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Odds for upcoming Florida State House races 7/16/2014

Here are The Political Hurricane’s current odds for Democratic wins for all of the Florida State House seats. These current numbers include the recent campaign finance reports, as well as the recent Survey USA poll, where Rick Scott has a 2% lead over Charlie Crist.
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Relaunch of The Political Hurricane with a new focus.

As many of you know, I pulled the plug on The Political Hurricane over a year ago. The reason why I did this was because I was unhappy with the political climate in Florida politics. I felt that the climate went from having a constructive debate about politics and elections to being a process where anonymous websites and Twitter accounts attacked people. Unfortunately that still goes on today, which is quite upsetting.

The reason that I am relaunching the website is because I want to comment on elections and campaigns in Florida. A few days ago, I posted my recent numbers regarding the Florida House races. Tomorrow, I will go further into those particular elections.

Basically, this blog is going to go back to its roots, which is voting behavior, elections, campaign finance, election predictions and other issues relating to campaigning. As a result, this site is going to be non-partisan in nature, as well as not being ideological. This is going to be a pure look at campaigns and elections. When I entered Florida politics over 20 years ago, this was my main interest focus.

In addition, I will be spending the next five to six years at McGill University where I will be studying voting behavior in Quebec, Canada and the United States. Because of my graduate study commitment (which includes classes as well as three assistantships), this site will not be updated every day. This is also the reason why I left The Florida Squeeze as a writer. I informed Kartik Krishnaiyer that I would be leaving because I wanted to relaunch The Political Hurricane as an elections website, and that my time commitment to writing articles for The Florida Squeeze might be limited because of my many commitments I already have going on right now. It would be unfair for me to write for his site but rarely contribute to the site. I also left the site because I wanted to focus on elections and not deal with the battle that is currently happening in Florida Democratic politics. I want to put that episode of my political life far, far behind me.

Another thing is that comments on this site will be initially turned off. The reason for this is because this is not a site about attacking individuals, but about looking at campaigns and elections in a straightforward, non-biased manner. I might turn on the comments if I feel that the climate regarding personal insults and attacks has change.

Thank you for your support and I  am looking forward to providing quality information regarding campaigns and elections.

Dave Trotter

Odds for upcoming Florida State House races.

house1With the election only a few months away, and the primary a little more than a month away, it is time to take a look at the 120 Florida House seats.

Last week I created a method to determine the likelihood that Democrats would retain certain seats. When I created this method, I considered three important factors.

First, I looked at the voter registration gap of a district. Naturally the more a district leans toward one of the two major parties, the more of a likelihood that party would win.

Second, campaign contributions were looked at and factored into the equation. Examining some close historic races in Florida House elections, favorable financial conditions could account for a 2.5% to 10% bump in Election Day results. Therefore, I took the current campaign contribution numbers, examined the difference between the candidates of each party with the highest contribution totals, and then determined a number based on that difference.

Finally, I took an average of the most recent polling numbers for statewide offices. This takes the average of the last three polls for governor and attorney general (with all match ups possible). This average will be used as a thermometer to determine the current temperature of the electorate. Since Florida is becoming a straight-ticket state and House races can mirror top-ticket races, these numbers should be a good indicator of current electoral feelings. Also, once the primary is over, these polling averages should be more accurate.
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Should the Orange County Tax Collector be an elected position, or eliminated?

President_Woodrow_WilsonEffectiveness and efficiency.

These are the cornerstones of public administration. When Woodrow Wilson wrote his ground-breaking article “The Study of Administration” in the Political Science Quarterly in June of 1887, he spoke of how public administration should be more efficient, much like business. Included in his article is what has become known as Wilson’s “administration dichotomy”, where the future president advocates that public administration and politics should run separately. While politics does play a role in shaping policy, the administration of that policy should happen in a non-political manner

A few decades later, Leonard White added that effectiveness should also be included into the mix. While overall efficiency was nice, what was the point if it was not effective. White, and those who follow him, would start using methodological concepts to determine the best route for public administration.

