Florida political experts preview the top races ahead of the midterms

good morning we are down to counting the hours for the results of this epic florida midterm election with so much at stake is there ever and that is our focus for the next hour the candidates the campaigns and the issues driving voters to the polls in very large numbers early voting in sets of an o’clock this evening and Broward and miami-dade so far today we’ve seen a tidal wave of black voters this is the ritual known as souls to the polls first you go to church then you go to your polling place and these are live pictures from the North Dade Regional Library in Miami Gardens by the time the polls close tonight there and across the state about five million Floridians maybe more will have cast their ballots an unusually high number for a midterm election so let’s talk about that turnout and the key races and the candidates and the issues that have dominated this election cycle introductions first of our guests at the table with us Sean Forman professor of political science at Barry University and a go-to guy for analysis on all things political and Katherine de pollo is a professor of political science at Florida International University and a keen observer of the political environment and its inhabitants good morning exciting week an exhausting week for everybody everyone is waiting for it to be over absolutely especially the commercials which power those commercials in some ways but certainly the voters don’t I think they are they are really more negative and more personal this year than they ever have been before yeah Katherine let me ask this question of both of you but begin with you we know from the famous Jesse Unruh quote all politics is local and Tip O’Neill as well but in fact because of President Trump it seems he has nationalized this election even with particular kind of races in Florida and South Florida in many ways it is a referendum is it not on President Trump it is it is all about Trump and a lot of times the midterm elections are about the sitting president and how people feel about his his administration excuse me his palace these but certainly if you look all around Florida if it’s the governor’s race the Senate race congressional races even State House and Senate races are all about Trump and and particularly for Democrats this is important that they vote against him and the you know the president has been here in Florida twice in a week President Obama of course was here on Friday but we were at we were our crew was in a sterile earlier this weekend the president Trump was in Pensacola yesterday but in Estero and again in Pensacola the president was doing largely what he did in 2016 the big rallies that would just sellout crowds it was kind of a negative speech it was very a cautionary tale on what’s to come it does that play Sean Foreman like it did in 2016 well that’s what we’ll see this week the president thinks that it does it worked for him in 2016 and the idea of nationalizing a congressional election really goes back to 1994 and Newt Gingrich and Republicans did so effectively and so that’s part of the PlayBook is of course locally we look at issues and we look at personalities but the issues of immigration of health care of the economy of opinions of the president that’s what’s driving the the turnout so you know hey Trump is doubling down on that and that’s what the Santis is doing but it might be a new rule book this year we don’t know yet yeah Sean we also know that Ron DeSantis has just without reservation tied his fate to President Trump everything that Trump has said except for the death figures of fertility figures on Puerto Rico after hurricane Maria that’s the only thing I can really remember where he has differed with Trump everything else total agreement and what he is saying is if you like Trump and if you like what Rick Scott did I’m your guy for the next four years in floor right well he did break De Santis did with Trump this week over the birthright citizenship issue in the 14th amendment saying that Trump probably can’t do that as president and no but this whole idea is Trump lo if I can if I can interrupt you yes he said it’s probably unconstitutional he didn’t I don’t know some way the way I heard it was he didn’t actually totally disagree with them he simply was speaking in a lawyerly fashion and saying I don’t think the courts would go along okay that’s a good point Michael he doesn’t want to put too much separation between himself and the president but you know to this larger point they’re running on fear they’re running on immigration and the caravan that’s coming through Central America to Texas it’s not a Florida issue necessarily while the economy is really strong the national numbers the Florida numbers Rick Scott gets some of that but Trump’s not playing that card he’s playing the fear card and they feel that’s what’s gonna motivate the voters you know in the gubernatorial election which you know the Senate is actually a higher seat of power but with Florida governor’s race is sort of to your point the local person who’s going to at least attempt to change the direction or keep the direction in Florida and you have two men whose plans and policies could not be more different and and both of them are proven leaders in some ways they are experience that they have just different visions for how to go yet Katherine this race has been such a vilifying experience on for both of them it’s so negative the narrative on both men from the other side is so horrible to listen to what effect does that have on voters well it has been a very nasty race even in the debates it was more like a schoolyard brawl frankly then we heard about any of these substantive issues that separate them and we haven’t really heard issues even though we know