Krishnaiyer Editorial: Q-Poll Ominous For Florida Democrats (Revised)

While Democrats have been quick to question the methodology of the most recent Quinnipiac University poll, the signs from the poll are too ominous for President Obama’s re-election effort.  Mitt Romney has opened a six point lead in the state (47%-41%) and that lead jumps to eight points if Governor Romney selected Senator Marco Rubio as his running mate. If Florida is any indication of the trends in other Southern states outside the deep south, this is bad news for Democrats besides possibly Senator Bill Nelson. This is because President Obama is running well ahead of most Democrats in the other two hotly contested Southern states, North Carolina and Virginia.

This poll coincides with two recent North Carolina polls that show President Obama running well ahead of both Congressional candidates and Lt. Gov Walter Dalton, who has been nominated to replace unpopular Gov. Bev Perdue. President Obama is also running several points ahead  of popular former Gov. Tim Kaine, who is running for U.S. Senate in recent Virginia polls.

The Florida poll over-sampled Republicans using the turnout model from 2010 and 2004 as a guide rather than 2008, but I believe this is not entirely flawed logic. An enthusiasm gap exists between Democrats and Republicans approaching this election in Florida. As someone who travels often and talks to apolitical people more than the average political operative, I sense Republicans are far more enthusiastic about this election than the Democrats. The only way I see Obama closing this enthusiasm gap is to embrace a more populist economic message that appeals to liberals and working class people. Any pretense of moderation and centrism has to be dropped in favor of moving to the left and articulating a vision for economic liberation which helps those hurting in these tough economic times. The poll also oversampled Central Florida, but that alone does not account for the dramatic jump in Romney’s numbers since March.

The Q-poll indicates that Floridians approve by a 2 to 1 margin (54%-27%) the job Marco Rubio is doing in the US Senate. At the same time Floridians disapprove of the way President Obama is doing his job by an eight point margin (44%-52%). Romney has also opened up a ten point lead on the issue of who would better handle the economy (50%-40%).

Regardless of how much you want to question the methodology of this poll, the signs of trouble are apparent for Obama and the Democrats. If the current trends in North Carolina and Virginia are any indication, Democrats in critical races could be in big trouble. The DCCC currently has five targeted races in Florida. The DCCC choice Rep. Leonard Bembry (This website has endorsed Al Lawson) in the 2nd Congressional District is likely to run ahead of President Obama, but Alan Grayson, Keith Fitzgerald, Lois Frankel and Patrick Murphy more than likely will run behind the President in their respective districts.

Instead of denying the validity of the Q-poll Democrats should use it to refocus on crafting a winning message and continuing to ramp up its ground game. The Obama Campaign has been well run nationally and should continue that positive work in this state rather than falling into the classic Florida Democratic trap of excuse making, reactionary press releases and negative spin.

NOTE (11:45 am EDT May 24th): Peter Brown of Quinipiac gave this quote to the Palm Beach Post in response to the poll’s criticism “What we’re getting is real-time party ID. And our real-time party ID is different, not surprisingly, from registration,” Brown said Wednesday. “If party registration is an accurate measure of voting behavior, then why do the Republicans control, with the exception of Bill Nelson’s seat, every statewide office?”

I must say that makes a great deal of sense from where I sit. If you eliminate Bill Nelson’s last two campaigns, the Democrats have LOST 15 of the past 16 statewide races. For those scoring at home that means the Republicans have won 94% of the statewide races since 2000 where Bill Nelson wasn’t running. Mathematically, how is that possible in a swing state with a Democratic registration majority? Either one of two things:

1- The Democrats suffer a gap in identification versus party registration. While this is true in north Florida and interior counties such a Polk, it can be argued Republican registration is higher than identification in Sarasota, Pinellas, Orange, Broward and Palm Beach counties.

2- The Democrats lack the infrastructure to turn out voters in closely contested state wide elections.

Either way, Brown has a point.

13 thoughts on “Krishnaiyer Editorial: Q-Poll Ominous For Florida Democrats (Revised)”

  1. This poll was a joke but your general points are well taken and it has been my observation that Obama is in trouble even among Dems in South Florida. He needs to secure his base if he is going to have any chance. The gay marriage statement helps, but the economy will decide this election.

