A year after Florida flipped from blue to red and helped Republican Donald Trump to his stunning presidential victory over Democrat Hillary Clinton, President Trump has a 41 percent approval rating in a new poll of Sunshine State voters.
While Trump is under water by 6 points in Florida, that’s considerably better than his nationwide numbers. The RealClearPolitics.com average of national polls shows a net negative of 17.9 points for the president, with 38.7 approving and 56.6 percent disapproving.
Trump won Florida in November 2016 with 49 percent of the vote to Clinton’s 47.8 percent.
Trump’s latest approval numbers are slightly better than the FAU poll found in August, when 37 percent of voters approved and 47 percent disapproved.
FAU’s online poll of 500 voters, conducted Nov. 2-5, has a 4.5 percent margin of error. FAU says the poll was conducted “using an online sample supplied by Survey Sampling International using online questionnaires and via an automated telephone platform using registered voter lists supplied by Aristotle, Inc.”
The poll’s sample is 33.3 percent Republican, 32.3 percent Democrat and 34.3 percent independent. Actual Florida voter registrations are 37.5 percent Democrat, 35.4 percent Republican and 27.1 percent no party or minor party.
The poll contains some good numbers for Republican Gov. Rick Scott, who is expected to challenge Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson next year.
Scott is viewed favorably by 49 percent of Florida voters and unfavorably by 39 percent. His handling of Hurricane Irma rated good to excellent by 72 percent of voters, with
57 percent saying it will help him if he runs for Senate.
Three-term incumbent Nelson is viewed favorably by 45 percent and unfavorably by 22 percent.
Two-thirds of Florida voters say Gov. Rick Scott did a good or excellent job of handling Hurricane Irma, according to a new Mason-Dixon poll, and likely GOP Senate candidate Scott is highlighting the storm in a new TV ad by his political committee.
Mason-Dixon’s telephone survey of 625 registered Florida voters, conducted Oct. 17-19 with a 4 percent margin of error, found 35 percent grading Scott “excellent” and 31 percent “good” for his Irma performance. Twenty-five percent said Scott’s handling was “fair” and 4 percent gave him a “poor” rating.
Nearly nine out of ten Republicans and 62 percent of no-party voters give Scott high marks, while 49 percent of Democrats say the governor was good or excellent and 47 percent rate him fair or poor.
Scott, facing term limits as governor, is expected to challenge Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson next year.
While Scott has received positive reviews so far for his handling of Hurricane Irma, Nelson has called for an investigation— and other Democrats have been outright critical — of Scott’s response to a Broward County nursing home where 14 deaths have been blamed on the facility losing its air conditioning during the storm.
“Floridians are fed up with Scott’s self-serving administration and at a time when he should be focusing on the state’s recovery and answering questions about his role in the tragic deaths of 14 seniors at the Hollywood Hills facility, he’s once again thinking of himself, his brand and damage control. For Floridians who are still struggling with the expensive and horrific impact of Scott’s failure to prepare and respond to this disaster, his ad campaign is tone deaf and another reminder that he is only ever looking out for himself,” said David Bergstein of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.
The White House has released a public service ad today featuring First Lady and part-time Palm Beach resident Melania Trump urging Americans to donate and volunteer to help victims of hurricanes in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico.
President Donald Trump on Monday praised his administration’s efforts in Puerto Rico, pointing out at a news conference that former Clinton Administration FEMA Director James Lee Witt told The Washington Post that the Trump Administration deserves an A+ grade for its response.
But more help is needed, Melania Trump says in the new 30-second PSA.
“The president and I have witnessed firsthand the compassion and commitment of Americans as friends and neighbors and strangers continue to volunteer time and money to help one another following the recent hurricanes,” the first lady says.
“Your help is still needed,” she continues. “Donate to an organization of your choice and volunteer to help your fellow Americans. Visit nvoad.org and ready.gov to learn more.”
With term-limited Republican Gov. Rick Scott expected to challenge Nelson next year, Nelson and Democrats have drawn attention to the nursing home’s phone calls to Scott’s cell phone after the air conditioning was knocked out. The calls were returned by state officials, who said the nursing home never indicated patients were in danger. The nursing home is across the street from a hospital, and Scott has blasted the facility for not calling 911.
