The Trump administration has handed Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) a major political win as Republicans try to entice him to run for the Senate, promising to spare his state from its plan to massively expand offshore drilling.
Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke flew to Tallahassee to meet with Scott Tuesday night and pledged to exempt Florida from his plans to open nearly all coastal areas in the U.S. to offshore drilling, while heaping praise on the governor for his work.
Republicans from Trump on down have spent more than a year pushing Scott, a self-funding billionaire and close Trump ally, to run against Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL). The move was seen by many as a naked political ploy — a way to boost Scott’s standing in the state, where offshore drilling is deeply unpopular, while pushing ahead on the plan in states like California where there are fewer local Republicans to worry about helping.
Zinke called Scott a “straightforward leader that can be trusted” in his statement announcing the decision, giving Scott all the credit for the reversal.
“I support the governor’s position that Florida is unique and its coasts are heavily reliant on tourism as an economic driver,” he said. “As a result of discussion with [Scott] and his leadership, I am removing Florida from consideration for any new oil and gas platforms.”
A survey released Friday found Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) narrowly trailing his Democratic challenger, the second poll in as many days to suggest that the GOP leader is in for a tough reelection campaign.
The poll from The Mellman Group, a Democratic firm, found Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes edging McConnell, 44 percent to 42 percent. Those findings come on the heels of a survey from Democratic-leaning Public Policy Polling that found Grimes, who launched her Senate bid earlier this week, leading McConnell by a point. Mellman’s poll was conducted on behalf of the Grimes campaign.
Like PPP’s findings, Mellman’s poll showed a majority of Kentukcy voters giving McConnell low marks on his job performance.
More than a year before Kentucky voters will head to the polls, the PollTracker Average currently shows the two candidates locked in a neck-and-neck race.
This is Linda McMahon’s second try for the U.S. Senate seat in Connecticut and she’s trailing again and she’ll probably lose again but not if she can help it. Talking Points Memo dishes on the McMahon doorhanger that makes it pretty clear she will say and do some scummy stuff to win. She was quick to clarify that she’s still be voting for Mitt Romney… what a loser.