- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has borrowed a page from President Trump’s playbook. He has become the proverbial man of action in his state, wrangling the big items on his to-do list — such as a ban on sanctuary cities — while shoring up his state’s environmental policy, of concern to voters from both parties.

Mr. DeSantis also has made it clear that he is there for all Floridians, regardless of their political leanings — a smart and productive strategy. Those Floridians appear pretty happy about it all.

“Florida voters approve 59-17 percent of the job newly-elected Gov. DeSantis is doing, the highest approval rating for a Sunshine State governor in 10 years. Even Democrats approve of Gov. DeSantis, 42-28 percent,” reports a new Quinnipiac University poll, which also found that 67 percent of all Florida voters are satisfied with the way things are going in the state, tying the highest satisfaction rate in the poll’s history.

In addition, 71 percent of voters say Florida’s economy is “excellent” or “good,” the highest level ever for this measure, prompting the pollster to conclude that Mr. DeSantis is “off to a strong start” and that there is an “overall sunny mood among Floridians who are happy about the economy and life in general.”

Indeed, Mr. DeSantis’ 2019-2020 budget for the state is titled “Bold Vision for a Brighter Future.” He also reveals that Florida’s annual private-sector job growth rate of 2.7 percent continues to outpace the national job growth rate while unemployment is low at 3.4 percent. But the governor’s refreshing work ethic remains a priority.



“Florida’s economy is strong, but we cannot rest on our laurels. We have to build on our success by keeping taxes low and regulations reasonable, becoming the No. 1 state for career and technical education and making smart investments in our infrastructure and environment,” Mr. DeSantis told Floridians.

A National Public Radio analysis noted: “In Florida, two months into the job, Florida’s new governor is showing what it means to be a Trump conservative, Florida-style.”

Julie Wraithmell, executive director of Audubon Florida, told NPR that Mr. DeSantis “marks a return to an old tradition in Florida politics” by recognizing that preserving the signature lush environs and sand-and-sea appeal of the state is a non-partisan issue.

“Conservation has been a green issue in Florida, not so much a blue or a red one. We recognize that ecology is the basis of our economy,” Ms. Wraithmell said.

“THE TRUTH ABOUT NEW YORK

Politicians who flirt with socialism could run the risk of offending constituents who take pride in local industry. Take the Empire State, for example.

“First, socialist darling Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez drove 25,000 jobs out of New York as part of her leftist crusade against business. Then, Bernie Sanders launched his second presidential campaign in Brooklyn because he knows that’s where his strongest base lives. And finally, a new poll shows that half of young Americans would prefer to live in a socialist country. They have no clue that capitalism is what built New York from the ground up and made our state a symbol of opportunity and success around the world,” points out the Republican Party of New York.

New York residents are traditionally proud of this distinction. Indeed, New York City itself has 98 official nicknames according to “Names and Sobriquets of U.S. Cities and States,” a research book published in 1970.

Most of these monickers do not seem rooted in socialism. Beyond “The Big Apple” and “Gotham,” those bodacious nicknames include “The Wonder City,” “The City with Everything,” “Seat of an Empire” and “Business Capital of the World.

WEARY OF LATE NIGHT POLITICS

A comprehensive new survey conducted by Morning Consult and The Hollywood Reporter reveals what many Republicans already know: Late-night TV has become Democratic turf thanks to heavily politicized content. The wide-ranging poll of more than 2,000 Americans finds that 54 percent of Democrats said they watch late-night talk shows — compared to just 26 percent of Republicans.

There’s a cultural divide. Sixty-two percent of the Democrats want that political content, and 63 percent prefer that late-night hosts express their personal political views. More than half — 51 percent — say they would be more likely to watch a late-night talk show if a politician made a guest appearance.

Republicans are “diametrically opposed,” the poll analysis said.

“Sixty-two percent of Republicans said they did not like when late-night hosts discuss politics, and 61 percent said they did not like it when hosts shared personal political opinions. Fifty-six percent said they would be less likely to watch a show that included a politician’s guest appearance,” the analysis said.

“One thing the parties were able to agree on was the perceived political leanings of late-night talk show hosts: 57 percent of Republicans and 53 percent of Democrats said that they thought late-night talk show hosts tended to lean more liberal,” the survey noted.

More numbers in the Poll du Jour at column’s end.

FOXIFIED

Fox News Channel remains the most-watched network across the entire cable realm for the tenth week in a row according to Nielsen Media Research. Presentations of “Hannity,” “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” and “The Ingraham Angle” claimed 12 of the top 25 cable telecasts overall, in fact.

And as it has for an amazing 17 consecutive years, Fox News is the No. 1 cable news channel, drawing 2.4 million prime-time viewers, compared to 1.8 million for MSNBC and 939,000 for CNN.

And by the way, Fox News is also ruling the online side of things. FoxNews.com had 1.5 billion total views during February according to Comscore, besting CNN.com which had 1.4 billion views. The numbers to pay attention to: Online traffic to the Fox News website is up by 9 percent, CNN’s is down by 14 percent.

POLL DU JOUR

50 percent of Americans say late night TV hosts lean liberal; 57 percent of Republicans, 41 percent of independents and 53 percent of Democrats agree.

41 percent of U.S. voters like it when late night TV features journalists or political commentators as guests; 24 percent of Republicans, 32 percent of independents and 61 percent of Democrats agree.

39 percent overall say NBC’s “Saturday Night Live” has become too political; 60 percent of Republicans, 34 percent of independents and 28 percent of Democrats agree.

37 percent overall say Saturday Night Live” is more entertaining with political content; 21 percent of Republicans, 30 percent of independents and 55 percent of Democrats agree.

22 percent overall use late night TV as a source for political news; 11 percent of Republicans, 14 percent of independents and 38 percent of Democrats agree.

Source: A Morning Consult/Hollywood Reporter poll os 2,201 U.S. adults conducted March 7-10.

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