Showing posts with label Marco Rubio. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Marco Rubio. Show all posts

Monday, March 23, 2015

Bush Involved in Recent Florida Presidential Primary Legislation?

This is interesting. From Lee Fang at The Intercept:
State Representative Matt Gaetz wrote to Bush on January 2nd that he is “concerned that Florida’s current primary date will lead to proportional allocation of delegates” and that a “winner take all” system would be preferable. 
“Unless you ask me otherwise, I’ll file legislation to move our primary date back a week,” Gaetz told Bush, who responded to say that his political advisor Sally Bradshaw would give Gaetz a call. “10 4,” Gaetz shot back. [Emphasis FHQ's]
Fang couches this exchange as coordination between Jeb Bush and the Florida legislature. Maybe, but there are a few things that cast some doubt on that assertion.

First, given the RNC penalty structure, the date of the Florida primary under the 2013 law was a bit unclear. That was not a new issue in 2015.

Secondly, Rep. Gaetz did not actually sponsor the legislation that came out of the Florida House and was subsequently signed into law. That plus the fact that the action the state legislator calls for in the email did not match with what some in Florida interpreted as the move in the recently passed legislation.1

In any event, Florida Republicans have historically had some form or fashion of winner-take-all or winner-take-most delegate allocation rules. Neither that, nor the fact that Florida Republicans wanted to extend that tradition should come as a surprise. It would likely have been true with or without Bush or Rubio eyeing runs at the White House.

But the thing is Rubio was involved in the 2013 law change that initially brought Florida back under compliance with the Republican National Committee rules. That was clearer than this exchange.

1 Some interpreted the presidential primary law change as affecting a two week change from March 1 to March 15.

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Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The Death of the Ames Straw Poll?

Here we are a little less than three years away -- a long time in politics -- from the likely August 2015 Ames Straw Poll; an event that is often heralded as the beginning of the Republican presidential nomination process. Of course, the real beginning of the 2016 Republican presidential nomination process was sometime either late on November 6 or in the wee hours of the morning of November 7 when the 2012 election was called for Barack Obama. Never the less, many look upon the late summer event in Iowa in the year immediately prior to a presidential election year as important; a point at which people are actually casting ballots for would-be/actually-are candidates in the state that quadrennially kicks off the new primary season.

Non-binding on the actual nomination race or not, some -- Governor Terry Branstad (R-IA) -- are now calling for an end to the process.

To which FHQ responds, "Not so fast." Here's why:
  1. It is a little early to be talking about death knells for 2016 campaign events.
  2. As Republican Party of Iowa Chairman AJ Spiker rightfully pointed out, Branstad will not be the one making this decision.
  3. The 2016 Republican nomination race is wide open from our vantage point here in November 2012. It may not be in 2015 (but probably will be to some extent).
  4. Calling for or forecasting the end to events in Iowa is an age-old past time in the political sphere.
There are probably other reasons too, but let's focus on these interrelated four.

At least during the 2012 cycle folks waited until February 2011 to start questioning the utility of the Iowa caucuses. Built on the same house of cards reasoning -- that social conservative Iowa Republicans would select someone who was too conservative to do well in the remaining primaries and caucuses and by extension the general election --  some continued to question Iowa's usefulness at the beginning of the Republican nomination process after Michele Bachmann won the 2011 straw poll. That reasoning is predicated on the false notion that these events -- whether the straw poll or the first in the nation caucuses -- have to be or should be predictive of the final outcome. This is the wrong way to think about the role of either event. Both the straw poll and the caucuses due to their positioning are not predictive events. They are winnowing events. Sometimes the stars align and the straw poll and more often the caucuses crown (or as luck would have it, "pick") the nominee.1 But that is not always the case. And it doesn't have to be. Leave the picking to other states. Iowa's power has always been in winnowing the choice set.

The only real, definitive bit of information that we have to have at this point in 2012 about the future of the Ames Straw Poll is that the Republican Party of Iowa is not going to unilaterally disarm.2 That is certainly true given the discussions of who may run on the Republican side in 2016. There continue to be discussions about how deep the Republican bench is and if that comes to fruition -- if Rubio, Bush, Christie, Jindal, Ryan and Paul all run or even if half of them run -- then Iowa Republicans are not going to discontinue the straw poll.

