Political news


Immigration and agriculture go hand in hand.

That's what community and business leaders in Tallahassee recently heard from Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam.

He said immigration reform is vital to the health of the state’s agriculture industry

Putnam told the Economic Club of Florida he is concerned the U.S. is losing business to developing countries that have different standards for hiring farm workers.

Christine DiMattei

A wry symbol on a text message.

Last fall, that was the first inkling Lynn University President Kevin Ross had that his school would be making the history books.

“I was out at lunch and got a text that said, ‘You need to come back to campus immediately,’" recalls Ross.  “And it was with a smiley-face after it. So I knew it was good.”

As Mitt Romney and President Obama get ready for their second debate, a new bipartisan survey shows a surge for Romney in a key voter group following their first debate Oct. 3.

The random cellphone and land line poll of 600 likely rural voters in nine battleground states Oct. 9-11 has Romney at 59 percent among the survey's respondents. Obama's support is now down to 37 percent among rural battleground voters, a plunge of 10 points from the actual rural vote in those states four years ago.

The small town of Bejucal, 20 miles south of Havana, looks much as it did in October 1962. Horse carts carry passengers and fresh-cut green bananas through narrow streets lined with pastel-colored homes.

The sleepy town doesn't seem like the kind of place to put an arsenal of nuclear weapons. But a military bunker here was the biggest storage depot on the island for the Soviet nuclear weapons 50 years ago.

Where Florida's 11 Ballot Measures Came From

Oct 15, 2012
immortalpoet/ Flickr

This year, every proposed change to our state's Constitution placed on the ballot came from the state Legislature.

Experts and activists say that this is because getting an amendment on the ballot in Florida is harder than ever before for citizens, yet significantly easier for state lawmakers.

What Happened to Citizen-led Petitions?

Robin Rorapaugh of Hollywood is the president of a political consulting company that helps groups who want to get an issue on a ballot.

'Subtle, Subtle' Racism: Why Jeb Bush Moved To Miami

Oct 15, 2012
World Affairs Council of Philadelphia/Flickr

New York Magazine published a great profile of Florida's former governor and current Miamian Jeb Bush this week.

The profile tackled some pretty big topics about Bush, who has stayed mostly out of the limelight since he finished his term as Florida's governor in 2007. The article mentioned how Jeb's connections to the Hispanic community might make him the greatest hope for the future of the GOP and why he didn't run in 2012.

Energy Perception And Policy Reality

Oct 15, 2012

As the election nears, energy policy remains a regular topic on the campaign trail. Controversial subjects like arctic drilling and hydraulic fracturing continue making headlines as the political class debate our nation's changing energy mix. But let's not deceive ourselves, or the public at large, about a president's real role and reach.


Florida voters could decide the 2012 presidential election. We have more electoral votes than any other swing state. Miami Herald Pulitzer-Prize winning photographer Patrick Farrell and WLRN-Miami Herald News radio reporter Kenny Malone are on a 10-day quest to capture the faces and voices of the powerful Florida voter. Maybe it's an oyster farmer in Apalachicola, a psychic in Cassadaga, a bartender in Cedar Key, a tomato picker in Immokalee.

Join us for a discussion upon their return.

Gage Skidmore on Flickr

The Republicans' chance of retaking the Senate is about a quarter of what it was two months ago, according to the New York Times' great meta-pollster, Nate Silver. Despite Mitt Romney's comeback, Democratic Senate candidates like Florida incumbent Bill Nelson are also holding their own. Check the tables on Silver's blog at  fivethirtyeight.com.

Patrick Farrell

Flagler County, where Palm Coast is located, has the highest unemployment rate in Florida. 1 in 8 workers there is without a job.

Our Dispatches from the Swing State project passed through Palm Coast yesterday and stopped at a hotdog stand where they met John Sabia.

Sabia works only for tips at Hot Diggity Dog. He’s helping out the owner who happens to be his son.

Sabia says when Palm Coast was booming, the hotdog stand had a line for hours and US1 was backed up with traffic.

But then, the collapse.