When Republican David Jolly defeated Democrat Alex Sink in Florida’s 13th Congressional District earlier this month, Republicans declared that this the first raindrop of an upcoming GOP midterm monsoon, while Democrats insisted that this was just a one-off special election that said little about what would happen come November.
Former Florida governor Charlie Crist said late Friday night that he is now a Democrat.
The Republican governor-turned independent Senate candidate's move was widely anticipated, especially in advance of a potential 2014 run for his old office. Crist endorsed President Obama for reelection this year and has aligned with Democrats over the last two years.
Update 11:19 p.m.: The St. Lucie County Canvassing Board has ordered a recount of all early votes in that county, beginning Saturday morning. The ruling is a victory for West, but overcoming his current 1,900-vote deficit will still be difficult.
A Florida judge on Friday denied Rep. Allen West's (R-Fla.) request to recount early votes in St. Lucie County, dealing another setback to the congressman's effort to overcome an apparent defeat in last Tuesday's election.
Conservative firebrand Rep. Allen B. West (R-Fla.) appears to have lost his reelection bid, with final vote totals in the state's new 18th Congressional District showing him trailing by more than 2,000 votes.
With 100 percent of precincts reporting, Democrat Patrick Murphy leads West by 2,442 votes -- 50.4 percent to 49.6 percent. That is outside the margin (0.5 percent) for a computer recount.
The last state in the 2012 presidential race has been called, with the Associated Press projecting that Florida will go narrowly for President Obama.
With 100 percent of precincts reporting, Obama leads Romney by nearly a full point, 50.0 percent to 49.1 percent. (Full election results here.) Had the margin been within half a percentage point, it would have triggered a computer recount.
Early exit polls in Florida show the Latino vote is strong for President Obama, while seniors are giving Mitt Romney a boost.
According to the exit polls, Obama is winning the Latino vote 60 percent to 32 percent after carrying it 57 percent to 42 percent in 2008. AndLatinos are also a larger share of the vote 17 percent, as compared to 15 percent four years ago.
Election junkies are about to get bombarded with data, starting at 6 p.m. Eastern Time, when the first polls close in Kentucky and Indiana.
But how to follow it all?
Below, The Fix highlights seven bellwether counties in critical swing states that will give us a good idea who is about to become the next president.
President Obama continues to hold slight leads in the crucial battleground states of Ohio and Pennsylvania, while the equally critical races in Florida and Virginia are too close to call, according to a new crop of swing state polls.
Florida: Obama 48, Romney 47
Ohio: Obama 50, Romney 45
Mitt Romney has built a slight lead on President Obama in Florida, according to a new poll from independent pollster Mason-Dixon.
The poll shows Romney at 51 percent and Obama at 44 percent. In mid-September, the same pollster had Obama at 48 percent and Romney at 47 percent.
The poll comes on the heels of a series of swing state polls from earlier Thursday that showed very little change in the swing states, despite indications that Romney has gained momentum nationally.
The first batch of swing state polls since Mitt Romney won last week’s debate show him in slightly better position in a few swing states, though the progress is not statistically significant or universal.
Here are the three new polls from NBC News and Marist College:
Virginia: Romney 48, Obama 47
Florida: Obama 48, Romney 47
While all the swing state have begun moving toward President Obama in the polls, the biggest swing state remained very close. Even that might be changing now.
A new poll from CBS News, the New York Times and Quinnipiac University shows Obama extending his leads in the key states of Ohio and Florida, while also being up big in Pennsylvania. The Florida poll, in particular, is notable because that state hasn’t trended toward Obama as much as others have.
Democrats’ hopes of holding on to their Senate seat in Florida appear to be looking up, with a new Washington Post poll showing Sen. Bill Nelson (D) holding a 14-point lead on Rep. Connie Mack (R) among likely voters, 54 percent to 40 percent.