  2. It seems like you and Dave have different schools of thought on this. I hope the Democrats do not have the don’t worry Obama is going to win anyway mind set and not get out the vote.

  3. This poll over-sampled Republicans but nonetheless Romney has surged in Florida since he secured the nomination. The ineptitude of Florida Democratic leaders most recently evidenced by that stupid anti Rubio ad may be too much for Obama to overcome. Rod Smith is one of the least effective party chairs we have had ever and considering how bad the party has been for decades now, what I just said is a pretty big statement. I hope Obama can do it but he is going to have to overcome absolute ineptitude from the FDP to do so.

  4. The gender gap is closing but we will turn out Palm Beach and stem whatever is happening around the rest of the state. Led by Robert Wexler, Burt Aaronson and Ted Deutch, the most popular and influencing local elected are all working hard to turn out the vote for Obama. We should win Palm Beach by 175,000 votes or more and probably turn out Broward to about 225,000 or so with the Deutch and DWS. Obama remains wildly popular down here and we are ready to counter whatever the conservatives in the rest of the state throw at us.

  5. Concerned Palm Beach Democrat

    Turnout improves locally if either people are excited about the top of the ticket or have good hardworking, honest Democrats running down ballot. That is why so many of us were hoping for a few candidates that were different this time. All the talk of Laxer jumping in versus Abruzzo was encouraging. Abruzzo being on the ballot instead of Laxer will hurt us with activists and females. That is just one example. These small things add up. Palm Beach can as it did in 2000 decide the Presidency.

  6. We are relieved Laxer did not run. No doubt she would have some support from over zealous activists but she also would have needed to raise money and none of the leadership would have helped her. Questions as to her ethics in her departure from Ted Deutch’s office would have surfaced as would have her inability to hold a job. She would have divided the party by a selfish action of running against a future superstar of our party.

    She made the right choice by not running,

  7. MS you are relieved that Laxer has not because she would kick his ass. We know why Laxer did not work with Deutch. She refused to be part of something she does not believe in. We know how Deutch is also terrified of her too. I wonder why? I think it is because she is very smart and he is SCARED of that..and she didn’t want to have anything to do with Dirty Eric & Wexler. Smart girl who should run! Let’s see how your “establishment” screws up the party while Laxer is at least out there not talking to people like their a bunch of idiots like you are on this blog.

    Your support of Siegal, Wexler, Aaronson and Deutch is the reason why Tally will still be a bunch of Rs and the Ds will be lucky if we win the presidency. While you are blogging MS why dont you start actually working for the Ds instead of pushing Ds that push RS and just bad policy?

    Cat got your tongue?

  8. This was a total b/s poll … But it is important to note Obama in general is getting weaker.

  9. Patty got it right. As long as Wexler,Siegel, and Aaronson keep their foot on the throat of Palm Beach Co. politics nothing will change. Let’s remember Wexler does not even live in Florioda and in a few months it will be by by Burt. Siegel is just a clueless puppet with no guts. The state party only knows how to show up collect money and leave. never return a single phone call. Tara may not be the answer, but she is an example of the type of concerned Democrat who gets kicked aside by the above mentioned clowns.

  10. Palm Beach County needs new blood. The old cronyism of Wexler, Aaronson and Fladell needs to die hard. They are corrupt bullying bastards.

    We are hoping to recruit new young, fresh candidates in 2014 to take in the establishment. Tara Laxer who gets mentioned on this blog often is just one. She can be a superstar, young, smart, physically attractive and savvy. She should run versus Perman or Bogdanfoff. Another good one will be Jeff Heilman. Never heard of him? Soon those of you in Jupiter and North County will. He should run against Pat Rooney or Joe Negron.

    These are just two of the new candidates we want to recruit.

  11. Young Dems Broward

    Until someone or many are taken down in handcuffs not much is going to change in this county and the law firms that employ elected officials “who are not lawyers” to win contracts for them while threatening candidates will continue. Miami they started to clean up and PBC is probably right around the corner. I think you are going to see a rise in the Republican party and people who want to get involved will just add “moderate”. The problem is not so much the moderates…its more of the stupidity and the corruption. This includes DEUTCH!!!!