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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:

Chart of all FL-Gov polls
The latest to confirm this trend is PPP, which finds Scott and Crist tied at 42 apiece; in early April, Crist led 49-42. What's notable, though, is that Scott has not managed to improve his own standing with voters. Crist is now quite unpopular, with a 32-48 favorability rating, but Scott's own job approvals remain underwater at 39-48. Back in January (the last time PPP asked these questions), Scott stood at 34-51 and Crist at 36-46, so the incumbent has recovered somewhat and his challenger has slipped.

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.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Elections on Tue Jun 10, 2014 at 10:29 AM PDT.

Also republished by North & Central Florida Kossacks and Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (12+ / 0-)

    Get the Daily Kos Elections Digest in your inbox every weekday. Sign up here.

    by David Nir on Tue Jun 10, 2014 at 10:30:00 AM PDT

  •  Crist Strategy (6+ / 0-)

    I hope Crist has a good strategy in reversing this trend and reminding everyone why they hate Scott.

    •  Crist has been doing everything in his power to (5+ / 0-)

      keep the focus on Scott while at the same time aggressively promoting our values like Obamacare, fighting climate change, raising the minimum wage, etc.  He's my favorite gubernatorial candidate of this campaign season and I want him to win big time.  I think this race will be close like the Virginia governor's race but we will still win.

      Funny Stuff at http://www.funnyordie.com/oresmas

      by poopdogcomedy on Tue Jun 10, 2014 at 04:05:05 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I think Crist will step up his slam-game (5+ / 0-)

        before the election.  Scott is VERY easy to hate, and he's done a lot of damage to Florida.

        Polls don't necessarily mean anything.  Rasmussen kept screeching right up to election day that Meg Whitman would win by up to five points--she lost by over ten.

        “When it comes to this, I shall prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretense of loving liberty—to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure and without the base alloy of hypocrisy.” —Abraham Lincoln

        by Pragmatus on Tue Jun 10, 2014 at 04:15:54 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Do you have a link to that poll? (0+ / 0-)

          Rasmussen Reports    October 27, 2010    750   
          Brown    49%   

          Whitman     45%   

          The closet I could find to election day had Brown up.

          http://en.wikipedia.org/...

          New Republic: So are the left-wing blogs as bad as the Tea Party ones in this case? -------------------------Chuck Schumer: Left-wing blogs are the mirror image. They just have less credibility and less clout.

          by AlexDrew on Tue Jun 10, 2014 at 05:00:42 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Disgraceful. Both Scott and his idiot supporters (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Vetwife, a2nite, Matt Z, keyscritter

    Really ... after all he's done, he has a credible opponent and STILL Florida looks poised to give the snake four more years.

    The GOP slime who were lucky enough to run in 2010 and 2014 deserve way worse.  It won't help Corbett but he's most likely the only one who will go down among governors.

    Maybe LePage if enough people see through 'Ralph' Cutler.

    Pretty sickening.

  •  Some things to take away from PPP's poll that are (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Matt Z

    encouraging:

    http://www.publicpolicypolling.com/...

    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. Even though Crist's support has been knocked down, Scott still hasn't been able to build his up below the l0w 40s. It's a toss up but there are at least a few things that could go Crist's way.
    The fact that Scott is still having troubles elevating his numbers and he's still struggling to shift towards the center.  Crist is a Hell of a campaigner so as long as Scott still has problems lifting his numbers, Crist can still win.  Always knew this race was going to be tight.

    Funny Stuff at http://www.funnyordie.com/oresmas

    by poopdogcomedy on Tue Jun 10, 2014 at 11:01:46 AM PDT

    •  Crist will not be forgiven or trusted for having (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Matt Z

      changed parties.  But if he changed his name to Jesus Crist he might have a chance.

      Building a better America with activism, cooperation, ingenuity and snacks.

      by judyms9 on Tue Jun 10, 2014 at 04:16:12 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I don't think a lot of people really care that he (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        willrob

        switched because even as a Republican Governor he fought his own party on some issues.  I think the voters in Florida want someone they can trust and Crist is that guy.

        Funny Stuff at http://www.funnyordie.com/oresmas

        by poopdogcomedy on Tue Jun 10, 2014 at 04:59:35 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I stall can't believe our bench is so depleted in (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        orestes1963

        Florida that we have a recent party switcher as our nominee. BHO carried the state twice!!!!

