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The Southern Group's Hot Take 06/23/2020

Wednesday, June 24, 2020   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Jennifer Bryan
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Poll position.

It’s an article of faith among political hacks that in presidential races early polls don’t matter. There are way too many variables and voters are way too fickle for polls to accurately predict an outcome five months from now. But, the counterargument in this election cycle is that since both candidates are already so well known by the electorate, voters are less likely to change their minds at a later date. At any rate, Joe Biden is probably feeling good about his numbers these days. RealClearPolitics, which aggregates many of the most credible polls, has Biden with almost a 10-point lead over Trump, up from a 4-point lead in early May. Compare this to Hillary Clinton’s 6-point lead in 2016 and Obama’s 1-point lead in 2012 at the same time in the election cycle. Biden also has significant leads in critical swing states including Michigan (+8), Pennsylvania (+6), and our beloved Sunshine State (+6). A poll out yesterday puts Biden 8 points up in the Jacksonville area. Texas and Iowa are within striking distance of Biden where he is down 2 points. While these numbers may be troubling to the Trump campaign, they can take some comfort in the fact that other modern presidents (Truman and Bush 41) have overcome larger polling deficits to ultimately claim the prize in their presidential races. And, in a chaotic year when every month seems to bring a new jaw-dropping plot twist, no outcome is certain.



From my cold, dead nostrils.

Proving that no item is too mundane to avoid being a flashpoint in the ongoing culture wars, the mandatory use of face masks to blunt the spread of Covid-19 is now the subject of hot debate at every level of government. Florida’s Surgeon General is now weighing in. Yesterday, Dr. Rivkees issued a Public Health Advisory recommending all Floridians wear masks in any setting where social distancing is not possible. This guidance comes after many local governments have begun public conversations regarding masks.Last week Orange County issued a face-covering emergency order, and yesterday the mayors of 9 municipalities in Miami-Dade County collectively mandated a mask in public rule. In Leon County, the seat of Florida State government, local officials also passed the requirement today. Mask opponents have fears about their personal liberties and question the efficacy of masks to prevent transmission of the virus. Some believe that they are more at risk of falling ill by wearing a mask than not; just ask Palm Beach County Commissioners who sat through over two hours of public comments opposing the proposed policy before ultimately voting to mandate masks today.The decision to issue a mask mandate is in response to the recent spike in Covid-positive cases across Florida that surpassed a total of 100,000 positive cases a few days ago. The infographic below represents the cutting edge thought on this contentious issue.




Your mortgage forecast.

Could the 30-year mortgage, a classic fixture of American homeownership be going away? Maybe, according to some interesting data that suggest banks are changing how they lend based on a home’s proximity to the coast or to a floodplain. An article in The New York Times details how more banks are requiring bigger down payments – much more than the traditional 20 percent – and ridding their own portfolios of these mortgages by selling them to government-backed buyers like Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. The mortgages these entities own are backed by the federal government and taxpayers take the hit if mortgages fail – which could set the nation’s housing market down a path of eventual reckoning. In 2016, Freddie Mac’s chief economist at the time, Sean Becketti, warned that losses from flooding both inland and along the coasts are “likely to be greater in total than those experienced in the housing crisis and the Great Recession.”




FL Case Count

3.3% GROWTH SINCE 6/22
3,237 DEATHS
as reported by FL DOH


US Case Count

1.3% GROWTH SINCE 6/22
120,927 DEATHS
as reported by Johns Hopkins


Global Case Count

1.6% GROWTH SINCE 6/22
473,849 DEATHS
as reported by Johns Hopkins




Tallahassee Office

Leon Commission to Consider Making Masks Mandatory
Read more here →



Tampa Bay Office

Tampa Bay
Hillsborough Considers Indoor Business Face Mask Order
Read more here →



Jacksonville Office

60 Jacksonville Firefighters Self-Quarantining Due to Exposure to Coronavirus
Read more here →



Miami Office

Miami Seaquarium Has Reopened After a Three-Month Closure Due to COVID-19
Read more here →



Orlando Office

Disney World Announces More Reopening Dates for its Hotels
Read more here →



Florida Keys Office

Florida Keys
Election 2020 Head: No Challenge
Read more here →



If you have any questions or comments about this content, please contact your Southern Group lobbyist.For more information about our firm or our work, please visitour website.



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