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Florida Democrats cast more pre-Election Day ballots than Republicans, but the presidential race remains a dead heat. A record 6.4 million Floridians cast mail and early ballots when early voting ended Sunday. Democrats held a 1.4-point lead with 39.8 percent turnout versus 38.4 percent for the GOP. Read more at
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One day before Election Day, more people have already voted in Florida than did in that state during the entire disputed 2000 election, according to the latest early voting data. 6,424,595 Floridians have so far cast absentee ballots or voted during the early voting period, which has now closed in the Sunshine State. During the race between George W. Bush and Al Gore, 5,963,110 votes were recorded in total, according to the Florida secretary of state's office. Read more at
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Hillary Clinton holds a 1-point lead in Florida and a 2-point lead in North Carolina, both swing states crucial to the White House chances for Donald Trump, in a new Quinnipiac poll of likely voters released on the eve of the election. The former secretary of state leads the Manhattan billionaire, 46 percent to 45 percent, in Florida and 47 percent to 45 percent in North Carolina. Her advantage in both states is within the margin of error, signifying that both are more or less deadlocked with hours to go until voters head to the polls on Tuesday. Read more at
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TALLAHASSEE — Dismissing Gov. Rick Scott’s claims as "poppycock," a federal judge Monday extended Florida's voter-registration deadline by at least 24 hours so as not to disenfranchise Hurricane Matthew survivors who wanted to sign up to vote in the nation’s largest swing state.Florida Democrats sued Scott — the chairman of Donald Trump’s super PAC — and his top elections official on Sunday because they had refused to extend the deadline. Scott said people had enough time to register by Tuesday’s deadline. Read more: Politico  
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NBC - Democrat Hillary Clinton leads Donald Trump in the key battleground states of Florida and Pennsylvania, including by double digits in the Keystone State due to her strength in Philadelphia and its suburbs, according to two brand-new NBC News/Wall Street Journal polls.  In Florida, Clinton is ahead of Trump by three points among likely voters, 45 percent to 42 percent, which is within the poll's margin of error. Libertarian Gary Johnson gets 5 percent, and the Green Party's Jill Stein gets three percent. Read more on NBC News
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Superintendent Jackie Pons launched a TV attack ad against campaign rival Rocky Hanna that sparked immediate backlash on Facebook and Twitter and prompted some of the incumbent's closest allies to walk away from his re-election campaign. The ad focuses on a 2013 paternity lawsuit brought but later dropped by the mother of Hanna's teenage daughter. Both Hanna and the girl’s mother — not to mention numerous observers — blasted the commercial as unfit for a political campaign. Gary Yordon, a Pons media consultant since his first run in 2006, left his campaign over the ad. Ron Sachs, CEO of Sachs Media Group and longtime Pons backer, announced he was withdrawing his support and would vote for Hanna instead. "This spot reflects such horrific judgment on his part," Sachs said. "It smacks of desperation. I'm embarrassed for him and embarrassed for the community that we've been exposed to such a terrible piece of political propaganda. He most certainly and deservedly will lose the election over this one thing." Read more on
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An administrative law judge says the Florida Department of Health has made a mess of medical marijuana regulations. Judge John Van Laningham’s expected ruling in a southwest Florida case sometime next month could throw the state’s budding cannabis industry into total disarray. Two years ago, the Florida Legislature made five licenses available to grow marijuana and process oil as a form of medicine. Since then, just one grower has opened a dispensary providing cannabis products for epileptic and other patients suffering debilitating illnesses. Laningham’s findings could reopen the licensing process because he’s signaling he thinks the department has failed to apply the law and rules equitably to all applicants. Read more here on 
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Former Secret Service agent and congressional candidate Dan Bongino went on a screaming, profanity-laced tirade Sunday during a telephone call with a POLITICO Florida reporter who asked him to clarify his criticism of a story published by the Naples Daily News. The dispute began on Twitter early in the day when Bongino bashed the Naples Daily News for writing “propaganda.” Asked by POLITICO reporter Marc Caputo about any inaccuracies or errors in the Naples Daily News story concerning Florida’s 19th Congressional District, Bongino didn’t directly answer the question. Read more in POLITICO  
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Republican Gov. Rick Scott on Sunday defended cutting some state funding in Florida to pay for mosquito control amid increasing cases of the Zika virus in his state. Under Scott, state aid to mosquito control programs was reduced 40 percent in 2011, from $2.16 million to $1.29 million. Scott also ignored pleas from fellow Republicans that year when he cut a special $500,000 appropriation for the Public Health Entomology Research and Education Lab in Panama City Beach, which was founded in 1964. Read more in POLITICO 
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(CNN)Jeb Bush's top adviser, Sally Bradshaw, has left the Republican Party to become an independent, and says if the presidential race in Florida is close, she'll vote for Hillary Clinton.  Bradshaw, who's been close to the former Florida governor for decades and was senior adviser to his 2016 campaign, officially switched her registration to unaffiliated. She told CNN's Jamie Gangel in an email interview that the GOP is "at a crossroads and have nominated a total narcissist -- a misogynist -- a bigot."  "This is a time when country has to take priority over political parties. Donald Trump cannot be elected president," Bradshaw said. Read more and watch video on CNN
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A weekly podcast focusing on the people and stories shaping Florida politics produced by Trimmel Gomes an award-winning journalist and former statewide news director of Florida Public Radio. Gomes hosted its flagship program "Capital Report" and created the public affairs program "It's About Florida." Gomes is political commentator and regular political contributor to WTXL ABC 27 in Tallahassee.


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