you know there are serious issues that separate these candidates it’s really been more about personality and I think the way that they interact with each other interact with voters and they’ve really I think appealed to the base they are trying to get their base voters out and so I think part of the effect is what is how is this going to play with with NPA’s with the independent voters who are really going to decide this race how do you think it will think well I didn’t for the follow-up right now that’s that’s the million-dollar question isn’t it because some of the polls would suggest perhaps that Gilliam is slightly ahead in that that way but again we go back to 2016 I think there are a lot of independents who swung for Trump that still might in some of these more rural parts of Florida still stick with with the Republican Party so it going to be I think very hard to tell but it’s a very close race if nothing else Shawn 27% of voters in the state of Florida are NPA no party affiliation and I saw that same poll this morning and it appears most of them the majority are breaking towards Gilliam and maybe Nelson but certainly towards Gilliam but since they didn’t vote in the primaries and finding a pattern in their voting is hard I mean until Tuesday night we really won’t know how they’ve gone we won’t and the only way we know how independence vote is to ask them in polls and then exit polls when they’re leaving the polling place so we’d never get a really good grip on this and there are other polls that show that the Republicans are getting independent votes so you know but you know this idea that the Senate race is not getting as much attention that’s going to be probably the most expensive Senate race in history and that’s going to impact the majority outcome but I think people are more interested in Gilliam and the Santas because they’re new fresh faces and they’re really making a push to bring new voters and where people already know Nelson and Scott let me ask you about that the the Senate race up until I think yesterday was Nelson plus two point nine which is a dead heat really and right now it’s one what’s happened in the last 24 hours that would move a poll that that’s close even closer yeah I don’t know there’s anything that happened this week people say that tightens up that people go back home to their parties that they were going to support anyway maybe governor Scott’s getting some pluses from handling of the hurricane overall but you’re right it’s 2% for Gilliam and Nelson in these polls that they’re ahead we know that the last two governor presidential elections have been 1 percent margin difference some people say that possibly Gilliam could win and Scott could win which would really be odd so it’s going to be really tight you know why though would that be odd because I mean it is a base election we’re talking parties the the head of voting for the head of a state you’re voting for the CEO of your state voting for a member of Congress of the Senate is almost sort of making the balance of power for national decisions to me that’s that’s almost like a whole different conversation well as we were talking about nationalizing these elections I think when you have Gilliam into Santis that have really nationalized these sort of Trump Sanders wing of both of their political parties this is why that race has become more exciting than perhaps the Senate race and of course Scott and Nelson aren’t the most charismatic exciting candidates but certainly Gilliam and De Santis are and one quick thing about the polls that is a statistical dead heat so in terms of methodology that really means you know Gilliam could be could not be ahead in any of these polls or vice versa so something to watch talk about more about the polls when we come right back stay with us [Music] welcome back live in our studio this morning two political experts Catherine DePalo of FIU and Sean Forman from berry let me ask you both that Sean let me begin with you on the subject of polls I happen to have been speaking with a very knowledgeable political guy last night who was in government and he was asking me who was ahead who wasn’t and I said heard a poll and he said wait a minute I’m just not paying any attention to polls 2016 turned me off on polls you know I think let me ask you to sort of expend all polls are not created alike I mean you have the kind of polls where you’re called and you punch a button on your phone it’s automated or you have a live person talking to a likely voter with a big sample I mean that’s the kind of poll that you can find more reliable well the bigger the sample the more reliable it is Catherine mentioned the methodology before the commercial break there’s an issue of who your polling how many Democrats Republicans and independents how many white black Hispanic English Spanish that’s right in ages so you have to get it in a way that mirrors the electorate and so they’re done based on past electorates we’re not sure who’s going to show up this time so there’s already an issue there and then you know groups are trying to get different results in some cases because they want to show somebody ahead so all of this you have to take them with a grain of salt so that’s what we would call a push poll you ask the question in such a way to elicit a certain answer but then there’s this this sort of big question mark are people being truthful when they’re pulled and and I remember in 2016 and covering president now president Trump’s campaign I met people who flat out and said to me they would be voting for president Trump they’re not going to tell anyone about it though and so how do you know someone who’s being polled is giving you an accurate answer well and I think that’s particularly a problem with Republican voters who I think don’t answer the phones don’t