential campaign on April 13 in Miami, improving Democratic prospects for a takeover in the Sunshine State’s 2016 Senate contest.

The race would still have been competitive if Rubio opted to seek a second term — we had it rated as Tossup/Tilt Republican. Without him, it’s difficult to give the GOP a distinguishable advantage. No Republican has won more than 50 percent of the vote in a Florida Senate race since Connie Mack’s re-election in 1994. Full story

March 5, 2015

What the ‘Big Ten’ Tells Republicans They Need in 2016


Elections 2016

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker finished second in CPAC’s presidential straw poll. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

We won’t know the 2016 Republican presidential nominee for more than a year, but we already know the 10 states — the electoral “Big Ten” — that will select the next occupant of the White House.

Because of that, we can evaluate the GOP’s general election prospects over the next 12 to 18 months by watching the party’s trek through its primary and caucus calendar. Will the Republicans select someone who can carry enough of the key 10 states to win 270 electoral votes? Full story

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