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Bob Graham: Political Mudslinging Could Spur Citizens To Get Involved

Many people believe the presidential campaign has sunk to new lows. Former Florida Governor and Senator Bob Graham suggests the name-calling and mud-slinging could be corrosive to democracy -- but it could also be an opportunity for people to try to change the country by getting more involved.
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Florida is one of the most racially diverse battleground states, and the political geography of the Sunshine State — pockets of blue dotted along a long central strip of red — means its 29 electoral votes are a hard-fought prize.

Associated Press

The upcoming elections are widely viewed as pivotal for the direction of this state, and the country. People are concerned about issues like gun control,  education, or paying for their health care.

On today's show, we're shedding some light on the way that some of these concerns are playing out in Florida.

Julio Ochoa/WUSF

Right in the middle of the I-4 corridor sits Polk County -- rural and conservative and largely Republican. But changing demographics could mean a close election there for President.

Presidential candidate Donald Trump got an enthusiastic reception when he campaigned in Lakeland recently, and he probably noticed that Polk County -- to coin a phrase --  is really "huge". It's about the size of Delaware, and for the past 20 years, the Republican party has dominated the political scene there.

Courtesy of MOSI

On Sunday, Tampa's Museum of Science and Industry welcomes its National Hispanic Scientist of the Year. Her name is Dr. Adriana Ocampo. She's the woman who discovered the dinosaur-killing asteroid and lead NASA's Pluto Mission

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention strengthened its Zika guidance Wednesday, recommending that pregnant women consider postponing travel to all parts of Miami-Dade County and reiterating a recommendation that pregnant county residents take steps to prevent the virus's spread.

The updated guidance reflects concerns that the virus may be spreading in areas throughout the county, not just in the two "Zika zones" on Miami Beach and near Little River.

Strong rains were not enough to keep away a crowd of more than 2,800 people that gathered Thursday afternoon at Florida Memorial University's arena in Miami Gardens to participate in a rally with president Barack Obama. 

"Tolerance is on the ballot. Justice is on the ballot. Equality is on the ballot. Our democracy is on the ballot," said Obama, who in several instances of his speech reiterated to the crowd the need to vote in this election. "Don't believe your vote doesn't matter, that all politicians are the same. They want you to stay home, to not vote."

Zika Virus Shows Up In Palm Beach County

Oct 21, 2016

State health officials reported four new cases of the Zika virus on Thursday, including a locally transmitted case involving a Palm Beach County resident.

A 12-year-old boy says his teacher yelled at him for not standing up during the Pledge of Allegiance at a Hillsborough County school.

New rules detail how military leaders must treat transgender service members. It's the latest step in the Pentagon's effort to integrate transgender people into the armed forces.

Obamacare’s namesake came to Miami-Dade County Thursday afternoon to talk about the Affordable Care Act, just a few weeks before the program’s fourth open enrollment period starts.

President Barack Obama, before heading to a Hillary Clinton campaign rally in Miami Gardens, spoke to a large crowd of mostly students at Miami Dade College Wolfson Campus.


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