Politicians, Parties and Plaintiff Trial Lawyers are Unknown or Unliked in New Florida Chamber of Commerce Statewide Poll

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (August 24, 2016) – The latest Florida Chamber Political Institute (FCPI) statewide poll shows Floridians either don’t know or don’t like politicians that will appear on their ballot, the parties they represent and the plaintiff trial lawyers that financially back many candidates.

With 12.3 million registered Florida voters, hundreds of thousands of which are newly registered since the last presidential election, and 40 new state senate districts that Florida voters will vote in for the first time, this remains one of the most unprecedented elections.

“A week sounds like a short time, but it can be a lifetime for a campaign and provide candidates the opportunity to make solid gains that can improve their outcome. It’s unusual to see this many undecided voters this close to the election, but for candidates, its good news. They still have time to move the voters,” said MARIAN JOHNSON, Senior Vice President of Government and Political Relations.

Politicians, Parties, and Plaintiff Trial Lawyers are Unknown or Unliked

Poll_082416

Key Facts About Florida Voters:

  • Jobs and the economy remain the number one concern among Florida voters at 21 percent, followed by education and schools at 13 percent.
  • 39 percent of Florida voters believe their families’ current financial situation is better today than a year ago, with 37 percent saying about the same.
  • Florida voters are virtually evenly split on how they feel on whether Florida is moving in the right direction – 40 percent right direction and 41 percent wrong direction.

 

Head-to-Head Matchups:

Presidential Election:
Donald Trump leads Hillary Clinton 44 percent to 43 percent in the head-to-head General Election matchup. The Florida Chamber Political Institute poll shows Trump leads even more when third party candidates are added to the mix. Trump leads Clinton’s 44 percent to 41 percent with Libertarian Gary Johnson pulling 9 percent of the vote.

  • Donald Trump 44%
  • Hillary Clinton 43%
  • Someone Else 7%
  • Undecided 5%

Presidential Ticket:

  • Donald Trump/Mike Pence 44%
  • Hillary Clinton/Tim Kaine 41%
  • Gary Johnson/Bill Weld 9%
  • Someone Else 2%
  • Undecided 4%

U.S. Senate:
Marco Rubio and Patrick Murphy are each headed to comfortable wins to secure their party nominations.

  • Republican Ticket:
    Marco Rubio beats Carlos Beruff 68% to 19% with 10% undecided.
  • Democratic Ticket:
    Patrick Murphy beats Alan Grayson 40% to 11% with 38% undecided.

According to Florida Chamber of Commerce Senior Director of Campaign and Elections Andrew Wiggins, despite Trump’s small lead statewide, his current unfavorable rating may pose problems in certain state and local races.

“The data clearly shows that Donald Trump’s name recognition may impact republican candidates down ballot – particularly in large metropolitan South Florida areas. And, digging deep into the numbers, Trump continues to trail Hillary Clinton in South Florida, trailing by 19 points in Miami-Dade and by 15 points in West Palm Beach,” ANDREW WIGGINS explained.

Amendment 4:

If the election were held today, it appears almost 70 percent of voters would support the passage of Amendment 4 on the August 30 primary ballot and which unlocks the value of solar for Florida businesses and communities by removing the ad valorem taxes that solar installations carry on commercial properties under current law.

  • Yes 70%
  • No 14%

“Amendment 4 on the August 30 primary ballot will bring more solar jobs to Florida and help diversify our energy grid,” said SENATOR JEFF BRANDES (R – St. Petersburg, FL). “This poll shows a broad bipartisan support for solar in Florida, and everyone regardless of party affiliation should vote YES on or by August 30.”

Daily absentee and early voting (EAV) data shows that 1,153,497 Florida voters have already voted for the August 30th primary election. EAV is a major part of today’s elections, and the Florida Chamber is providing daily EAV reports broken down by county and legislative district. Click here to access the report – updated each day before 4 p.m.

 

ABOUT THIS POLL:
The Florida Chamber of Commerce political poll was conducted on August 17-22, 2016 by Cherry Communications during live telephone interviews of likely voters, and has a margin of error of +/-4 percent. The sample size included 258 Democrats, 249 Republicans and 101 Others for a total of 608 respondents statewide. The samples for the polls conducted by the Florida Chamber are consistently drawn from likely voters and newly registered voters, meaning those voters who have the propensity and past performance of voting in elections, rather than simply including registered voters.  Voters are again screened for likelihood of voting.