U.S. Interior Sec. Ryan Zinke will visit Florida Thursday through Saturday “to conduct on-the-ground assessments of hurricane damage at National Park Service locations and to receive a briefing on Everglades Restoration.”
A detailed schedule hasn’t been released, but Zinke’s office said he will get a Thursday briefing on infrastructure upgrades and Everglades restoration at Lake Okeechobee. On Friday, he’s scheduled to visit Big Cypress National Preserve for hurricane damage assessment and a clean-up project.
Zinke will join Sen. Marco Rubio and other members of Florida’s congressional delegation at Everglades National Park on Saturday for a media availability.
MIAMI — Florida Sen. Marco Rubio said President Donald Trump‘s administration gave Puerto Rico the same kind of hurricane response that other states receive — and that proved to be a problem.
“Puerto Rico was handled in a very traditional and conventional way,” Rubio told reporters outside Florida Gov. Rick Scott‘s Latin American Summit. “In essence, the island received the same assistance as a state would have received and the same process that would have been used to assist a state. The problem is that in the case of Puerto Rico it didn’t work as well because the government of Puerto Rico itself was a victim of the storm.”
“I think it took a number of days for them (the federal government) to figure that out. And that’s why I desperately wanted the Department of Defense to take over logistics….That traditional model of support that you would see in a mainland event was not working and I think in hindsight we all wish that we could get those three or four days back,” Rubio said.
Things have improved with Army Lt. Gen. Jeff Buchanan on the scene, Rubio said.
“I’m cautiously optimistic that we’re going to begin to see conditions improve. But I’m very worried, for example, about the hospital system, many of whom are operating on backup power and with intermittent blackouts that could potentially lead to a disaster,” Rubio said.
Scott said the voicemail messages were deleted to free up space on his cell phone after aides retrieved the messages and state officials responded to them.
“The nursing home administrators placed four separate calls to my cell phone, like hundreds of others did during the storm. In each instance, the calls were promptly returned by state officials, and the voicemails were immediately deleted so the voicemail box had room for more incoming messages,” Scott said.
“In none of these calls did the staff indicate that any of their patients were in danger. I gave my cell phone number out as a courtesy to any group during the hurricane that needed access to state resources. It’s a ridiculous and irrational suggestion that my personal cell phone is somehow a substitute for 911,” Scott said.
Graham agreed in part with Scott.
“There’s no question Hollywood Hills should have called 911 — but the question still remains, could the state have done more to help?” Graham said.
Nelson’s letter doesn’t mention Scott, but asks the Senate Finance Committee to look into the state’s role in certifying the nursing home and to examine “the state’s response in the aftermath of the Florida incident.”
The National Republican Senatorial Committee said Democratic Florida Sen. Bill Nelson “reached a new level of tone deaf” this week when his 2018 re-election campaign sent out an email that boasts of Nelson’s efforts to cap airfares as Hurricane Irma approached Florida.
Nelson’s email asks recipients to respond to a poll on whether airlines “should cap fares for those fleeing disasters.”
It also includes a box marked “Contribute.”
“Bill Nelson is spending time blasting out fundraising emails while countless Floridians are recovering from Hurricane Irma’s devastation,” said NRSC Communications Director Katie Martin. “Bill Nelson’s D.C. elitist behavior is always self-serving, but this kind of out of touch behavior reaches a new low.”
A Nelson spokesman didn’t comment on the contents of the email but said it’s President Donald Trump and Florida Gov. Rick Scott who have been playing hurricane politics.
“Unlike Trump and Scott, Nelson suspended his campaign before, during and after the storm. In fact, while Trump and Scott were using a disaster event to campaign together in Fort Myers, Nelson was in North Florida handing out food to victims of the storm,” said Nelson spokesman Ryan Brown.
Rubio visited Puerto Rico on Monday and told Senate colleagues Tuesday: “What I saw is over three and half million American citizens potentially on the verge of a serious and growing humanitarian crisis.”
Nelson also spoke on the Senate floor Tuesday and said Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands deserve the same post-hurricane attention that Texas and Florida received.
“Now what we need to do is to take that same effort that we saw in Texas and we’ve seen in Florida of people helping people and we have got to help the people of the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico,” Nelson said.