"The party is telling me Hogan should win pretty handily," [State Senate President Mike] Haridopolos said.
The party in this case was the Republican Party of Florida, which invested in polling and had sent operatives to Duval to help ensure the campaign delivered. The margin being bandied around yesterday by various party officials I spoke with was between 6 and 10 points.
Instead, Brown prevailed by just under one percent, becoming the first Democrat to win the Jacksonvile mayor's job since 1991, and the first African-American to ever hold the post. So what accounted for Brown's victory? Success, of course, always has many fathers, but in this case, it also has one giant anvil shaped just like Rick Scott:
As analysts dissect the Jacksonville mayoral race to learn what propelled Democrat Alvin Brown to victory over his GOP rival, one point continues to crop up — Gov. Rick Scott is not very popular in Duval County.
"We were thrilled when he endorsed Mike Hogan," Dave Beattie told the Times-Union today. "Barack Obama is actually viewed more positively in Duval County than Rick Scott."
Beattie, who served as Brown's pollster throughout the campaign, said Brown wanted to run a Jacksonville-centric race, but benefitted when Republicans would mention Scott.
The governor's disapproval ratings topped 51 percent in the polls Beattie ran of voters who turned out. Scott and Hogan's most fervent backers — the tea party — also fared poorly in the polling done throughout the campaign.
Beattie, the pollster, also said that Rick Scott's assault on education funding helped propel that issue to the top of voters' concerns. Florida Democrats have had a tough go of things lately, so not only is this a very nice win, but it's also good to see that Scott's over-reach is leading to serious blowback. I'm sure this won't be the last race where he figures prominently, and Scott's fellow crop of freshman governors — like John Kasich in Ohio, Scott Walker in Wisconsin, Rick Snyder in Michigan, and more — are likely to have similar downballot effects. It's awful that these guys got elected in the first place, but at least they are finally doing some good now — for us.
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