KEY TAKEAWAYS: President Obama + 7, Rick Scott underwater
Obama leads Romney by 7 points in Florida — 49 to 42 percent. If the election were held today, Obama would win the state.
Women fueled the president's rise, backing "the President over Romney or Santorum by 6 to 19 percentage points in the three states"
Florida voters blame oil companies for the high gas prices, and oppose releasing oil from the strategic petroleum reserve.
This explains the RPOF ads two years out from an election: Florida voters continue to disapprove, 52 - 36 percent, of the job Gov. Rick Scott is doing.
UNDERSTANDING THE OIL NUMBERS: 'Drill, baby, drill' isn't the answer [Tampa Bay Times editorial] "As Americans face sticker shock at the gas pump with prices near $4 per gallon and climbing, Republican presidential candidates see a political opportunity. On the campaign trail, they direct public anger at President Barack Obama by making absurd claims about his power to affect gas prices. Newt Gingrich promises gas at $2.50 per gallon if he wins the presidency. Mitt Romney blames the president for constraining domestic production. In truth, presidents have little control over the price of oil, where prices are set on a world market. Republicans who suggest that gas prices will come down if drilling is allowed in environmentally sensitive areas are looking out for only one constituency: the oil companies and their profits."
5 WORDS ON REDISTRICTING: WE'LL SEE YOU IN COURT
New Senate map approved [Times/Herald]
"'We’ll see you in court,' said Florida Democratic Party spokeswoman Brannon Jordan, in a one-sentence statement."
Court challenge coming [Florida Times Union]
"Shortly after the vote, though, the Florida Democratic Party sent out a one-line sentence indicating the map battle is far from over.'We'll see you in court,' it read."
RUBIO'S DREAM WITHOUT THE DREAM
A Dream Act Without the Dream [New York Times Editorial]
"Republican politicians have overwhelmingly embraced an approach to immigration reform that offers only misery, arrest and punishment to the undocumented. That is popular with party’s hard-right base, but toxic with Hispanic voters — which has led some Republicans to come up with proposals that seem to shimmer with promise but lead to the same no-future dead end. Take Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, who has recently been floating his stripped-down version of the Dream Act…It’s the Dream Act without the dream and should be dismissed out of hand."
Republicans Craft Watered-Down Version of DREAM Act [FoxNews Latino]
"In general, the hostile stance of conservatives against undocumented immigrants has hurt the image of the Republican Party with the immigrant community and, in fact, the party has lost ground among Latino voters, according to several surveys."
RELATED: Will Marco Rubio win Latino votes? Probably not [The American Prospect] "There’s a fair chance that Republicans will try to rehabilitate their brand by giving Rubio the vice-presidential nod, but even that relies on the assumption that Latinos value symbolic over substantive representation, and I’m not sure that’s the case. On the policies that matter to many Latinos, Rubio is just as right-wing as any other Republican—the only difference is his last name. What’s more, putting Rubio on the ticket smacks of pandering in a way that might be distasteful to Latino voters."
MEANWHILE: Obama Campaign Makes Health Care Case To Hispanics [FLDemocracy 2012]
"Last week, the focus was on women, who are key health care consumers and a crucial demographic for the president’s re-election bid. This week, Obama’s campaign is drawing attention to how specific provisions of the heath care law benefit Hispanics, another group crucial to Obama’s reelection effort—especially in Florida."
SPOTLIGHT ON TWO FL TROUBLE MAKERS
GOP Running out of Gas on Solyndra [Politico]
"And one of the main GOP investigators, Rep. Cliff Stearns, is mired in his own political mess after questioning the legitimacy of President Barack Obama's birth certificate and over allegations he tried to bribe another Florida Republican to get out of their August primary race."
Hoot hoot Connie Mack's Hooters connection [Politico]
"In the opposition's effort to portray Connie Mack as an 'unserious, risk-taking frat boy', what image is more indelible than Hooters?"
OTHER NEWS WE THOUGHT YOU SHOULD KNOW
School districts warned not to adopt prayer policies [Florida Independent]
"The American Civil Liberties Union of Florida, along with other groups, sent letters to school boards this week, warning them not to adopt policies recently allowed by the state that the civil liberties groups says will surely land them in court."
GOP has ground to make up [FL Democracy 2012]
"In terms of operations, the GOP has significant ground to make-up in Florida. Obama’s re-election campaign has already opened 18 field offices in the state and devoted significant resources and staff to organizing. 'President Obama’s campaign never left Florida, and OFA has been opening offices across the state — building the infrastructure and recruiting the supporters we need to win,' Florida Democratic Party spokesperson David Bergstein said recently. "
Florida lawmakers failed to confirm hundreds of Gov. Rick Scott's appointees [Miami Herald]
“Senate President Mike Haridopolos calls it an oversight. Was it? Senators frittered away hours listening to long-winded termed-out members give farewell speeches, and speculation is rampant that it was done on purpose, to give Scott a deft way to revoke appointments he now regrets making.”