 

Florida Justice Association’s No Good, Very Bad Primary Night

Matt Dixon, (@Mdixon55)

It was a bad primary day for the Florida Justice Association.

The group that represents state trial lawyers used a dizzying array of committees to spend roughly $530,000 in a handful of hotly contested GOP primaries, losing in each.

Most of the money started with Citizens Alliance for Florida’s Economy, a political committee chaired by Anthony Pedicini, a consultant involved in each of the races. That committee received $492,000 – 90 percent of its total – from FJA’s political arm.

From there, the committee dispersed the money to a handful of other committees that actually purchased ads in races across the state. In most cases the group was facing off against the Florida Medical Association and the Florida Chamber of Commerce.

Those groups largely outspent FJA, but in politics a loss is a loss.

In the highest profile race of the primary cycle, Richard DiNapoli, the FJA-backed candidate, conceded shortly after polls closed Tuesday night in a race that wasn’t that close.

A group called Seniors for Affordable Care spent roughly $134,000 in ads attacking DiNapoli’s opponent, Julio Gonzalez. That committee was funded by an assortment of committees that all had close financial ties to FJA.

That race was one of the Florida Medical Association’s top priorities – Gonzalez is a doctor – and they spent heavily attacking DiNapoli. Collectively, FMA and the Chamber spent nearly $400,000 in the race.

In a closer Polk County GOP primary, FJA-supported candidate John Shannon lost by 173 votes to Colleen Burton, who received nearly $300,000 from the chamber and Florida Medical Association-funded committees. FJA used a committee called Famlies for Lower Taxes to fund attacks against Burton in that race.

That same committee was used by FJA in a Central Florida GOP primary where its candidate, Randy Glisson, lost to Jennifer Sullivan by a 34-29 margin. Between the two races, Families for Lower Taxes spent roughly $360,000 on attack ads.

FJA was involved in other races, but these were three closely watched fights that  represent stinging loss.

Families & Small Businesses Win at the Ballot Box

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Edie Ousley, 850-521-1231 or 850-251-6261
eousley@flchamber.com

Floridians Support Pro-Jobs, Florida Chamber Candidates Over Trial Lawyers

Download Primary Election Results.

TALLAHASSEE, FL. (August 26, 2014) – Families and small businesses were the winners Tuesday night when Floridians supported pro-jobs candidates backed by the Florida Chamber of Commerce on primary election night.

Preliminary results show that 26 of 30 state House and Senate candidates endorsed by the Florida Chamber won their primary and Gov. Rick Scott, the Florida Chamber-endorsed candidate for Governor, won his primary. In Florida Chamber-backed races vs. trial lawyers, voters sided with job creators over job killers in three out of three races.

“Florida voters are smart, and tonight they voted in support of jobs and creating more opportunities for families and small businesses,” said Marian Johnson, Senior Vice President of Political Strategy at the Florida Chamber of Commerce. “Candidates elected tonight will help grow Florida’s private sector and will help keep Florida moving in the right direction. Congratulations to all primary election winners.”

Twenty-one of the Florida Chamber-backed primary candidates move onto the General Election, and they join 44 additional pro-jobs candidates previously endorsed in General Election House, Senate and Cabinet races.

Members of the Florida Chamber, the Florida Chamber Political Institute (FCPI) and business leaders attended the Florida Chamber’s Primary Election Watch as polling results came in.

“Tonight, I watched Florida’s business community come together and unify around pro-jobs candidates,” said Tom Pennekamp, Past Chair of the Florida Chamber Political Institute and Government Relations Manager, SunTrust of Florida, who attended the Florida Chamber’s Primary Election Night Watch. “The Florida Chamber will continue to advocate for job growth in our state.”

The Florida Chamber’s candidate endorsements came after a comprehensive and deliberative candidate selection process. The Florida Chamber Political Institute held five candidate interview sessions across the state and interviewed more than 100 non-incumbent candidates – in addition to reviewing each candidate’s completed questionnaire. Incumbent candidates were evaluated on numerous factors, including legislator grades on the Florida Chamber’s Legislative Report Card.

A complete listing of primary election results for House and Senate primary election results are available by clicking here or visiting the Elections Center at www.FloridaChamber.com/2014Election.

