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Red anvil
FL Gov. Rick Scott (R)
Last Tuesday night, a funny thing happened: A Democrat won the mayoral race in Jacksonville, Florida. Alvin Brown, a one-time aide to Bill Clinton, upset Mike Hogan — an upset because Jacksonville is one of the most conservative big cities in America, and because Republicans were confident they had this one in the bag:
"The party is telling me Hogan should win pretty handily," [State Senate President Mike] Haridopolos said.

The party in this case was the Republican Party of Florida, which invested in polling and had sent operatives to Duval to help ensure the campaign delivered. The margin being bandied around yesterday by various party officials I spoke with was between 6 and 10 points.

Instead, Brown prevailed by just under one percent, becoming the first Democrat to win the Jacksonvile mayor's job since 1991, and the first African-American to ever hold the post. So what accounted for Brown's victory? Success, of course, always has many fathers, but in this case, it also has one giant anvil shaped just like Rick Scott:

As analysts dissect the Jacksonville mayoral race to learn what propelled Democrat Alvin Brown to victory over his GOP rival, one point continues to crop up — Gov. Rick Scott is not very popular in Duval County.

"We were thrilled when he endorsed Mike Hogan," Dave Beattie told the Times-Union today. "Barack Obama is actually viewed more positively in Duval County than Rick Scott."

Beattie, who served as Brown's pollster throughout the campaign, said Brown wanted to run a Jacksonville-centric race, but benefitted when Republicans would mention Scott.

The governor's disapproval ratings topped 51 percent in the polls Beattie ran of voters who turned out. Scott and Hogan's most fervent backers — the tea party — also fared poorly in the polling done throughout the campaign.

Beattie, the pollster, also said that Rick Scott's assault on education funding helped propel that issue to the top of voters' concerns. Florida Democrats have had a tough go of things lately, so not only is this a very nice win, but it's also good to see that Scott's over-reach is leading to serious blowback. I'm sure this won't be the last race where he figures prominently, and Scott's fellow crop of freshman governors — like John Kasich in Ohio, Scott Walker in Wisconsin, Rick Snyder in Michigan, and more — are likely to have similar downballot effects. It's awful that these guys got elected in the first place, but at least they are finally doing some good now — for us.

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Originally posted to Daily Kos Elections on Fri May 20, 2011 at 09:09 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  The Florida gov's race (32+ / 0-)

    ... was probably the outcome I was most disappointed in last November.  You had an experienced, qualified Democrat who could have gone on to be a national leader, versus someone who probably belongs in jail if everything he's done in his business life could be brought to light.  But as you said, at least he's finally doing some good!

    •  She'll probably run again (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dc1000, TofG

      in 2014. After all, Rick Scott is likely to run again, and his approval ratings were never high. He's the Beverly Perdue of the Republicans.

      People panic too much on this site.

      by thematt523 on Fri May 20, 2011 at 09:17:48 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Just not a crook or a bad person. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        dc1000, ArkDem14

        Let's make that distinction.

        19, Chairman DKE Gay Caucus, male, Dem, (College IN-09) (Raised IL-03, IL-09) Tammy Baldwin for Senate!

        by ndrwmls10 on Fri May 20, 2011 at 09:26:51 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I still have no idea why people don't like her (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        I see nothing offensive about her, at all, but for some reason, only 63% of dems from NC said they would vote to re-elect her.  That's pretty bad, even with the GOP legislature being incredibly unpopular.

        Swingnut since 2009, 20, Male, Democrat, CA-44 (home) CA-12 (college)

        by Daman09 on Fri May 20, 2011 at 10:07:20 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  They might not love her, (0+ / 0-)

          but will they vote for her? That's the big question. As is the case with Democrats in Casey and Bill Nelson's states, I suspect they will.

          •  I think Dems will return to her (0+ / 0-)

            But it still might not be enough to get her reelected.