answer the polls and I think really if you if you see in the electorate they’re not talking out loud very either so I think when we look at these polls were surprised perhaps when a Republican wins a race like in 2016 but when you’re conducting these particular polls these are the kinds of things that you need to look for because you’ve got to change the weight then we didn’t get enough Hispanic votes but then that has its own issue so I think when we look at maybe averages are helpful but you know really kind of taking some of this with a grain of salt as Shawn mentioned is really how we have to look at it particularly when it’s in that margin of error I remember I’m old enough to remember a columnist in Chicago named Mike Royko who was very funny who would wrote a column once before an election and said I love talking to pollsters because I always lie to them something let me say though that on the statewide races I have Republican friends who tell me internally their polls are consistent also showing that they’re down 2% Gilla DeSantis is so they feel that these are accurate and they actually feel kind of good about that that they can make up on Election Day you know so what does that mean make it up on Election Day how do you make something up on Election Day so now that we have early voting and and mail-in ballots are easy to do people have options to vote what we’ve seen since 2004 is that is not increasing overall turnout in Florida we said have relatively the same amount of turnout people just vote early rather than Election Day so you make it up by getting your voters who you expect to vote who haven’t gone early yet to get out there on Tuesday all right well today we are looking at early vote I mean the last day of early voting and it is souls to the polls and there is I mean it’s really encouraging a big turnout and a captain by the end of the day I think more than 5 million there are 13 million registered voters in the state to think that that more than 5 million in here the figures right now this was well I guess these are the current fingers 4 point 8 million I find that very encouraging that this many voters had really been turned on not turned off by those negative TV ads or the candidates they’ve come out to vote it’s amazing you know usually in a midterm election you have the party out of power from the White House who is very energized they usually to vote which is why usually this is difficult for the president’s party to win seats but you see both Republicans and Democrats energized and people I think are really excited about this election those numbers are tremendous in early voting and the fact that it’s so close between Republicans and Democrats is going to be a nail-biter the Democrats in fact have sort of shrunk come back they were 1.3 percent behind the Republicans on early voting and by mail voting now it seems like there’s parity right I think Democrats are behind 2014 pace but ahead of 2016 pace what we’re seeing is there are more white voters in Florida voting we don’t know which party they’re siding with but we’re also seeing there are more younger people there are more Hispanics there are more independence we just don’t know which way they’re breaking clean the parkland I’m sorry do you think those Parkland kids are gonna maybe that what’s your question kinda yeah I think those Parkland kids in that generation who historically have not voted in big numbers are they going to turnout that’s the big question you know they’re not turning out in the heavy percentages in the early vote compared to the other age groups so I think that remains to be seen perhaps maybe in South Florida here where this this event happened I think there’s a lot of young people especially with all these early voting locations at the college campuses this time around but I’m not sure that they’re gonna show up in these amazing numbers that are gonna turn an election well you know you both are professors you teach classes you have those you know Millennials what are you hearing from them what do they say what do they do some are excited I kind of expected more excitement actually on campus we had Gilliam and Nelson and others and I was surprised by the crowd it wasn’t quite as big as I thought it would have been and you know we usually have the few who are committed and involved in campaigns and the rest to just watch I know different this time with all that’s going on the intensity is greater amongst those who are already intent so I think on the Parkland and other students in general the ones who are going to register to vote anyway did so they’re little more energized but I’m not sure that they brought more people with yeah very very quickly we can Catherine is there anything about the election cycle that has surprised you where something has happened something’s been said where you’ve kind of reeled back and said whoa I didn’t expect that Oh to not expect something every day I think they’re that pop up that are unexpected one thing I think if we talk about Ron de santis who started the day after the primary election with the monkey this up comment I think it has really damaged him it was surprising that he said that and I don’t know that he’ll recover from that yeah sure oh gosh I was also gonna say the governor’s race that that actually that race hasn’t been more of an issue I know it has been but I really thought that we’d hear it get even worse yeah I think there’s something every day that’s a prize all right Shawn Foreman Catherine Apollo thank you so much for coming in enjoy it your expertise up next we bring in the round table stay with it

  1. Vote Tuesday with your family, friends or neighbors. Turn out is key for all parties up and down the ballot.

    If you don't vote, don't complain.

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