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Florida GOP Ahead of Republicans Across Nation Against Career Politicians

August 31, 2015 - 1:30pm
Rick Scott, Donald Trump, and Ted Yoho
Rick Scott, Donald Trump, and Ted Yoho

Florida is always seen as something of a model for the nation’s future politics as America grows older and more Hispanic. In recent years, Republicans from the Sunshine State tapped into a trend which is now taking over the GOP across the nation: disgust with career politicians. 

Quinnipiac University released a poll on Monday which showed voters across the nation in general, and Republicans in particular, are upset with the way the federal government operates. An overwhelming majority of Republicans -- 90 percent -- are not satisfied with where the nation is headed while 86 percent are angry or dissatisfied with the course of the federal government. 

Republican voters are increasingly taking some of their frustrations out on the GOP-controlled Congress. Only 23 percent of Republicans approve of their party in Congress while 69 percent disapprove. Not exactly a ringing vote of confidence in Mitch McConnell and John Boehner. 

All that being the case, most Republicans -- 73 percent -- say they don’t want their candidate in 2016‘s presidential race to have Beltway experience. That’s not music to the ears of Ted Cruz and Rand Paul, who are calling for changing Washington even as they serve in the Senate, and helps explain the rise of Donald Trump and, increasingly, Ben Carson and Carly Fiorina. 

Florida Republicans have been ahead of this trend. Tapping into the tea party movement in 2010, Rick Scott stressed his lack of elective experience as he beat two well-known officeholders in Bill McCollum in the primary and Alex Sink in the general election. Pam Bondi did much the same thing in the attorney general’s race. 

Since then, several Republicans in the Sunshine State followed that game plan to a tee. Herman Cain upset Rick Perry and Mitt Romney in RPOF’s Presidency 5 straw poll in 2011. Trey Radel and Ron DeSantis blew out crowds of officeholders to win open congressional seats a year later. Stressing he wasn’t a career politician, Ted Yoho beat Cliff Stearns in one of the biggest upsets in Florida political history. The trend continued last year as Curt Clawson relied on his business experience to win a special election for Radel’s open seat.

Republicans from Florida also are clearly not sold on McConnell, Boehner and the GOP leadership. At the start of the year, Yoho and Dan Webster both challenged Boehner in the House speakership election. Bill Posey and Rich Nugent threw their support behind Webster, while Clawson voted for Rand Paul. Republican congressional challengers across the state, such as Mary Thomas who is running against Gwen Graham, have already made it clear, if elected, they won’t vote for Boehner to lead the House. 

Of course, there are some downsides. The dysfunction in Tallahassee as the two chambers of the Florida Legislature stood at loggerheads on the budget, Medicaid expansion and congressional redistricting doesn’t bode well for the GOP Congress, even as buzz grows that Boehner will need Democratic votes in September to avoid a government shutdown as tea party and conservative discontent grows. 

In the presidential contest, the rising disgust with Washington and insider politicians bodes poorly for Jeb Bush, the man who did the most to grow the Florida GOP over the last two decades. Of course, the former Florida governor never served in Washington himself but his father and his brother did and the Bush dynasty could end up as one of the chief victims of this growing trend within the Republican ranks. At least Bush has a chance for the nomination. The same can’t be said of plenty of familiar political faces gunning for the Republican nod. 

Since it emerged in 2009, there’s been plenty of speculation about what the tea party stands for and how it will shape the GOP on taxes, spending, immigration, education and social issues. But one thing is pretty clear. The tea party isn’t just opposed to politics as usual; it’s opposed to politicians as usual. That’s been clear in Florida in recent elections and, increasingly, it’s evident in the GOP across the nation.