          •  Problem is Dems have no options (0+ / 0-)

            The Dem bench is Florida is TERRIBLE, thanks in large part to redistricting.  More or less our entire Dem House delegation are people representing mostly minority, extremely democratic districts.  And we've had just TWO Dems win a statewide race (by my count), outside of Presidential races, since 1998 - Bill Nelson and Alex Sink (CFO).  I had high hopes for Ron Klein but he was rolled by a terrible GOP candidate by nearly double-digits, so he isn't coming back.

            •  Could Brown be a potential candidate? (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              TofG, ArkDem14

              Obviously winning a mayoral race in Jacksonville requires political skill. He might be a good candidate sometime in the future.

              Male, VA-08, Born CA-36, SwingStateProject expat

              by drobertson on Fri May 20, 2011 at 11:55:05 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Could he take on (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                Ander Crenshaw in Florida 04? It's a ridiculously Republican district, and perhaps it will be made more so by redistricting, but you never know. I suspect that if the Ryan plan is screwing Republicans all over the country, it's really going to kill them in Florida, making the possibilities for gains at all levels very, very large.

                •  In a word - No (0+ / 0-)

                  Brown would lose handily.  I'm sure Brown is an impressive candidate to pull off what he did but Crenshaw's district is R+17.  Though if Corinne Brown's absurd looking district doesn't hold up thanks to the the voter passed referendum on drawing maps it would probably be carved up and make the surrounding republican districts a good deal less conservative.

                  •  Ryan Plan in Florida (0+ / 0-)

                    I'd probably agree with you, although I would say that Crenshaw's district is one of the more marginal but still attainable seats. It would be hard, but it's possible in a wave. I wonder if that wave could come in the form of the Ryan Plan. Plus, I doubt Crenshaw's run a real race in a long time, so him not expecting to have to compete could certainly help.

                    I imagine there there are a lot of districts in Florida like this. If Hochul wins in NY-26 this week, Steve Israel will probably be taking a good, hard look at a number of districts around the country that didn't make the first cut.

                •  If the compactness law survives court (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  I would imagine that there will be a slightly Republican-leaning district in Duval county that Brown could win. Corrine Brown might be a problem but I think she knows she couldn't win. I'd still prefer that he goes for statewide office, though, because we really have very few other people for that.

                  Male, VA-08, Born CA-36, SwingStateProject expat

                  by drobertson on Fri May 20, 2011 at 12:29:47 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

      •  I think it likely that Scott will be primaried (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Judge Moonbox, mrsgoo

        the next time around. There isn't a whole lot of love for him in Florida GOP circles.

         But maybe after Paul Ryan loses his seat in Wisconson he can move to Florida and run for Gov.......

        it tastes like burning...

        by eastvan on Mon May 23, 2011 at 08:08:23 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Sink ran a horrible campaign, including... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TofG, ArkDem14

      ...going through FIVE campaign managers.  FIVE.

      She seemed to improve there for a couple months, but ultimately she ran a bad campaign and was a difficult candidate, and that was her undoing.

      For that reason, I don't want her running again.

      43, male, Indian-American, married and proud father of a girl and a boy, Democrat, VA-10

      by DCCyclone on Fri May 20, 2011 at 10:48:50 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  That moment in the final debate when (0+ / 0-)

      "she cheated" probably cost her the election.

    •  As they say, "Turnout is everthing." (0+ / 0-)
    •  From my post in St. Pete, looked like she did not (0+ / 0-)

      WANT the job, really. Kind of like Gore and Kerry, all Hamlet-ted up and lacking fire and desire.

      And who can blame her? Facing an $80 million campaign, a bunch of typically apathetic FLDems, a state organization that is mostly missing in inaction. and of course a political map gerrymandered to create a Roman-senate legislature stacked with assholes and liars and cheaply rented suits.

      What was the margin? 50 or 60 thousand votes out of 5 million cast? GOTV didn't, and does anybody care? When are people going to do the two things that might change the landscape that is dominated by destructive special interests: Get mad, and turn that anger into the behaviors that will oust the greedheads and buttheads from the legislature and the executive and judiciary and batter the media into doing the honest day's work, EVERY DAY, that keeps stuff like this from happening?

      In other words, too likely we the ordinary people are going to suffer More Of The Same until we are bled out and dead.

