Swing state Florida looms large for both campaigns. Hillary is partially hampered by a moribund state Democratic Party that has been whittled down to a Debbie Wasserman Schultz incumbent protection racket. It barely functions in statewide races at all. Still, Hillary's RealClearPolitics polling average as of today is +2.0, not bad, considering Obama beat Romney 50.01% to 49.12. That was a 0.89% win– a mere 74,309 votes giving Obama all 29 of Florida's electoral votes. In 2008, Obama won by a larger margin– but still very tight: 51.03% to 48.22%, a 2.81% difference over McCain.
The just released Mason-Dixon poll of likely Florida voters is significantly better for Clinton; after the first debate she opened a 4 point lead over Trump– 46-42% when the third party candidates are included. Hillary would probably be doing better if local candidates were creating a compelling case on the ground. Instead. Democrats are saddled with incompetent and corrupt “former” Republican spoiled brat, Patrick Murphy as their top statewide candidate. Chuck Schumer, doing Wall Street's bidding, spent millions of dollars to knock progressive icon Alan Grayson out of the primary and hand it to the GOP dream candidate. Today the Democrats have given up on even seriously fighting Marco Rubio and the DSCC is just allowing Murphy's political corpse to rot on the vine and stink up the Sunshine State. His RealClearPolitical polling average is dismal, with the unpopular and barely competent Rubio beating him with a +5.3 margin. The new Mason Dixon poll of the Senate race is ominously titled Rubio widens lead over Murphy in Senate race. The margin is 7 points now!
Republican incumbent Marco Rubio has increased his lead over Democratic challenger Patrick Murphy in the Florida Senate race. Statewide, 47% of likely voters support Rubio, while 40% back Murphy, Libertarian Paul Stanton draws 5%, 2% are split among the other four candidates on the ballot and 6% are still undecided. In late August, before the state primary election, Rubio held only a narrow 46%-43% advantage.
The Rubio campaign has been successful in raising Murphy’s negative rating, which now stands at 27% favorable/25% unfavorable. In August it was 30% favorable/11% unfavorable. Rubio’s own numbers are stronger (45% favorable/34% unfavorable) and have not significantly changed since last month.
The key to Rubio’s success is his ability to run stronger than the average Republican among Hispanic voters. Currently, Hispanics favor Rubio over Murphy 53%-38%, which is helping him pull 16% of Democratic voters. It is extremely difficult now for a Democrat to win in Florida while losing the Hispanic vote. In the presidential race, for example, Hillary Clinton’s margin over Donald Trump with Hispanics (64%- 29%) is the primary reason she is currently holding a slight statewide lead.
15% of Florida voters don't even recognize Murphy's name, even though as of the August 10 reporting deadline he had already spent $7,770,908 (not counting a half million from the DSCC, $441,350 from Murphy's father's corrupt superPAC, and a whopping $1,698,134 from the Schumer and Reid-controlled Senate Majority PAC (most of that to destroy Grayson's reputation with baseless lies concocted by Schumer). Aside from the 15% of likely voters who still haven't heard of Murphy, 25% of voters have a negative opinion of him (to 27% who have a positive opinion), a plurality of voters have no opinion at all. Today the NY Times changed their assessment of the Florida Senate race from “competitive” to “likely Republican.” Too bad they can't reassess the Democratic Senate Leadership race and move it from “likely Schumer” to “competitive.”
One of the problems is that Rubio is beating Murphy among independent voters– 46-38%. It's incredible that as manifestly terrible a candidate as Rubio is, he's still beating Murphy, who can't even quailfy as a lesser-of-two-evils candidate. Had Schumer not interfered on behalf of Murphy and Grayson been the candidate today he would at the very least be waging an exciting ideological battle against Rubio, an easy target for a progressive. Unlike Murphy who supported the Keystone Pipeline every single time the GOP brought it up and voted for oil drilling off Florida's beaches, Grayson could be credibly attacking Rubio on Climate Change. When Rubio attacks Clinton– which he does every day– Grayson could easily attack her and go after Trump. Murphy on the other hand, voted with the GOP to fund a witch hunt against Clinton (the notorious Benghazi Committee he championed) and has been in business with Trump building shoddy condos for years!