Reach Kevin Derby at or follow him on Twitter: @KevinDerbySSN


We've gotten to this point because of a lack of leadership in the GOP. Boehner and McConnell need to step down their shelf life has expired. While Trump may be bombastic, its that kind of mindset that will change the dopey way the GOP 's have handled things with Obama. I fault the GOP leadership for caving to him instead of standing their ground. They capitulated to everything Obama did even the illegal things!! They are afraid of the press, and unable to stand their ground, call them cowards. Carson is a brighter light than Trump bringing sense to an election instead of the bully pulpit. More important he will bring the Hispanic and Black vote over not because he's black but because he is educating the uninformed and hoodwinked minorities that have been caught in the web of deceit the democrats have woven. As Johnson once said about his "Great Society Scam," We give those (N words) a few things, and they will vote for us for the next 50 yrs. Carson is finally about to unravel that Ponzi scheme. If the American people go to the polls like they should next year, the Good Old Boys network on both sides of the aisle will need to rethink their political mortality. All the naysayers about not having political experience? Let me submit this to you. We have had the so-called best and brightest going to DC and Tallahassee, so if all that political experience is what it takes, then why is everything so screwed up? Political positions require wisdom and common sense something that is lacking from the politically experienced that are elected. "WE the People" will" prevail because our one vote is stronger than the lobbyist cash!

Partially accurate....of course Senator Rubio is a lifelong politician...he went from City the State the Senate. Only in politics is a lack of experience somehow seen as a qualification. The problem with electing a novice is that they usually have no idea how to actually perform their job---which means they use at least two years trying to learn the job---and two more running for re-election.

the problem with "hiring" these people who have no political experience is that they truly don't know what they're doing. They can make all the promises they want, but they have no clue about the process. Donald Trump can bombast all he wants, but he will not have the kind of power he thinks he will. For one thing, he will alienate all the Republicans that he will need to get any policies changed. When he starts giving specifics, instead of patting the voters on the head and saying he will get it done, "trust me" then I will listen, until then, he's just outshouting everyone else.

Dear Jane...hope you took note of the other submission. Obama has proven that getting around Congress is easier than we thought. Executive Orders! While I am not particularly against renaming Mt. McKinley for the native name it had for centuries, no one thought Obama had the authority to do it. But he did. So would Trump. Every thinking person over the age of ten knows how ridiculous the Iran deal is. Hey, no problem, he will veto the veto! There is a reason Trump is surging. Most of us are not only sick of politicians and Congress, we are disgusted with them.

Its a shame you have learned nothing at all about THE DONALD sir. He will grab the bully pulpit any time the GOP leadership drags its feet. In addition we have learned the secret of how to get things done in The Swamp. Write executive orders its really that simple. Obama used the heck out of them and the GOP elites are scared to fight them so if Donald gets sandbagged that's his 2 ways it if not just ask Ramos what Trump did to him and we chimed in and kicked his phoniness all over the net....

Those people "raised in a barn with no social skills" will find consensus just fine when some more of them push out the establishment. The gop is dead without Trump. It is a win win for the middle class. We get Trump and renewed expectations or the gop collapses and we finally get one or more new parties. :) From broken promise rubio amnesty to jebs involvement in common core to rick scott. Florida has had enough.

Amen.. Wake up America.. We have had enough of the business as usual. Last election taught us that.. Everything they promised to get elected or re-elected was a lie.. They sold out. took bribes and we lost again.

I am a Republican--for now at least. I have been a Floridian for almost fifty years, but I was born and raised in Ohio, and I literally can't stand John Boehner. I know Dan Webster, and have known him since he was a youngster. He has been in politics for awhile, but he is an honest, decent man who genuinely loves his country. Boehner obviously does not care about his country--he only cares about himself and the power he can wield.

So the real question is this: Seeing we have a US Senate seat up for grabs with a host of career politicians chopming at the bit for a job promotion. How would you vote if a savy person came forward challenging the status quo. who had to raise the money to win but had what it takes to win and strong enough to stand up to the leadership which has to be changed?

Rick Scott is coming to the end of his terms in the Governorship and I think he did a decent job he would fill that seat and has enough personal wealth to winit if he chooses to he did it once before and he could do it again I would vote for him an as a back up Pam Bondi...

Depends on what his / her goals are.. If by raising the money - means having to pay back with favors.. we are no better off.. We have enough pork in our budget already. We must trim the fat and the multiple, agencies that overlap and do nothing. Trump takes donation.. but with the clear understanding - he owes you NOTHING but to do what he promises.. his job.

That may all be fine, but part of the problem in Washington is having a bunch of novices who are ideologues who don't know how to play fair or work to reach consensus. I believe that is learned over time, especially when faced with failed ideologue policies. The other thing missing is respect for one another. It often looks like these people were raised in a barn where no social skills were taught.

How about respect for the ones paying their salaries and luxury vacations? We are getting taken for a royal ride. PC has gone too far.

Comments are now closed.



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