Nelson, who also leads by 18 points among registered voters, holds a strong edge among basically all the key swing demographics, including among independents (55-37), moderates (65-25) and in the Tampa Bay (56-41) area of the crucial Interstate-4 corridor. At the other end of the corridor near Orlando, Nelson is at 49 percent, while Mack is at 43 percent — a margin that is within the margin of error.
President Obama’s bump has made its way into three key swing states, according to new polling from Marist College, NBC News and the Wall Street Journal.
The new Marist polls show Obama leading Mitt Romney by five points each in Florida and Virginia and by seven points in Ohio.
Obama’s margin in all three states is larger than it has been in other recent polling and suggests the Democratic National Convention paid dividends for the president in the states where it matters most. National polling has suggested a small but significant Obama bounce, but there has been limited polling in swing states since the convention ended a week ago.
The Republican National Convention’s first events in Tampa were postponed for one day, but the first of the Fix’s Convention Google+ Hangouts went live on Monday.
Chris Cillizza talked Rep. John Mica (R-Fla.) and Adam Smith of the Tampa Bay Times on the Google convention site set about what the Republican party wants to accomplish this week as they nominate their candidate.
And he was joined Hangout by Washington Post reporters Nia-Malika Henderson and Amy Gardner and the Daily Caller’s Matt Lewis.We will stream the Hangout here in the Fix, on the Washington Post’s Google+ page, and on the RNC Grid, PostPolitics’s new site for live convention coverage.
Do you want to join Cillizza for a Hangout? Complete this form and we may contact you about joining a reader panel during the conventions.
This post has been updated.
Rep. John Mica defeated Rep. Sandy Adams in a member-versus member primary in Florida on Tuesday, while another of the state’s Republicans, Rep. Cliff Stearns, appeared to have lost in a shocker.
Mica, the chairman of the House transportation committee and a 19-year incumbent, beat the freshman Adams after tea party groups declined to take an active role on her behalf.
Voters head to the polls in four states today, with Connecticut, Florida, Minnesota and Wisconsin holding congressional primaries.
As usual, The Fix has zeroed in on five things to watch as the results roll in tonight:
1. The most expensive congressional primary in the country
That would be Connecticut’s 5th district, where seven candidates have raised at least $600,000 and five have raised more than $1 million. A total of nearly $10 million has already been raised just to decide each party’s nominee.
The most interesting subplot is on the Democratic side, where state House Speaker Chris Donovan remains the favorite despite the fact that his campaign manager and top fundraiser have both been arrested and charged with corruption. Organized labor and progressive groups remain firmly behind Donovan, who has not been implicated in the wrongdoing and has won the state party’s endorsement as well.
Republican Senate candidates in some marquee races say they would be happy to campaign with the GOP's new vice presidential candidate, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.)
But others are apparently resistant to the idea.
Democrats have attempted to attach Ryan and his plan to Republicans all over the country, labeling Ryan their "running mate" and hoping his controversial Medicare plan hurts downballot GOPers.
Republican Senate candidates in some marquee races say they would be happy to campaign with the GOP’s new vice presidential candidate, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.)
But others are apparently resistant to the idea.
Democrats have attempted to attach Ryan and his plan to Republicans all over the country, labeling Ryan their “running mate” and hoping his controversial Medicare plan hurts downballot GOPers.
President Obama has cracked 50 percent and is leading presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney in a trio of key swing states, according to new polling.
The CBS News/New York Times/Quinnipiac University polls show Obama ahead of Romney in Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania, all by at least six points. Obama is up in Florida 51 percent to 45 percent; in Ohio 50 percent to 44 percent; and in Pennsylvania by double digits — 53 percent to 42 percent .
President Obama’s decision to exempt young illegal immigrants from deportation may not be the electoral boon it’s cracked up to be.
And in fact, it appears to be turning off more voters than it mobilizes in three key states, according to new polling from Quinnipiac University.