But one point that most classic writers of public administration agree on is that politics and administration should not mix. But, of course, that is the case in Orange County. For decades, political parties have been pouring money into Orange County’s constitutional offices. While these offices should only be deemed as administrative services, politics plays a role, which can lead to cronyism and corruption.

In more recent publications regarding public administration, the debate as to whether to hand off administrative services to private companies has been hot. Heating up around the 1990s with the Bill Clinton Administration and the concept of “reinventing government”, privatization has been highly criticized because those who have a close working relationship with public managers are usually favored when it comes to contract bids, and anything else that would require privatization. The same concept holds true with partisan elected positions which are only administrative in nature. Those who are loyal to either a political party or person holding high positions within the elected administration are usually the ones who get the jobs. In many cases, these people do not have the experience for the position that they now hold. In a nutshell, bringing in political cronies makes the system less efficient, breaking Wilson’s philosophy regarding administration.
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Is odd Tweet by FDP trying to justify Allison Tant?

So, in the last few minutes on Twitter, the Florida Democratic Party has put out a tweet which has shown the “accomplishments of Allison Tant”. And if you are wondering if that is a little odd….yes, it is odd. Rarely, if ever, do non-parliamentary political parties boost their leader’s accomplishments, especially if they are so insignificant as the facts which are shown in the FDP’s latest tweet. Here is the picture they added to the tweet:

BREvyhFCEAAZfRZIn this tweet, they talk about extremely insignificant things regarding the Florida Democratic Party. They talk about tweets, Facebook likes, the JJ dinner and so on. Honestly, these thing don’t add up to much, considering candidate recruitment and overall fundraising has been dismal for the party.

But who is this tweet intended to target?

Usually, political parties use their Facebook and Twitter accounts to either promote their candidates or policies, or to question the candidates and policies of the opposition. Why do they do that? Well, usually to get the voters to support of oppose a political party. These social media accounts are usually used to win elections.
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Does Alan Grayson’s “insult problem” show a bigger problem for Democrats?

1375291654302Well, last week, Congressman Alan Grayson put it foot in his mouth yet again. Oddly enough, he was insulting people who support him, and not those that he opposes.

In an interview with Channel 13 in Orlando, Grayson said “I think that would be a shame, but what really pushes immigration to the side is the fact that many people in the Republican Party don’t want to do anything that would help brown people. There’s an underlying insinuation of racism in the way that Washington, D.C. Republicans look at this issue.”

Of course, the right is having a field day with this quote, but Democrats within Grayson’s district should really wonder if he is the right congressman for them. Maybe it is time for a Darren Soto or someone else to step up to the plate. Yes, it is a risk, but possibly a risk worth taking.

But this editorial isn’t about who should run and who shouldn’t. In fact, this editorial isn’t about Grayson’s classification of Hispanics as brown people. Instead, it is Grayson’s classification that those who are against immigration reform have some sort of hidden racist agenda.

But does Grayson’s off-the-cuff remark expose a larger problem that Democrats might have with the electorate? I think so.

As I have mentioned in one of my recent posts, I am very conservative on immigration. The reason why I am conservative on the issues is because of the economy. Currently, we do not have enough jobs for Americans. So, how can we make sure the American workforce is at full employment when we allow others coming into this country, legally or illegally, to compete for these jobs? I look at immigration as an economic issue, not a social issue.
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July Election Progress Report: Florida Democrats still lacking in candidate recruitment.

Republicans with overwhelming advantage over Democrats on every level.

Republicans with overwhelming advantage over Democrats on every level.

Every month, or after every filing deadline, I will be looking at the candidates running for state offices, seeing who has the edge. This purely looks at both parties and see if they are living up to expectations or not. So, this is the first “Election Progress Report”.

Governor’s Race – As of right now, we have Rick Scott and Nan Rich in the running. Eventually, we are expecting Charlie Crist to enter the race. But when will that be? As of right now the Republicans have the advantage purely because of the amount of money raised. But this might tighten up as time passes. Nobody really has an advantage in this race as of right now.
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