Well, the party would not end the straw poll unless there was clear evidence that all of the candidates, especially the big name candidates, would skip the event. Even then, the party may persist with the straw poll. But that scenario isn't likely to happen because if all or half of those candidates listed above run, it will only take one opting into the straw poll process -- as is or tweaked in some way, shape or form -- to bring the others in. The Ames Straw Poll is or would be too big of a deal to miss from an organizational standpoint. 2016 is not shaping up to be a John McCain (2008) or Mitt Romney (2012) sort of cycle for the Republicans; a cycle where a seemingly more moderate candidate is the frontrunner -- nominal or otherwise.3 Unless all of the above pass on 2016 for some strange reason, then all will be motivated to participate in the straw poll. That is more true in light of the fact that there does not seem to be a true social conservative on the short list of candidates. In Ben Domenech's taxonomy, Rubio (or Bush) is the establishment candidate, Jindal is the populist, Christie is the moderate and Rand Paul is the libertarian. That leaves room for one dark horse, who could be a social conservative, but absent such a candidate, all of the others would have some selling to do to the social conservative Iowa crowd.  That portion of the caucusgoing electorate would matter, but would likely be split to varying degrees unless one of the candidates emerged or had emerged prior to the straw poll as a clear frontrunner.

The bottom line is that, yes, like Craig Robinson, I agree that the candidates will be the ones deciding the future of Ames Straw Poll. If they show up, it matters. If they don't, then it won't. But depending on how the eternity that is the next two and a half years of the invisible primary progresses, there will likely be incentives for the candidates to throw their hat in the ring. That comes with some consequences -- a poor showing could mean lights out -- but the reward of meeting or exceeding expectations could be greater than that risk of not.

It's just too early folks. Call me in late 2014 to discuss the death of Ames. November 2012 is too early.

1 Much of this has to do with the extent to which a consensus frontrunner has emerged by the time of either the straw poll or the caucuses. If that consensus exists as it did in 2000, for instance, then the majority/plurality of Iowa caucusgoers often make the pragmatic choice whether it overlaps completely with their ideological position or not.

2 Terry Branstad might want to discontinue the practice, but the RPI does not and will not.

3 Another way of thinking about this is that there was 1) no clear frontrunner and 2) the overall field was viewed as weak in both cycles. Both factors seem to have applied in 2012, but neither seems to fit the conditions of 2008.

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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

"Rubio favors early presidential primary for Florida in 2012"

No, Rubio isn't a decision maker on the matter of the timing of Florida's 2012 presidential primary, but this is worth filing away. That's another Republican voice -- and a national one at that -- who is for the Sunshine state's primary being earlier than is allowed by national party rules.

by George Bennett, Palm Beach Post (Post on Politics Blog)
WASHINGTON — Florida should keep its early presidential primary date in 2012 and the Republican National Committee would be wise to accommodate the important swing state, Republican U.S. Sen Marco Rubio says.

Both parties have agreed that only four states — Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina — should have primaries before March 1. When Rubio was state House Speaker, the legislature moved Florida’s 2008 primary to January to give the state more influence. The 2012 primary will be in January as well unless the legislature changes the date.

Says Rubio: “I think if the Republican Party wants to pay for the elections in Florida, they can have them any day they want. But as long as the voters of Florida are going to pay for this election, it should be on the most meaningful day possible. An election in late January costs the same as an election in April, but it’s a lot more meaningful.”

Rubio added: “I’m OK with Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina — those are established states and I don’t think Florida desires to get ahead of any of them. But after that, why should Florida be behind anyone else? And as a Republican, I’ll tell you this flat out, no Republican can win the presidency of the United States without winning the state of Florida. We cannot win the presidency without winning Florida as a Republican, and so it behooves us to make sure that whoever our nominee is is someone that is palatable in Florida and does well in Florida. And the best way to do that is by winning the primary.”

Asked about the possibility the RNC would strip some or all of Florida’s delegates to punish the state for holding its primary too early, Rubio said, “If the RNC thinks the way to win Florida — which they cannot win the presidency without — is to sanction the most important swing state in the country, then good luck to them.”

Rubio said he plans to be neutral in the 2012 presidential primary and in the 2012 Republican primary for the U.S. Senate seat of Democrat Bill Nelson.