The Quinnipiac polls in Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania show that, while most voters still like the policy and Obama continues to lead Mitt Romney in all three states, the opposition to the move appears to be significantly more motivated by it — particularly in the two Midwestern states.
Updated at 11:12 a.m.
Former senator George LeMieux (R-Fla.) announced Wednesday that he will end his Senate campaign, citing a lack of resources, and endorsed Rep. Connie Mack (R-Fla.).
“As a former party chairman, I know that sometimes for the good of the party, and the good of the nation, a candidate has to bow out gracefully,” LeMieux said in a Web message thanking supporters. “In order to have the best chance to defeat (Sen.) Bill Nelson and put the Senate in Republican hands, today we will end our campaign.”
More and more, the 2012 presidential election is looking like it will be very, very close.
While national polling has borne this out for weeks now, perhaps more telling are new polls in a trio of major swing states that could well decide the election — Florida, Ohio and Virginia.
President Obama holds a narrow lead in all three, according to new polling from NBC News and Marist College. But the polls also indicate Mitt Romney is well within striking distance in each state.
The Marist polls show Obama at 48 percent in all three, while Romney trails by just a few points in each.
Here’s the rundown:
Florida: Obama 48, Romney 44
Ohio: Obama 48, Romney 42
Virginia: Obama 48 , Romney 44
While Obama leads in all three states, there are some good signs for Romney.
Once thought to have a potential liability in appealing to Hispanics, Mitt Romney appears to have overcome his doubters.
One of Romney’s more remarkable turnarounds in the Florida primary between 2008 and 2012 was among the state’s many Hispanic voters. While he increased his vote share overall by 15 points, from 31 percent to 46 percent, he increased his performance among Hispanics by 40, from 14 percent in 2008 to 54 percent on Tuesday, according to exit polls.
That’s a pretty huge improvement, but how much does it mean going forward?
Both Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum have argued for weeks over who is the conservative alternative to Mitt Romney, and both have said that they can win if the right wing of the GOP coalesces behind one candidate.
Tuesday’s result in Florida casts doubt on that theory.
For one thing, Romney’s share of the vote, 46 percent, was more than the total of Gingrich (32 percent) and Santorum (13 percent) combined, according to results available late Tuesday night. And the rest of the vote went to a decidedly non-traditional Republican, Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas).
There wasn’t much drama in the Florida Republican primary on Tuesday night. Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney pulled away to a convincing enough victory that the race was called for him within moments of polls closing.
But, that dearth of drama doesn’t mean that there weren’t lessons learned from Tuesday’s vote in the Sunshine State that can be carried forward as the race moves to Nevada and beyond.
Mitt Romney’s across-the-board victory in the Florida Republican presidential primary on Tuesday night serves as a direct rebuttal to the criticism that he simply isn’t conservative enough to be the party’s nominee and leaves his remaining rivals with few obvious next steps as the nomination fight moves to Nevada next month.
Updated at 6:52 p.m. with news that Hasner will run in West’s district
Tea party firebrand Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.) announced Tuesday that he will switch districts and run for reelection in Florida’s new 18th district.
West’s 22nd district, which was already Democratic-leaning, got even tougher under a new GOP redistricting plan released last week. The new district would have gone about 57 percent for President Obama in the 2008 presidential race.
There is a good bit of confusion about how Florida will award its delegates following today’s primary.
So, to clear things up, here’s where we stand:
A new Republican National Committee rule says that no state holding its presidential contest before April is allowed to award its delegates to the national convention on a winner-take-all basis, unless it is one of the four early carve-out states (Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada).
Think you know how today’s Florida primary is going to turn out? Want to win an official Fix t-shirt?
If you answered “yes” to both those questions — and we are assuming you did if you read this blog — then make sure to vote in the Fix Florida primary prediction contest!
In the comments section below, offer your prediction for the finish of all four candidates — with percentages (please limit yourself to one decimal place). As a tie-breaker, predict total turnout for tonight’s vote.
