Setting the stage for Tuesday’s primary election, the following memo from Deputy Campaign Manager Tim Saler was sent to our supporters yesterday evening.
Rick Scott for Florida
FROM: Tim Saler, Deputy Campaign Manager
TO: Campaign Supporters
DATE: August 21, 2014
SUBJECT: The Primary Is Upon Us
Next Tuesday, Floridians will go to the polls and choose the major party nominees for Governor in 2014. This time four years ago, Rick Scott was a political outsider challenging the status quo in Tallahassee, running against the political establishment choice for Governor. Rick Scott emerged victorious, and he went on to win another tough campaign in the fall.
Less than two months earlier in that same year, Charlie Crist abandoned his promise to remain in the Republican primary for U.S. Senate and switched parties to become an Independent – continuing his pattern of running away from problems whenever times got tough. Crist would go on to receive 30% of the vote in November 2010, an embarrassing fall for a career politician who had previously envisioned himself as a Republican Vice President of the United States – or maybe more.
As we fast-forward to today, Governor Scott has led an incredible economic recovery. Floridians have worked hard to turn the state’s economy around, and they’ve done it with a Governor who wants to help empower them to succeed. With more than 600,000 new private sector jobs created, that same political outsider from four years earlier – Rick Scott – will win the nomination of his party for a new term as Florida’s Governor on August 26.
Meanwhile, Charlie Crist has morphed several more times, emerging today as a liberal Democrat. Crist is one of the only Democrats in the country who believes so strongly in Obamacare and the rest of the failed Washington D.C. agenda that he is practically begging President Obama to come to Florida and campaign for him.
Crist will easily beat Senator Nan Rich in Tuesday’s primary election, with a recent poll showing Crist leading Rich 61-14 in a head-to-head race. Assuming undecideds break similarly, we expect Crist to win his primary with over 81% of the vote.
Judging by history, if Democrats have any enthusiasm at all on their side in 2014, they should be able to bring in several hundred thousand more primary votes compared to Republicans. The last time a Republican Governor ran for re-election (2002), Democrats had 40% more votes in their primary than did Republicans. This is the baseline performance for Democrats in the 2014 primary. If Democrats fall short of that metric, it would be a dangerous sign for their base enthusiasm entering the general election, and we are watching that metric closely.
Despite our expectation that Crist will win his primary convincingly, and that more Democrats will vote in the primary than Republicans, we believe Governor Scott is well-positioned for re-election in the fall. In the last five public polls, Governor Scott has led Crist – by 5, 1, 2, 6, and 3 points respectively.
In fact, a poll conducted in June by veteran Democrat pollster Peter Hart for the AARP showed Governor Scott leading by 7 points among the critical 50+ voting bloc, a group that the Governor won by only 4 points in his victory over Alex Sink in 2010.
The pattern is crystal clear. Charlie Crist has collapsed, and Governor Scott has asserted his position as the leading candidate entering the fall campaign. Crist has no history of recovering from failure in his campaigns. His best day as a candidate is the day before he announces his plans to run for another office, and his campaigns go downhill after that.
See for yourself—