Homeowners Insurance & Elections

A few weeks ago, I wrote about the potential impact of a single issue on the election this fall: homeowners insurance.

In recent days, a few articles have come out showing how important it is. The St. Petersburg Times noted:

Across the state of Florida, rising frustration over high insurance premiums has taken center stage just four weeks before the primary election. In races up and down the ballot, voters are asking and candidates are answering, as best they can, hard questions about a crisis that reaches beyond income level or party affiliation.

What’s remarkable about the insurance crisis as a political issue is that it may be too complicated for the campaign trail, or maybe even the voting booth. Dig deep into nearly any candidate’s insurance reform plan and none offers near-term relief for property owners. Ask candidates to guarantee lower insurance rates, and they decline.

And the headline from two stories today – in different parts of the state – show it again: In race, no escaping the insurance question (Pinellas County, House District 51) and District 91 race focuses on insurance (Broward County).

The problem is that this ‘crisis’ has come while Republicans have been in control. I am afraid that Republican leaders who have been unable or unwilling to find a viable solution in recent years could have given Democrats the thing they need to reverse a trend. It has been 24 years – 12 elections – since the Democrats gained a seat in the Florida House of Representatives; and 2006 could be the year the pendulum starts to swing back.

Only time will really tell. Adding to this issue is a finding from a St. Petersburg Times poll.

Kellyanne Conway of the Polling Co. noted that , even as Republican Hispanics and women were “happier” with the president than other GOP groups, white Republican men may express their displeasure with Iraq by not showing up at the polls this fall. That could spell trouble for Republican incumbents, especially those in federal office.

“Yessir there’s trouble. Right here in River City.”

About Jim Johnson

Editor and publisher of The State of Sunshine.
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