A lot can happen in four days, but as of today, the Florida primary and the GOP presidential race are again Mitt Romney’s to lose.
After a brief diversion in the South Carolina primary, Romney is once again the clear favorite in Florida, having taken a 9-point lead in the latest Florida poll. And if he wins there, it’s hard to see where he might slip up again.
If you ever read this blog, you know that we love lists. And primaries, and music. We’re trying to bring that all together by making playlists for every primary state. But we need your help.
Suggest your Florida-related songs using the hashtag #fixplaylist, and we’ll come up with a playlist to listen to while we wait for the returns on Tuesday night.Tweet #fixplaylist
UPDATE: Here’s our list: (If you have Spotify, you can download it here.)
Mitt Romney has regained his frontrunner status in the Florida primary, according to a new poll from Quinnipiac University.
The poll shows that, even before Thursday’s debate in which Romney appeared to get the better of Newt Gingrich, the former Massachusetts governor had opened up a substantial lead in the state’s primary Tuesday.
Tonight in Jacksonville, Florida, the final four Republican presidential candidates hold their last debate of a debate-filled month.
The debate is on CNN; Wolf Blitzer is moderating. (The TV-free can watch online here.) Things kick off at 8 p.m. eastern time, but we’re chatting starting at 7:30.
Tonight marks the 19th debate in the Republican presidential contest, the second Florida debate before Tuesday’s primary, and the last debate for nearly a month.
The stakes could hardly be higher, with both Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich arguably needing a win in Florida. So tonight’s debate is about as big as they come.
Florida Republicans have apparently settled on a new congressional map they hope will help them cement their overwhelming majority in the state’s delegation for a decade to come.
While the state’s GOP lawmakers have been tossing around a series of proposals for the past few weeks, sources tell The Fix that they have settled on a map that is expected to pass out of the state legislature in the coming days. (The map can be viewed here.)
It’s no secret that the Florida primary is a must-win for former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney. But, it’s also a victory that former House speaker Newt Gingrich needs to have too.
The reasons for the necessity of Romney winning Florida are well-known: a second-straight loss, coupled with his longtime frontrunner status, could well collapse his campaign under its own weight.
We may not be attributing Newt Gingrich’s rise to the tea party. But maybe we should.
Even as the movement’s influence in the GOP appears to have waned over the past year, there remains one major remnant of what happened in 2010: anti-establishment fervor.
The tea party spurred momentum and turnout for the GOP two years ago, but it also caused it some headaches in the primaries, turning aside candidates who were clearly favored by the party establishment in favor of conservative wild cards that went on to mixed results in November.
The 18th — yes, eighteenth! — debate of the Republican presidential primary ended after most reasonable people had already gone to bed on Monday night.
But, the Fix never sleeps — or, more accurately, rarely sleeps — so not only did we live-blog the entire thing but we also came up with some winners and losers from the debate that was. We spent a night letting our thoughts marinate so they should be good and flavorful this morning.
Goodbye South Carolina rabble-rouser Newt Gingrich. Hello Florida frontrunner Newt Gingrich.
The former House speaker created momentum for himself in the GOP presidential race — twice — with fiery debate performances in which he decried elites, attacked the media and cited Saul Alinsky ad nauseam.
But that Newt was nowhere to be seen at Monday’s debate.
Welcome to the eighteenth debate of the Republican primary!
This debate is in Tampa, Florida and NBC News’ Brian Williams is moderating. For those of you without TV, you can watch online here.
The debate starts at 9 p.m., but we’ll be liveblogging here ten or fifteen minutes before the action starts.
If you’ve never participated in one of our liveblogs, it’s like watching the debate with a bunch of politics nerds. It’s fun. We promise.
With the political world — or at least former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney — still reeling from former House Speaker Newt Gingrich’s convincing win in South Carolina, the four men still competing for the Republican presidential nomination will take the stage in Tampa tonight for their 17th debate.