      "Is that all there is?" Peggy Lee.

      by jm214 on Tue May 24, 2011 at 04:12:29 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Important (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    That disapproval is actually prompting people to vote. It doesn't often work that way for Democratic candidates.

  •  Very nice to see. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    weberl, DCCyclone

    You know, I was thinking the other day, for all of the talking I do about Texas, Democrats in Florida aren't that much better. We may get closer in that state, but the Republicans usually win. They control most of the big offices and both houses of the legislature. If nothing else, it limits the ability of Democrats in the state to field better candidates. I think Nelson will be reelected, perhaps easily so, but he won't be around forever. We need to start thinking now about who might take on Rubio, for instance.

    Perhaps it doesn't mean that much in the larger scheme of things, but if there's a way to use Rick Scott against Republicans all over the state, we should do it, even if it's in a fairly small election.

    •  Is Florida trending in any direction? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      If it's trending in our direction. I could see Marco Rubio being defeated in 2016. He's extremely conservative for a swing state and it will be a Presidential election year. Maybe Alex Sink could run against him? She would probably want to run for Governor in 2014, though.

      19, Chairman DKE Gay Caucus, male, Dem, (College IN-09) (Raised IL-03, IL-09) Tammy Baldwin for Senate!

      by ndrwmls10 on Fri May 20, 2011 at 09:30:31 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It's probably trending (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        weberl, bythesea, TofG

        in our direction, if it's changing at all. But we can be competitive now. The problem is, we aren't as much as we should be.

      •  Yes (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        weberl, TofG, ArkDem14

        Demographic shits clearly show the state is trending Dem, though somewhat slowly.  We probably won't see a big swing left for quite some time.  The biggest problem is the weakness of the state Democratic Party.  Doesn't help that new maps are drawn for 2012 with complete GOP control.  

        Even in the Dem wave elections of 2006 and 2008 we barely made a dent in the state legislature or statewide offices.  Then in 2010 went lost those gains and much more, giving repubs 2/3rds majority in the legislature for the first time ever.

      •  Rubio will be pressured to run for President in... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:


        And he just might do it.

        He's doing all the right things, and saying all the right things.  He's very aggressive in his rhetoric and yet also discrete in his choices of words and phrases.  He avoids anything inflammatory with swing voters, no birtherism or other dog whistle crap or even cries of "socialism."

        All that tells me he has an eye toward the White House.

        Everybody talks about him as VP this time, but I think he doesn't want that.

        Anyway, I don't know if Florida law allows him to be on the ballot for both President and Senate at the same time.  Some states (e.g., Delaware; Texas) do, many don't.

        43, male, Indian-American, married and proud father of a girl and a boy, Democrat, VA-10

        by DCCyclone on Fri May 20, 2011 at 10:52:32 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  It's a slow shift, (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        but I think it's going more Democratic.

        Even more encouraging, it seems to be shifting away from its Southern Democratic roots and going more Liberal Democratic.

        23, flaming Male, currently in WA-07, raised in UT-02

        by speitzer on Fri May 20, 2011 at 05:20:06 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I think in terms of 'trending' Florida may well (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Judge Moonbox, neroden

        be affected by the misfortunes of the House GOP. Perhaps more than any other state.

         Dems have a great opportunity to rebuild leading up to '12.

        it tastes like burning...

        by eastvan on Mon May 23, 2011 at 08:12:10 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I don't think Brown's victory is Scott-related (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    weberl, ArkDem14, sulthernao

    The Florida Chamber of Commerce, hardly a lefty body, was whole-heartedly behind Brown, while only the Tea Party crowd (and maybe a few assorted racists) were in Hogan's camp. Frankly, I think it's something of a miracle Hogan mustered such a close margin to begin with. I'm a Blue Dog and I would've campaigned in the streets for Brown's election.

    For daily political commentary, visit me at and

    by andyroo312 on Fri May 20, 2011 at 10:18:06 AM PDT

    •  That doesn't sound accurate at all (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TofG, drobertson

      Everything I've read from reporters actually in Florida says that Hogan was heavily favored and expected to win, even right into election day.