 

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Established in 1916 as Florida’s first statewide business advocacy organization, the Florida Chamber of Commerce is the voice of business and the state’s largest federation of employers, chambers of commerce and associations, aggressively representing small and large businesses from every industry and every region. The Florida Chamber works within all branches of government to affect those changes set forth in the annual Florida Business Agenda, and which are seen as critical to secure Florida’s future. The Florida Chamber works closely with its Political Operations and the Florida Chamber Foundation. Visit www.FloridaChamber.com for more information.

Florida Chamber Endorses Pro-Jobs, Pro-Business Candidates For Governor, Cabinet and Legislative Primary Races

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Edie Ousley, 850-521-1231
eousley@flchamber.com

Endorsed Candidates Will Help Create Opportunities
for Families and Small Business

TALLAHASSEE, FL. (July 22, 2014) – Following a comprehensive and deliberative candidate selection process, the Florida Chamber of Commerce today announces candidate endorsements for Governor and Cabinet positions as well as legislative primary races. The endorsements result from one of Florida’s most thorough and well-respected pro-business, pro-jobs candidate review processes.

“Good government can only be obtained by electing candidates who understand Florida’s future needs and who are not afraid to make bold decisions that will get us there,” said Marian Johnson, Senior Vice President of Political Operations for the Florida Chamber of Commerce. “Interviewing the candidates and finding where they stand on those issues is an absolute necessity before you can make an informed decision about whom to support. Our interview process is thorough and intense, and allows us to understand a candidate’s position before we make an endorsement.”

The Florida Chamber Political Institute (FCPI) held five candidate interview sessions across the state and interviewed more than 100 non-incumbent candidates – in addition to reviewing each candidate’s completed questionnaire. Incumbent candidates were evaluated on numerous factors, including legislator grades on the Florida Chamber’s Legislative Report Card.

“To create a stable and predictable business climate that helps to create private-sector jobs and grow our state’s economy, we need a legislature that focuses on free enterprise principles and solutions,” said David Hart, Executive Vice President of the Florida Chamber. “We are pleased to support these pro-jobs, pro-business candidates and look forward to mobilizing our employer members and local chamber of commerce partners as well as their more than three million employees with far-reaching grassroots advocacy efforts.”

Below is list of Florida Chamber candidate endorsements for Governor and Cabinet positions as well as legislative primary races.

Governor:

  • Rick Scott

 

Florida Cabinet:

  • Attorney General – Pam Bondi
  • Commissioner of Agriculture – Adam Putnam
  • Chief Financial Officer – Jeff Atwater

 

SENATE – Primary Election Endorsements:

  • John Thrasher (R) – SD 06
  • Thad Altman (R) – SD 16
  • Jack Latvala (R) – SD 20
  • Lizbeth Benacquisto (R) – SD – 30
  • Joe Negron (R) – SD 32
  • Oscar Braynon (D) – SD – 36

 

HOUSE – Primary Election Endorsements:

  • Doug Broxson (R) – HD 03
  • Brad Drake (R) – HD 05
  • Jay Trumbull (R) – HD 06
  • Jason Brodeur (R) – HD 28
  • Robert Cortes (R) – HD 30
  • Terri Seefeldt (R) – HD 31
  • Colleen Burton (R) – HD 40
  • Ricardo Rangel (D) – HD 43
  • Eric Eisnaugle (R) – HD 44
  • Rene Plasencia (R) – HD 49
  • Tom Goodson (R) – HD 50
  • Ed Narain (D) – HD 61
  • James Grant (R) – HD 64
  • Chris Sprowls (R) – HD 65
  • Chris Latvala (R) – HD 67
  • Bill Young (R) – HD 68
  • Julio Gonzalez (R) – HD 74
  • Dane Eagle (R) – HD 77
  • Matt Caldwell (R) – HD 79
  • Kevin Rader (D) – HD 81
  • Ben Sorensen (D) – HD 100
  • Michael Joseph (D) – HD 107
  • Bryan Avila (R) – HD 111

The Florida Chamber will announce additional endorsements in the coming days.

 

 

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Established in 1916 as Florida’s first statewide business advocacy organization, the Florida Chamber of Commerce is the voice of business and the state’s largest federation of employers, chambers of commerce and associations, aggressively representing small and large businesses from every industry and every region. The Florida Chamber works within all branches of government to affect those changes set forth in the annual Florida Business Agenda, and which are seen as critical to secure Florida’s future. The Florida Chamber works closely with its Political Operations and the Florida Chamber Foundation. Visit www.FloridaChamber.com for more information.