NBC will be airing the entire two-hour affair beginning at 9 p.m. eastern time and the Fix will be live-blogging as well (a cheer goes up from the crowd!).
Until then, you can either stare at the clock waiting for the moment to arrive or read our preview of the best storylines to keep an eye on tonight. We recommend the latter option.
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich’s rise (again) in the presidential race has been as meteoric as it has been surprising.
Nothing captures that ascent as well as Gallup’s latest tracking poll, which, when viewed from even a slight distance, captures the new normal of the presidential race.
The orange line below tracks Gingrich’s standing in the Gallup poll since early November. The black line represents the poll numbers of former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney.
Mitt Romney may not be the clear frontrunner in the GOP presidential race any more, but that doesn’t mean President Obama’s campaign is going to let up on him any time soon.
Despite Newt Gingrich’s momentum in the GOP race, Obama’s campaign is keeping the focus on Romney, arguing in a memo released today that the former Massachusetts governor’s loss in South Carolina betrays weaknesses in his candidacy and that he’s got a tough road ahead in the Florida primary next week.
“The bottom line is this: the more voters learn about Romney, the more unfavorably they view him,” Obama campaign manager Jim Messina wrote.
On Wednesday morning, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney put out an ad in Spanish in Florida. That afternoon, he touted the endorsement of Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, who co-authored the controversial immigration laws in Arizona and Alabama.
That juxtaposition shows the difficult path the frontrunner is facing as he seeks to simultaneously wrap up the Republican nomination while also beginning to move to the ideological center for the general election.
Mitt Romney won in New Hampshire on Tuesday, and his supporters are now moving in for the kill.
The super PAC supporting Romney’s campaign has increased its ad buy in Florida by $3.6 million — a huge number that comes on top of the $2.3 million in ads the super PAC, Restore Our Future, bought in South Carolina on Monday. A super PAC source confirmed the numbers to The Fix.
Make sure to sign up to get “Afternoon Fix” in your e-mail inbox every day by 5 (ish) p.m!
Mitt Romney is preparing a broad strategy after Iowa’s caucuses tonight, apparently hoping to close out the GOP presidential contest before the calendar turns to February.
The Post’s Phil Rucker reported last night that the former Massachusetts governor will head to South Carolina later this week, a sign he is prepared to fight in a state that has been less than hospitable to him since 2008. And a GOP source tells The Fix that Romney’s campaign is going up with an ad buy in Florida starting tomorrow. (New Hampshire is set to hold a primary on Jan. 10 followed by South Carolina on Jan. 21 and Florida on Jan. 31.)
The 2012 Republican presidential nominating contest will begin in January or earlier, but its exact kick off is still up in the air and likely won’t be known on Friday.
Florida put the map in flux this morning after a commission officially chose Jan. 31 for its primary date. That runs afoul of Republican National Committee rules by leapfrogging the four states the RNC has permitted to precede the others.
(Updated at 12:24 p.m. with comment from Iowa and New Hampshire GOP leaders)
Florida state House Speaker Dean Cannon (R) says his state is likely to set its primary for Jan. 31, which would probably have have the effect of pushing the presidential primary process up one month to begin shortly after the New Year.
Herman Cain is on a roll. Off a solid performance in Thursday night’s debate, the former Godfathers’ Pizza CEO won a straw poll in Florida — one that has predicted the Republican presidential nominee every time it’s been held. It’s still very unlikely that Cain will continue that streak. But he’s not thinking of dropping out anymore. So who is Herman Cain, and how did he get here?
Cain, 65, grew up in Georgia and graduated from Morehouse College; he has a master’s in computer science from Purdue University. His business career started at the Coca-Cola Company. From there, he went to Philadelphia and managed to turn the city’s Burger Kings profitable.