      Are you in Florida?  In the Duval County area?  If so, can you share links or other info from others sharing your view?

      If not, did you bother to read what local reporting actually says?

      43, male, Indian-American, married and proud father of a girl and a boy, Democrat, VA-10

      by DCCyclone on Fri May 20, 2011 at 10:54:47 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The local reporting backs up him up (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        I was interested in seeing if there were larger tea leaves - the linked article is anomaly... The post-mortems trend in the opposite direction (i.e., "What does Jacksonville's Mayoral Race Mean for 2012?  Not much".

        Brown seems to have gone out of his way to tout this as a non-partisan win -- that's hardly a bad move for the first AA mayor of a city that's had its racial divisions, not to mention a Democrat in a GOP stronghold.

        The race seems to have come down to this --

        Brown built a good campaign team that really worked the race... they touted his local ties, the fact that his two kids are attending Jax public schools, and they reached out to traditionally GOP-supporting groups and individuals.

        Hogan, by contrast, appears to have pretty much smugly dismissed his primary opponents and run an awful campaign - apparently, downtown development is an issue and he dismissed it as 'just another neighborhood'.   This ticked off the Jax business community, apparently.   I know next to little about Jacksonville, but no would-be mayor in Chicago would dismiss the Loop as just another neighborhood (and I say this as a northsider that dreads heading downtown for concerts and events).

        I guess everyone's got their own blog now.

        by zonk on Mon May 23, 2011 at 08:32:26 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  As ever the reasons are likely multifaceted (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      drobertson, jj32, itskevin

      But seems pretty silly to underplay it in that manner.

    •  It's probably not ONLY Scott related, but... (0+ / 0-)

      I bet he played a part. And your point about Brown being in the tea party camp just shows that those people are rapidly losing their appeal. I'm assuming Scott won Duval County last year.

    •  I'm pretty sure Hogan was heavily (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      drobertson, itskevin

      favored to win. He was first in the initial election, and I believe Republican candidates got a majority. It's a GOP leaning city, and while he had the support of the tea party, I think he also had the support of the city's unions. Maybe Scott wasnt responsbile for Brown's victory, but it is ridiculous to say it was a miracle that Hogan came so close.

  •  Don't ignore NJ and pa. as new governors whose (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    popularity is going down.

  •  Hogan sounds like the Martha Coakely/KKT (0+ / 0-)

    of FL.

  •  I'm telling (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    you, if GOP governor's in swing states continue to be this unpopular up to election day, Obama should work day and night to tie whatever clown comes out of the GOP "nomination" to these governors.

    President Barack Obama and Democrats: Moving America forward since 2008.

    by ehstronghold on Fri May 20, 2011 at 12:44:00 PM PDT

  •  Answer to your question: I sure hope so. (0+ / 0-)

    Proud owner of an unincorporated uterus. :)

    by boofdah on Mon May 23, 2011 at 07:41:31 PM PDT

  •  ACTION for Kossacks on May 24th (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bkamr, bythesea, amk for obama

    Throw anvils and blow kisses of death.....Do phonebanking from your computer to Get Out The Vote in NY-26 Special Election:

    Make a difference!

  •  Hope all the GOP Ricks and Scotts and Ryans (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Tennessee Dave, OleHippieChick

    are becoming huge dead weights dragging the Republican Party into oblivion

  •  Rick Scott is a criminal (3+ / 0-)

    Why is he in the governor's mansion and not in a prison cell?

    "The real wealth of a nation consists of the contributions of its people and nature." -- Rianne Eisler

    by noofsh on Mon May 23, 2011 at 07:53:34 PM PDT

  •  Yikes. In Ohio My Incontinent Masters Degree (5+ / 0-)

    retired teacher assisted living mom is about to be dependent on medicaid which Kasich will decimate, while our house at half the national median price literally doesn't have a closet to put her in; wife and myself have state employee pensions with health care which Kasich will likely decimate; all of us having no social security since it all went into state pension.

