Sunday Political Brunch -- Will Florida Mark the End of Trump Presidency? - August 20, 2017

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FORT LAUDERDALE, FLORIDA – The “brunch” is on the road for the next two weeks, assessing what’s going on in the politics of some key states. Those states might decide the fates and fortunes of the Trump Presidency and the Republican-led Congress in 2018 and 2020, so let’s “brunch” on that this week:

“As Florida Goes; So, Goes the Nation” – The Sunshine State is becoming a bellwether of American politics, not only a key battleground for the White House, but for Congressional influence as well. In the last ten Presidential elections, Florida has been on the losing side only once. Now, as the third most populous state, with 29 Electoral College votes, it’s a kingmaker.

“The First Test” – The 2018 midterm Congressional elections will indeed be the first litmus test of Donald Trump’s Presidency. It will be the first time that voters nationwide will get to vote up or down on House and Senate candidates, in part based on their support of Trump. Republicans are strongly targeting six U.S. Senate seats, including the one occupied by Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL). Governor Rick Scott (R-FL) is term-limited and may run for the Senate. Some polls show Nelson with a big lead for now; while other polls are much closer. Other candidates are in, too, so this could be a big fight.

“20/20 Vision” – I am all but certain that President Trump will face a challenge for re-nomination in 2020. The first name that comes to mind is that of Governor John Kasich (R-OH). Kasich is termed-out and has just over a year left as Ohio Governor. He was never a Trump guy. Even after many in the GOP begrudgingly supported their nominee, Kasich did not. He didn’t even attend the Republican National Convention, which was held in Cleveland. Kasich is one of a few prominent Republicans on the national stage who will be able to say, “See! I told you so!” He has a long resume and could carry the key swing state of Ohio. Keep an eye on him.

“Internal Party Fights” – In my lifetime, four sitting Presidents faced internal party fights when they were up for re-nomination. Their opponents are in parentheses: Lyndon Johnson (Senator Eugene McCarthy, Senator Robert Kennedy, and others); Gerald Ford (Governor Ronald Reagan); Jimmy Carter (Senator Ted Kennedy); and George H.W. Bush (Pat Buchanan). In each case, the incumbent either dropped out or lost in the general election. Primary fights are expensive and bruising. And when party members can’t rally around an incumbent, that makes independent voters more likely to bolt, as well. An internal party challenge to President Trump in 2020 seems probable.

“Marco Rubio” – Since we are in Florida and talking about a potential nomination challenge to President Trump, I must mention some possible Sunshine State candidates. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) ran for President in 2016 and was crushed. But in 2020, he’ll be in his second U.S. Senate term, and will still be just 49 years old. Of Cuban decent from South Florida, he will have huge appeal in the all-important Hispanic demographic, not just in Florida, but nationwide. He has already condemned President Trump’s confusing and seemingly contradictory remarks about the events in Charlottesville, Virginia, so Rubio may be planning another White House bid.

“Jeb Bush” – Former Governor Jeb Bush (R-FL) may be making plans for another White House bid soon, as well. Former Presidents George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush issued strong anti-racism statements this week; and while they did not mention President Trump or his comments directly, there appeared to be implied criticism of Trump's response to the incidents in Charlottesville. Look! It’s no secret that members of the powerful Bush family are not fans of Trump. The elder Bushes may be urging Jeb towards another Presidential run.

“The Florida Melting Pot” – People have often asked me whether the Southern states vote in a block; and for many years, my answer was “Yes.” Why has Florida now bucked the trend? Yes, Florida is still very Southern, but with an influx of millions of people from New York and the Northeast along the I-95 corridor and with so many Midwesterners along the I-75 corridor, it is truly a state of many diverse people, cultures, and voices. Florida is beholden to neither political party.

“Trump’s Not Done” – I’ve had many people tell me in the past week that the Trump Presidency is over and simply can’t recover from the latest controversies. I disagree. Incumbency is a powerful asset, and being the current occupant of the White House is an advantage never to be discounted. To be sure, Trump is his own worst enemy. The constant provocative tweeting and then the mixed messages on Charlottesville do not serve him well. But neither did the crude “Access Hollywood” tapes, and Trump still won the election. Folks, it’s August, 2017; and we are a long, long way from November, 2020. A lot can happen between now and then.

Do you think President Trump is finished, or does his Presidency still have legs? Just click the comment button at www.MarkCurtisMedia.com.

© Mark Curtis Media, LLC

Photo Courtesy: cbsnews.com

Through this post, I know that your good knowledge in playing with all the pieces was very helpful.

Oh, I don't have the time. But Mr. Curtis joined many in erring in their criticism of what Donald Trump did or did not say re: Charlottesville. He is inarticulate—not his view of himself—and bungled his message. B ut he was correct to blame both sides.

I ought to write a letter to the T&G, maybe the only way to open eyes on what happened. Sadly, the news media is complicit in the errors, for various reasons.

Oh, and John Kasich has a 0.000001% chance of winning a primary, other than perhaps Ohio. He and John McCain share the major flaw of both President Trump and former President Obama: their estimates of themselves well overshoot the realities of their weaknesses.

First... I do not support racism of any sort. I think the comments made by Trump regarding Charlottesville were aimed at the first amendment right to freedom of assembly and free speech even for those we may not agree with. Charlottesville issued the White Nationalists a legal permit and then turn around and blame someone else for not condemning the group? They are complicit in the mayhem. Trump condemned the behavior of both sides while not denying them the rights afforded by the Constitution.
Regarding Party opposition in 2020, of course we will see Republican candidates. In 2016, we had an abundance of well qualified candidates while the Dems had and still have only one bad candidate. It may turn out to be Repubs Vs Dems Vs Trump since the Repubs are viewed as part of the "swamp" that Trump was elected to drain. I continue to support Trump despite "swamp rhetoric" coming from Washington and a transparently biased media.

I do not think the Trump presidency is finished. True, he has become increasingly irrelevant, and many in the GOP are openly critical. But the power of the office he holds cannot be dismissed, and he still has, and will probably continue to maintain, a large and vocal support base.
As a progressive Democrat, I accept that he was elected and will most likely serve at least one full term. I also expect he has a better than even chance to be reelected as the democrat party has no leader and no coherent message. "A better deal" will not get it done. It means nothing to me, and I doubt it means anything to the millions of voters who need to be convinced and energized.
What a shame the United States has devolved to this. But I am an optimist, and the pendulum will swing. The basic goodness of most Americans will come out when it must, and we will forget the ugliness and hate that we are now experiencing.

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