        New Republic: So are the left-wing blogs as bad as the Tea Party ones in this case? -------------------------Chuck Schumer: Left-wing blogs are the mirror image. They just have less credibility and less clout.

        by AlexDrew on Tue Jun 10, 2014 at 05:02:43 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Charlie Crist is more in line with (0+ / 0-)

          the neoliberals who control the party than a real Democrat.  That's why he has the nomination and support.  Contrast this with the utter disregard for Barbara Buono, a lifelong Dem, who ran for gov in NJ last year, a state that should easily be in Dem hands.  The party was so dismissive of Buono that she publicly called them out on it after her loss.  

      •  You must not live in Florida, or at least not w... (0+ / 0-)

        You must not live in Florida, or at least not when Charlie was gov. Charlie Crist has always been a Florida first guy who stood up to the GOP when it was not working in Floridas interests and that was way before the crazy Tea Baggers took over the GOP. Crist was never even a big fundraiser for the GOP. Floridians know and trust Charlie despite his former party affiliation. Crist was a great Governor for Florida and will be again.

  •  Scott's approval ratings aren't likely to rise (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AlexDrew

    His campaign's strategy, thus far, is focused on driving down Crist's positives.  I'm not sure that they ever intend to shift or exactly how they could do so.  It's like Gray Davis's re-election campaign in CA-Gov '02.  

    There's a certain irony here in that, in the '06 race, Crist's primary strategy was spending Dem nominee Jim Davis into the ground w/  a negative advertising blitz.  Scott is essentially doing to Dem Crist now what Gooper Crist did to Davis 8 years ago.  Hopefully, unlike Crist then, it won't work for Scott now.

    Some men see things as they are and ask why. I dream of things that never were and ask why not?

    by RFK Lives on Tue Jun 10, 2014 at 11:01:58 AM PDT

  •  every one of the red governors are phony failures (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Navy Vet Terp, a2nite, Matt Z

    that message can sink in, coast to coast, tween now and Election Day.

    decent wages don't eliminate jobs. Republicans eliminate jobs; and workers, and prospects, and then excuse it all and call for more austerity. there is no end to their ignorant, arrogant avarice. only political dinosaurs support their treachery.

    by renzo capetti on Tue Jun 10, 2014 at 12:56:02 PM PDT

  •  The real "real grind" will be GOTV....... (0+ / 0-)

    .... just like in IA and NC and KY and GA and MI and CO and LA and AR, and pretty much anywhere else that will have close races for any office.

  •  $13mil for negative campaign ads is obscene. [eom] (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Matt Z, SpringHopeCarolina
  •  Mission Accomplished (0+ / 0-)

    Can a Democrat win in any state of the union with only a 1% polling lead? Hard to believe they could do it in the Bushgore State.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Tue Jun 10, 2014 at 04:15:55 PM PDT

  •  Dem (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AlexDrew

    It is embarrassing that we needed a retread to run as a Democrat in a 50/50 state.  Step back--"we" can't win this race no matter who wins.  Yes, Scott would be a worse loss if he won.

    Actions speak louder than petitions.

    by melvynny on Tue Jun 10, 2014 at 04:19:18 PM PDT

  •  If Scott does win again.... (0+ / 0-)

    Florida will be ruined environmentally.  All those rich conservatives can thank him for that when everything turns brown.  

  •  I'd be tempted to 1 'they're throwing mud' on pict (0+ / 0-)

    ure of Christ ad, sizable buy, in the next few weeks with a reminder how its 'Scott and fat cats' and a teaser like 'Florida deserves better, Florida can do better' to the fall.

    Something that does not give Scott any ammo, but reminds everyone what's really going on w/Scott is just a monkey throwing shite in the hopes it turns everyone off so he can steal it in Nov.

  •  ... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SpringHopeCarolina, keyscritter

     Floriduh - home of the willingly ignorant - and proud of it.

    •  BHO carried the state twice. And HRC is leading (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      orestes1963

      every GOP opponent in early polling. Even Jeb.

      Maybe it's the candidate. They do know him.

      New Republic: So are the left-wing blogs as bad as the Tea Party ones in this case? -------------------------Chuck Schumer: Left-wing blogs are the mirror image. They just have less credibility and less clout.

      by AlexDrew on Tue Jun 10, 2014 at 05:05:45 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  As Harry Truman sagely quipped: (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    deh, melvynny, AlexDrew

    "The people don't want a phony Democrat. If it's a choice between a genuine Republican, and a Republican in Democratic clothing, the people will choose the genuine article, every time; that is, they will take a Republican before they will a phony Democrat."

    Will they never learn?

