Division of Elections reports show enormous fundraising successes for Democrat Alex Sink in the wake of the state primary. I would like to think that would give naysayers some pause as they predict the doom of the Democratic Party this November.
Alex Sink grabbed a cool $525,000, compared to in Rick Scott's $43,000. I know that doesn't mean a huge amount because Scott is just going to bankroll the race the same as he has done to this point. The man has loaned a shocking $38.9 million to his own coffers so far. But this does show a huge enthusiasm gap in our favor.
From the time Rick Scott first reported figures in April up until the end of the last reporting period of Sept. 3, the Republican has only collected just over $567,000 in cash donations. Sink has taken in around $8 million. And since she is showing a 2- to 7-point lead in recent polls, the news is roses right now for Florida's CFO.
All of the data, be it financial or in the polls, indicates that Sink's supporters want her to win. That makes a huge difference going forward. After a bitter and divisive primary, one which offered Bill McCollum supporters few reasons to support Scott with any sort of enthusiasm, the Republicans are in bad shape when it comes to the gubernatorial race.
In a year when the Tea Party voters get all the press, and a year when so many people supposedly are frustrated with the Democrats, the Republican Party of Florida has to be very frustrated right now. But this is predictable. Bill McCollum ran a lackluster campaign and got beaten by a terrible candidate with a huge bankroll. All of the establishment Republicans in the state, from Jeb Bush to Jon Thrasher, found themselves with egg on their face, spending Primary day at what had to be a very depressing party in Central Florida waiting to hear McCollum concede.
Now, most party establishment has officially gotten behind Scott, but Scott had made them look stupid. He called the state GOP corrupt, labeled all Tallahassee insiders as a major problem, and now has no concrete party support. Plus, McCollum did everything he could to point out the ten shades of sleazy that color Scott's shadowy past. Independent and liberal voters did not vote in the GOP primary, but the learned plenty about Scott along the way. And while Sink coasted to her party's nomination with nary a bad word said, Scott had poisonous negatives come dawn on Aug. 25.
Things will change, of course. Scott will run nasty campaign ads which tar Sink as a Tallahassee insider as well. He will ask voters if they really want a former Bank of America executive handling Florida's purse strings. He will subtly raise questions whether we are ready for a female governor, and drop hints about whether the woman is too liberal if she won't take her husband's last name. All the crap he has, he will throw.
But we know that. McCollum was taken by surprise. He may have known Scott was a crook, but could not anticipate the tactics Scott would employ is his vanity-driven, shameless power grab of a campaign. We know. And so do voters.