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From possible juggernaut to punchline of joke, Florida Democrats struggle


With a 500,000 edge in registered voters and a victory by President Barack Obama’s well-organized campaign in the state, the Florida Democratic Party had all the makings of a possible political juggernaut at the start of the year.

Last week, however, it looked like a joke.

The party’s Florida Chief Financial Officer candidate, Allie Braswell, withdrew Monday just days after announcing his bid. Braswell quit after Jacksonville’s Florida Times-Union reported he had a few bankruptcies in his past — a damaging bit of history for someone running to manage the finances of the fourth most-populous state in the nation.

“The bright spotlight of a statewide campaign has cast the ups and downs of my life into harsh relief, and I now know that this campaign is not the way I was meant to serve my community,” Braswell said in a written statement.

“Running statewide is a daunting challenge for any candidate,” he said, “as a political outsider, I have now learned that I underestimated how my campaign would affect those I care about most.”

Aside from highlighting the tactical ball-dropping by the Florida Democratic Party (didn’t they vet him or prepare him for all of this?), Braswell’s candidacy underscores Democrats’ troubles more broadly.

The same goes for Thaddeus Hamilton, who got 2 percent of the vote running for Agriculture and Consumer Services Commissioner in 2010 as an independent. He is now running for the same spot as a Democrat.

The fact that the party has to rely on two political novices to run for a Florida Cabinet seat is a leading indicator of the vicious cycle of missed opportunities that Democrats have spun in for years.

There are now four Democrats vying to beat Gov. Rick Scott: former state Sen. Nan Rich, Ryan Adam Lipner, Marcelle Martelly, and Jessica Lana Stewart. Only Rich has political experience in Tallahassee, but she’s such an unknown that polls show the unpopular incumbent would still likely win.

Rest of column here


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What poll are you referring to that shows that the incumbent would win over Senator Nan Rich. Those I saw (Quinnipiac) clearly reflected she'd handily win over Rick Scott. I'm beginning to think those who said Romney would win by a landslide in Florida are the same ones reporting on the gubernatorial race. Get out and talk to people around the state. Don't dismiss organized grassroots efforts - look what they did for the unknown Senator Barack Hussein Obama!


Here is a poll from last month showing Senator Rich would win 55-45 over the incumbent. It wasn't Quinnipiac, it was KG poll.



Used to be there were Democrats in high office in Florida. Some used to call them "Dixie-crats" (later "Blue Dogs") ...

not because they were racists, but because they were clearly not in tune with the hyper-liberal, left-wing, "progressive", anti-business, pro-union, anti-gun, anti-death penalty, pro-abortion rights, feminist, national socialist agenda of the national Democratic party in D.C.

Now, we it looks like, here in Florida, we just have "Dippy-crats"!


Democrats, please do not put someone like Nan Rich up as a candidate. I voted for Alex Sink, the only Democrat I have ever voted for. I won't vote for someone like Nan Rich. Democrats have not been able to win the Governor's mansion for a long time, and they have been rendered completely impotent in the legislature. That won't change if you put up liberal candidates.

RMS is a poll-skewer

RMS, since you cited the last Quinnipiac poll, it appears you looked it up and saw the LAST one showed Rick Scott over Nan Rich 42-36 percent. But since that didn't fit your theory, you found a Democratic pollster who reports outlier results. Here's the Quinnipiac poll that you originally cited but then ignored: http://www.quinnipiac.edu/institutes-and-centers/polling-institute/florida/release-detail?ReleaseID=1909

Since you asked for what polls (plural) showed Scott up, here's another from a Democratic-leaning pollster, PPP, that showed Scott over Rich by... wait for it... 42-36%. That link is here: http://www.publicpolicypolling.com/main/2013/03/scott-still-unpopular-and-in-trouble-for-2014-re-election.html

But you'll probably ignore that, too.

These are what the public sees. There's a reason all the big money is sitting on the sidelines: Many private polls show Rich in an uphill struggle. Campaign contributions often follow strong poll numbers. So guess what small contributions often signify?


If we nominate charlie crist, i will not vote. If i wanted to vote for a fraud, i would just vote for rick scott. Its embarassing that the state party cannot recruit a better candidate than marion hammers best friend in tallahassee.

Doug Watson


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