Bell Curve The Law Talking Guy Raised by Republicans U.S. West
Well, he's kind of had it in for me ever since I accidentally ran over his dog. Actually, replace "accidentally" with "repeatedly," and replace "dog" with "son."

Monday, June 21, 2004

News From Florida

Hi Everyone,

CNN.Com is reporting today that Florida's Department of Health (Governor: Jeb Bush (R)) has banned the importation of prescription drugs from Canada. Without getting into the policy impact of such a ban, the political impact might be significant. Canadian drug imports are a popular cause among the elderly and the elderly are a force to be reckoned with in Florida (as long as they can figure out the ballots). According to the 2000 census, Florida (17%), Iowa (15%), Pennsylvania (15%), North Dakota (15%) and West Virginia (15%) lead the country in percentage of residents over 65. All but North Dakota are "swing states" that G.W. Bush MUST win to be reelected. The elderly vote far more than other demographic groups (the last polls I saw have Kerry leading in IA, PA, and WVA).

In another Florida related story, 11,000 ex-cons have had their voting rights returned to them. Florida is one of only six states that forbids convicted felons from voting even after they've served their time in prison. This may have an impact for a couple of reasons. First, in 2000, the real story in Florida was the thousands of - mostly African American - voters in the Jacksonville area that were turned away from the polls because they were "mistakenly" on the state's list of convicted felons without voting rights. African Americans in the state (and around the country) were outraged. There is enormous evidence that in the states where ex-cons are allowed to vote, they vote 90% for the Democrats. The second reason these 11,000 new voters may turn out to be significant is that the polls that show Florida to be a tight race, are based on previously registered and/or "likely" voters. These newly eligible (and ticked off) voters wouldn't get picked up such polls. Granted, the turn out among such voters is likely to be very low but the margin in 2000 was in the hundreds. If only 1 in ten of these new voters it could tilt the state to Kerry.

According to a month old poll reported in the LA Times interactive electoral college map (link from LA Times election coverage page) Kerry and Bush are virtually tied in Florida with 4% undecided. Zogby (see link to the right) and other pollsters argue that undecided voters mostly either vote for the challenger or don't vote (if they liked the incumbent they wouldn't be "undecided" after 4 years of watching the guy).

No comments: