June 2, 2016 — As usual, a new Florida political campaign projects as a razor-thin general election contest. The Sunshine State electorate may well again determine the nation’s political fate but this time not only for a presidential campaign. Their open US Senate race could decide which party controls the majority for the upcoming 115th Congress.
Republican leaders, particularly Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-TX), are reportedly putting the full court press on incumbent ssfenator and defeated presidential candidate Marco Rubio (R-FL) to change his mind about not seeking re-election.
Apparently the leaders are less than pleased with the open race’s development, seeing little from Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera (R), and finding Rep. David Jolly (R-FL-13) making public pronouncements that he will no longer personally raise money for the campaign. Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-FL-6) had raised over $4 million before the end of March, has the support of important conservative organizations such as the Club for Growth, along with Tea Party grassroots support. But, the leadership feels it may be too easy for the Democrats to paint him as an extremist, thereby lessening his victory chances in the general election.
June 1, 2016 — Weekly Standard magazine founder and editor Bill Kristol has been banging the proverbial drum for an Independent candidate to challenge Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, thus leading to a Memorial Day weekend Twitter war of words. Kristol tweeted that a new “independent candidate – an impressive one with a strong team … ” is emerging, with Trump responding that “dummy Bill Kristol’s” effort will cost the Republicans the presidency and the Supreme Court.
Kristol maintains an independent candidate could still start from scratch at the beginning of June and actually win the race despite the logistics inferring otherwise.
Considering the independent ballot qualification deadlines have passed in many states, acquiring 50-state ballot access at this late date would be nearly impossible. In states where one can no longer qualify, an aspiring candidate would need court intervention to supersede state law, and under what grounds?
When former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg was considering an Independent run, for example, his political professional team told him to decide before April 1 if he were to have any chance of gaining national ballot placement. He did. In the last week of March, Bloomberg announced that he would not run.