The new Quinnipiac poll out of Florida has Rick Scott, the multimillionaire who seeded the anti-health care bill group Conservatives for Patients Rights, surging in the GOP primary for governor and leading all-but-certain Democratic nominee Alex Sink. After spending $11 million of his own money on ads, Scott leads Attorney General Bill McCollum by 13 points, 44-31, in the party primary. In the general election, Scott leads Sink 42-32, cruising in every part of Florida except the Miami area. He holds Sink to the support of only 69% of Democrats, which is really something when you consider that he's behind ads like this:
I've been meaning to post more primary documents here, and this is an important one -- the Obama administration's memo explaining its request for dismissal of Virginia's lawsuit against the Affordable Care and Patient Protection Act.
The GOP's strength comes without any kind of surge in its popularity. The Democrats have a 37-42 positive-negative rating; the GOP has a 30-42 rating. The tea party, as we've seen in other polls, looks better because of a lower negative rating -- overall it's 31-30. (Interestingly, the lowest recorded positive/negative rating for Democrats in the poll came in July 2006, five months before the party won Congress.) And while I see very, very little evidence of tea party splinter candidates hurting the GOP, there's some hunger for it.
"So it gives us a separate claim for standing, a separate statutory basis to claim that the federal statute is in violation of the Commerce Clause. They're similar but different legal arguments. Whether ours is first or last, whether we win or lose, I don't think it affects what happens with the Florida lawsuit."
"What I run into," Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) told me recently, "is that you ask Republicans to support 100 percent full repeal, but there are a number of them that aren't committed to full repeal."