That success led him to his best known post: stabilizing the Nebraska-based Godfather’s Pizza franchise, which he took over in 1986 after managing to turn around Burger King in Philadelphia. At Godfather’s, Cain cut some troubled franchises, launched some inventive advertising campaigns and got rid of unpopular menu items.
Former Godfather’s Pizza executive Herman Cain has won the Presidency 5 Straw Poll, scoring a runaway victory in the Florida survey of GOP activists.
Cain took more than 37 percent of the vote in the eight-candidate field, finishing far ahead of second-place Rick Perry (15 percent) and third-place Mitt Romney (14 percent).
Since the Florida Republican presidential debate ended 12 hours ago, we’ve been reflecting on lessons learned from the night. (Man that looks WAY nerdier now that we see it written down.)
Our take on what we should take from the Tampa CNN/Tea Party Express debate is after the jump.
The fourth debate of the 2012 Republican presidential race is in the books!
After live-blogging the proceedings, we turn to our favorite part of any debate night: looking at who won and who lost.
And the Fix will be bringing every minute, no, every second of the action to you in our live-blog. We’ll pregame around 7:30 pm — warming up our typing fingers and comic stylings for the 8 p.m. kickoff. (Speaking of kickoffs, we will also keep an eye on the Patriots-Dolphins game that starts at 7 pm.)
Never participated in one of our live blogs before? (Shame!) We like to think of it as “Mystery Science Theater 3000” but for politics. And without the robots.
Join us. It’ll be fun. If not, we’ll give you your money back.
For the second time in five days, eight Republican candidates for president will gather on a debate stage — this time in the all-important state of Florida.
The proceedings get started at 8 pm eastern time on CNN and we will be live-blogging every minute of it right here! But, what do you do to kill time before tonight?
Never fear. Below you’ll find our Cliff Notes version of what you should watch for tonight. See you at 8!
A single number in the new CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll released this morning epitomizes the challenge before former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney when it comes to Texas Gov. Rick Perry.
Asked which of the Republican candidates had the best chance of beating President Obama next November, 42 percent chose Perry while 26 percent named Romney. No other candidate won double-digit support.
Couple those numbers with the fact that three-quarters of Republicans in that same poll say they prefer a candidate who can beat Obama to one that agrees with them on every issue and you begin to see the shape of Romney’s potential problem.
Tonight’s Republican presidential debate in Tampa, Florida is likely to focus on the burgeoning fight between the two frontrunners: Texas Gov. Rick Perry and former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney.
It’s the second time in five days the two men will share a debate stage and if past is prologue expect them to duel over Perry’s assertion that Social Security amounts to a “Ponzi scheme”.
In today’s episode of the “Fast Fix” we offer our video preview of how that scrap might shake out. Don’t forget to tune into The Fix tonight for our live-blog of the debate.
When the news broke this morning that former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty was endorsing former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney , one question was at the top of everyone’s mind: Where does this fit into the Fix’s Endorsement Hierarchy? (Ok, so maybe that wasn’t the first things most people thought of. But, it was the first thing that occurred to us.)
For the uninitiated, the Fix Endorsement Hierarchy is an attempt to categorize and rank the various endorsements in the political world — from the helpful to the horrible. (And, yes, our endorsement hierarchy is the political equivalent of Bill Simmons’ (aka the Sports Guy) 13 levels of losing.)
So where does the Pawlenty for Romney endorsement fit?
For the next 12 days, Florida will stand at the center of the 2012 Republican race, playing host to two debates — one tonight and a second on Sept. 22 — as well as a straw poll that will help shape the presidential nomination fight.
The next week and a half will also serve as the precursor to the Sunshine State primary early next year — a contest that many people believe could decide the identity of the party’s nominee.
“Early caucuses and primaries give the candidates a chance to shine with a certain segment of the electorate, but in Florida candidates will face the largest and most diverse GOP primary electorate of any early state,” said Sally Bradshaw, a longtime political adviser to former governor Jeb Bush.