    We're on track all 3 of us to a real chance of dying under bridges when the best we can hope for is the Repubs crazying themselves out of the majority, but never weak enough to allow Democrats to restore humane governance destroyed by the Repubs before enough of them can be slowly purged to stop further destruction.

    I'm looking out over a bottomless cliff.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Mon May 23, 2011 at 07:53:38 PM PDT

    •  Kasich makes me want to puke (3+ / 0-)

      especially when he starts talking about God and the Bible. He is so anti-Christian it's unbelievable. I learned some nauseating stuff over the weekend that he said to a group of public school teachers who were talking to him. I'll be blogging about that as soon as i talk to one of them personally.

      Jennifer Brunner for Governor of Ohio 2014

      by anastasia p on Mon May 23, 2011 at 09:14:27 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  let a hundred anvils bloom (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I am off my metas! Präsidentenelf-maßschach; Warning-Some Snark Above join the DAILY KOS UNIVERSITY "Nous sommes un groupuscule" (-9.50; -7.03)

    by annieli on Mon May 23, 2011 at 08:07:01 PM PDT

  •  I wish we had a recall provision (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Tennessee Dave, OleHippieChick

    so we could get rid of The Skeletater NOW.

    Still enjoying my stimulus package.

    by Kevvboy on Mon May 23, 2011 at 08:26:58 PM PDT

  •  The (tea) party's over. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Tennessee Dave
  •  Tea party's over (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Tennessee Dave

  •  Speaking of dropping anvils. (0+ / 0-)

    Since Rick Scott is an anvil shouldn't we look at getting flood insurance for the State of Florida? Based on the super-genius of the GOP they are bound to put a hole in Florida and sink it into the ocean!

    Oh well Guam could replace it as a state. It's just as useful..

    "I think it's the duty of the comedian to find out where the line is drawn and cross it deliberately." -- George Carlin, Satirical Comic,(1937-2008)

    by Wynter on Tue May 24, 2011 at 04:12:37 AM PDT

  •  Don't try and read too much into Brown's victory (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Yes, the Republicans thought they had this one in the bag, but the African-American community rallied behind their candidate, who took advantage of this support and ran a near perfect campaign and won a very tight victory.

    A little background first...Jacksonville and Duval County were combined into a single government back in the 60's, so it is a very unique political entity. Since that time, the more conservative and more white suburbs have controlled local government.

    In this election however, with blacks accounting for a little over 27% of the electorate, they were able to turn slightly better than average voter turnout into a razor thin victory.

    In Duval precincts with 80% of more registered black voters, Brown received more than 98% of the vote. In these same precincts, turnout was 43.8%, compared to countywide turnout of 37.2%.

    When you win almost every vote in these precincts, you only need to carry 1 out of every 3 votes in the remaining precincts get a majority.

    This is the new Florida. With a Republican legislature that has packed voting districts with minority/Democratic voters, giving them a 2:1 advantage in our congressional districts and both the house and senate in Tallahassee.

    Time will tell whether or not our constitutional amendments that were passed in 2010 to require compact legislative districts that respect community boundaries will be upheld and finally allow Florida voters to choose their representatives, rather than the other way around.

    A fool will lose tomorrow reaching back for yesterday.

    by kansasr on Tue May 24, 2011 at 04:27:42 AM PDT

  •  Too late for my brother-in-law (0+ / 0-)

    Who is getting shitcanned after nearly 30 years in the Miami-Dade school system, thanks to Scott's "reforms."

    There are alligators in Florida. Once in a while they brazenly enter homes. Wonder if they'd like the governor's mansion.

    It is better to light one candle than to curse the darkness - Eleanor Roosevelt

    by Fish in Illinois on Tue May 24, 2011 at 05:11:57 AM PDT

  •  If Rick Scott dragged the JAX mayor candidate down (0+ / 0-)

    Imagine the damage he'll be doing next year when his state hosts the GOP convention. What Republican in his right political mind would want to be associated with such a piece of trash?

    "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win." -Mohandas K. Gandhi

    by alaprst on Tue May 24, 2011 at 05:21:03 AM PDT

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