Since the 2000 election, Florida has been a prime battleground state for presidential candidates, and this year is no exception. Sergio Bustos, political editor at the Miami Herald, joins us to discuss how the candidates are wooing voters in the Sunshine State. We’ll also discuss Senator Bill Nelson’s re-election bid and how one of Florida’s House races has become one of the tightest and most contentious this year.
At only 37-years-old, San Antonio mayor Julian Castro is one of the youngest politicians to be granted the honor of keynote speaker in the Democratic National Convention's history. And with his Chicano background, he’s also the only Latino.
Experts are saying Paul Ryan is a perfect fit for Iowa. He's Catholic, conservative, and Midwestern. Florida, though, could be another matter. In a state where Medicare cuts are a "third rail issue," Mitt Romney set out on several campaign stops yesterday, conspicuously, by himself.
Unlike the contests in Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina, Florida's Republican base is extremely diverse. With conservative Cuban-Americans in South Beach, military bases in the Panhandle, moderates in Tampa, and predominantly white, liberal-leaning Jacksonville, the candidates' attempts to form cohesive, unique messages will be difficult.
Last night the University of South Florida hosted a GOP presidential debate, the first of two scheduled in Florida leading up to the state's January 31 primary. The crowd was silenced by a no-applause policy which seems to have muted the effect of Newt Gingrich, who in the past has received accolades from the audience after partisan broadsides. The debate sets the agenda for the next week as candidates prepare for a primary which may ultimately decide the nominee to challenge President Obama in November.
The stage is set for the swearing-in ceremony of Florida governor, Rick Scott. The republican rode a wave of anti-incumbent fever to become the new governor of Florida. Voters wanted an outsider and that's exactly what they got. However, along with his outsider status, Scott has the baggage of being the former head of Columbia/HCA, which was at the center of a Medicaid fraud scandal.
Voters in Florida have been party to two unusual races this election season. The Senate race has the incumbent Republican Governor Charlie Crist is in a three-way race as an independent against Tea Party-supported Marco Rubio and Democratic Congressman Kendrick Meek.
Vying for the governor's office are Republican candidate Rick Scott, running head to head against the state's chief financial officer, Alex Sink, the only Democrat to come this close to the office in decades, in a race that has the candidates accusing one another of fraud.
This against a backdrop of a state in dire straits. Florida's unemployment is fourth highest in the country at 11.9 percent, the foreclosure rate is second highest in the country. More than 20 percent of the state's residents are uninsured.
President Obama is embarking on a week of focusing on the economy. He will visit Milwaukee to address Wisconsin's union workers; Cleveland, where he's expected to give details on his ideas to improve the economy and spark job growth; and back to Washington D.C. for a White House news conference on Friday.
Dan Gross, senior editor and finance expert at Newsweek, says tax breaks to encourage companies to hire will be the main item on Obama's agenda.
The results are in for the Sunshine State's most expensive and, arguably, nastiest primary in history.
On Tuesday, Florida's voters head to the polls to vote in primaries for U.S. Senate and governor. Sergio Bustos, state politics editor at The Miami Herald, and Kate Zernike, reporter for our partner The New York Times, describe how the races have been shaping up and what we can expect on Tuesday. Plus, we'll find out what the Sunshine State can tell us about the national political mood.