  •  I HAD JUST POSTED THIS POLL HALF HOUR AGO (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    keyscritter

    On November 4, 2014, Florida voters can go to the polls to nominate Rick Scott / another Republican or a Democrat for the office of Governor.  Although both primary winners might indeed be the forgone conclusions that many think it to be, the many aren't always correct.  There are at least 3 serious candidates on blue side of the ballot: Charlie Crist, the former Red governor turned Blue who has always been viewed as kind of purple or lavender, Nan Rich the former Blue minority leader of the FL Senate, and Iranian ex-pat economist Farid Khawri who ran as an Independent (Gray?) in 2010 for the same seat.  "A key part of Khavari's economic plan is to create The Bank of the State of Florida. "Using the fractional reserve regulations that govern all banks, we can earn billions per year for Florida's treasury, while saving thousands of dollars per year for Florida homeowners," Khavari said. "After we cover the $50 billion in Florida State Board of Administration losses, we can reduce taxes." [6] Rich received endorsements from both the Florida NOW and NOW as well as Buddy MacKay, the most recent Democratic governor of Florida.[3]Crist's term as Governor ended in January 2011. On December 7, 2012, he joined the Democratic Party, having endorsed President Barack Obama for re-election in 2012.[2] On November 1, 2013, he announced that he was running for Governor in the 2014 election.[3]  Drop down below the orange Sunshine state gerrymanderkin.

    So to boil it down we have the ex-gov who talks like a moderate Democrat and has the most name recognition, a liberal long time party affiliate with some name recognition and a pretty smart economist with negative name recognition.  There is also that unmentionable ultimate oxymoron: The Republican (incumbent) Alternative.

    It's best for Florida Poll:

    Given the choice I would vote for the following for Governor de la Florida.
    Tags

        Florida Follow
        Governor Follow
        Poll Follow

    Edit tags for this diary

        Republish
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        Update
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    Poll

    I WOULD VOTE FOR THE FOLLOWING FOR FL GOVERNOR:
        CHARLIE CRIST
    72%    8 votes
        NAN RICH
    9%    1 votes
        FARID KHAWARI
    0%    0 votes
        RICK SCOTT
    18%    2 votes
        OTHER DEMOCRAT
    0%    0 votes
        OTHER REPUBLICAN
    0%    0 votes
        ANYONE ENDORSED BY TEA PARTY
    0%    0 votes
        OTHER (WHO?)

    Republican Alternative - The Ultimate Oxymoron

    by pholkiephred on Tue Jun 10, 2014 at 04:33:13 PM PDT

  •  When you consider all the money (0+ / 0-)

    that Scott has already spent on this campaign, his inability to rise out of the low 40's has to be more than alarming to him.

    Wanting to own a gun is an immediate indicator that you should be the last person to have one.

    by pollbuster on Tue Jun 10, 2014 at 04:54:53 PM PDT

    •  What does he care?!!! (0+ / 0-)

      He has come by his unlimited stream of revenue that bankrolls his campaign by cheating, ripping-off or otherwise selling out the citizens of Florida who he is now bombarding with these negative ads.  Crist' s campaign needs to remind the people of FL that every time they see another negative ad, it was paid for with money from Scott's Medicaid scandal, or the kickbacks he took from his bestie who owns the largest (& worst) charter school in the state...  

  •  Can't make a silk purse (0+ / 0-)

    out of a sow's ear...

    "the northern lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see. Was that night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee". - Robert Service, Bard of the Yukon

    by Joe Jackson on Tue Jun 10, 2014 at 04:56:32 PM PDT

  •  California is overwhelmingly more Dem (0+ / 0-)

    friendly than Florida. Crist cannot follow that strategy. He beat her by 12 points.

    Meg Whitman ultimately ran into the law of diminishing returns against Brown, and Scott may as well.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/...

    New Republic: So are the left-wing blogs as bad as the Tea Party ones in this case? -------------------------Chuck Schumer: Left-wing blogs are the mirror image. They just have less credibility and less clout.

    by AlexDrew on Tue Jun 10, 2014 at 04:57:07 PM PDT

  •  Trying like hell to counter program this jackhole (0+ / 0-)

    Just can't get any play from the sidelines.

  •  Isn't Clinton scheduled to campaign for Crist? (0+ / 0-)

    I thought they liked Bill Clinton in Florida. Also, you'd think, with a massive Scott ad buy, Scott's numbers would've moved. Lastly, maybe it's just me, but the timing on Scott's ad buy seems wrong, there's a long way to go.  Anyway, I wouldn't count Crist out that fast, he's a tough campaigner.

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