At this point, you'd be hard-pressed to argue that Rick Scott's massive negative ad campaign targeting Charlie Crist hasn't had an impact. Scott has dumped an astounding $13 million on to the airwaves, and he's succeeded in driving Crist's poll numbers down, as this chart shows:
But Scott still sits at 42 percent in the horserace matchup, in spite of everything, and as Tom Jensen observes, the undecideds pose a real problem for him:
If there's a silver lining for Crist it's that the 16% of voters who remain undecided are not very big on Scott—he has just a 23% approval rating with them to 51% who disapprove. The undecideds also skew female, Hispanic, and younger and they voted for Barack Obama 43/39 in 2012.Crist's strategy, much like California Gov. Jerry Brown's in 2010, is to wait out the Scott assault and go on the offensive later in the game. It's not like Crist has much choice, seeing as how the ultra-wealthy Scott has limitless funds to spend and Crist does not. Crist simply has to bide his time and hope that Scott can only do so much damage to his reputation. Meg Whitman ultimately ran into the law of diminishing returns against Brown, and Scott may as well.
The question now is whether Scott can elevate his own numbers. If he can, Crist is in serious trouble, but if not, it'll be a real grind for that last pocket of undecided voters.