Florida Five: Cortes poised to win one back for conservatives, Political flyer does the unthinkable

Five of today’s top Florida political stories at your fingertips:

Bob Cortes in Florida House District 30 offers GOP best chance to take back a seat – During the last election cycle, Democrat Karen Castor Dentel rode an Obama turnout effort and managed to beat a Republican incumbent to steal a seat from the GOP in Central Florida. Looks like it’s payback time. The question is whether Republican Bob Cortes can pull it off to take Florida House District 30 back. It’s always an uphill battle when a challenger is running against an incumbent, especially one with a family name well-known to Florida politics. Read more

Political flyer does the unthinkable; calls out residents that don’t vote – by name –  An unusual political flyer mailed in Orange County has people fuming over its contents – it’s calling out people who don’t vote.  “Don’t throw Away Your Vote,” the flyer says on one side. The other side reads, “Every year thousands of your neighbors fail to vote. We think it’s too important. This year we are providing the names of your neighbors and their voting record.” Read more

SEA (Dem) poll: Rick Scott 46 percent, Charlie Crist 44 percent – Gov. Rick Scott is holding on to a 46-44 percent lead over Charlie Crist, according to a new likely voter poll exclusively shared with The Miami Herald. Scott’s 2 percentage-point lead is well within survey’s 2.7 percentage-point margin of error – like every other recent major poll in this race – making the contest a tie. The 1,300-respondent poll was conducted by Democratic-leaning polling firm SEA Polling & Strategic Design. A Quinnipiac University poll this morning found Crist led Scott 43-40 percent, a lead that was also within the margin of error. The SEA poll, chartered by a coalition of businesses and exclusively shared with The Miami Herald, has been conducted in two waves over the past three days. The first results, of 800 likely voters, were reported yesterday. Read more

Tampa Bay Times Poll: Tied Fla gov race, med marijuana failing – It’s tighter than a rusty bolt on a ’55 Ford, closer than Lassie and Timmy, hot enough to peel house paint. A new Tampa Bay Times/Bay News 9/UF Graham Center poll confirms what we’re running out of ways to describe: The Florida governor’s race remains tied heading into the closing days of the most negative and expensive campaign the state has ever seen. The poll finds 36 percent of likely voters backing Republican incumbent Rick Scott, 36 percent backing Democratic nominee Charlie Crist and 6 percent backing Libertarian nominee Adrian Wyllie. “When it gets down to be this close, it’s quite difficult for any poll, given the margin of error … to tell you who’s going to win,” said Christopher McCarty, director of the UF Survey Research Center and director of the University of Florida’s Bureau of Economic and Business Research. Read more

Amendment 2 opponents launch final pitch to defeat legalizing ‘pot smoking’ – The Vote No on 2 campaign released a new ad Thursday touting the numerous groups who have endorsed their effort to defeat the constitutional amendment to legalize medical marijuana. “Florida newspapers, doctors and sheriffs across the state, as well as seven former Florida Supreme Court Justices, have all warned about the potential negative impacts if Amendment 2 passes,” Sarah Bascom, spokesperson for the Vote No on 2 Campaign, said in a statement. “There are no do-overs in the constitution and there is just too much at stake to put this terribly-flawed Amendment in our state’s constitution. It is clear that the only choice is to vote no on Amendment 2.” Read more

HALLOWEEN BONUS: Orlando named best city for Halloween parties and activities

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