Nope, Schumer, Reid and Tester forced a real pig in a poke down Florida Democrats' throats and now they're giving up an opportunity to win back the Senate and to end the slimy political career of Marco Rubio.
And Murphy's race is hardly the only uninspiring campaign causing Democrats to yawn in Florida (bad for Hillary). Going for the Treasure Coast seat Murphy is giving up, is another utterly worthless non-Democrat multimillionaire, Randy Perkins, who has nothing to offer Florida voters but who had, by August 10, already spent $3,017,688 out of his personal fortune on the race– and is losing anyway! On top of that, almost all the rotten, corrupt incumbents– think beyond just Wasserman Schultz to Alcee Hastings for example). A nice blue 27th congressional district is being protected by Wasserman Schultz for her GOP corny Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, so… nothing going on there. Wassermann Schultz is also trying to sabotage Alina Valdes, the progressive Democrat running against another Republican Wasserman Schultz ally, Mario Diaz-Balart. Wassermann Schultz has made sure the Florida Democratic Party and the DCCC have completely– and I mean completely starved Alina's campaign of any resources whatsoever. (You can contribute to her campaign here.)
Instead DCCC help is going to the worthless conservative Perkins and to four more right-of-center Democrats not doing anyone any good: the corrupt New Dem Joe Garcia, another former Republican, Charlie Crist, bungling ex-police chief and relicious fanatic Val Demings, and NRA-darling, New Dem Darren Soto, as bad an offering of Democrats as any state has ever vomited up for the voters.
So don't ask yourself why is Hillary only leading Trump by 2 points in Florida, ask yourself who, in their Democratic dead-zone, she's even running ahead at all. Imagine, for example if Grayson was the Senate candidate and Tim Canova was running in Broward instead of someone who makes progressive voters want to stay home of election day, the odious and toxic Wasserman Schultz!
And in a more general sense… this kind of thing gets some people totally pissed at the establishment, in Florida and everywhere else. Who wants a government breaking the law to spy on us? Reuters reported earlier that last year Yahoo “built a custom software program to search all of its customers' incoming emails for specific information provided by U.S. intelligence officials… The company complied with a classified U.S. government directive, scanning hundreds of millions of Yahoo Mail accounts at the behest of the National Security Agency or FBI.”
Some surveillance experts said this represents the first case to surface of a U.S. Internet company agreeing to a spy agency's demand by searching all arriving messages, as opposed to examining stored messages or scanning a small number of accounts in real time.
It is not known what information intelligence officials were looking for, only that they wanted Yahoo to search for a set of characters. That could mean a phrase in an email or an attachment, said the sources, who did not want to be identified.
Reuters was unable to determine what data Yahoo may have handed over, if any, and if intelligence officials had approached other email providers besides Yahoo with this kind of request.
According to the two former employees, Yahoo Chief Executive Marissa Mayer's decision to obey the directive roiled some senior executives and led to the June 2015 departure of Chief Information Security Officer Alex Stamos, who now holds the top security job at Facebook Inc.”Yahoo is a law abiding company, and complies with the laws of the United States,” the company said in a brief statement in response to Reuters questions about the demand. Yahoo declined any further comment.
Are they now? Los Angeles area congressman and Constitution-defender Ted Lieu wasn't happy. Moments ago he issued a statement saying that “If true, the government’s directive to Yahoo to write a software program and search all of its customers’ incoming emails for certain content is a gross abuse of federal power. Private sector companies and private citizens are not an arm of law enforcement or an extension of our intelligence agencies. The Fourth Amendment to the Constitution is clear: government cannot search or seize your private information without a warrant. Law enforcement and the NSA did not have warrants for the hundreds of millions of customers that had their privacy violated. This revelation is particularly troubling because Congress, on a bipartisan basis, reigned in the NSA’s unconstitutional bulk collection of phone records last year. It appears law enforcement and the NSA have continued to violate the Constitution and the American people’s right to privacy despite clear signals from Congress to follow the Constitution. Forcing a private sector company to search emails is even worse than the NSA’s bulk collection program because now the federal government is seizing and searching content, not just meta data, without a warrant. This is big brother on steroids and it must be stopped.“
Hillary would be smart to distance herself from this crap as fast as possible– or is she going to give up on her drive to woo millennial voters? There are people who take this kind of stuff really, really, really seriously.
“When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross.” — Sinclair Lewis