Gov. Rick Scott’s campaign team thought it had something to brag about last week.
Scott is still losing his reelection bid — but by less than some expected.
That’s according to the campaign’s own survey, which shows Scott loses to former Gov. Charlie Crist by 4 percentage points and trails Sen. Bill Nelson by only 2 points. To Scott’s Washington advisers, who trumpeted the poll last week, it was a sign of progress.
Whoo-hoo! We’re still No. 2!
Bragging about it, however, made little sense to Scott’s Florida supporters.
Here’s why: Scott’s team is playing the expectations game. The message: Scott is narrowing the gap with Crist.
And it’s true. He is and will continue to do so.
Scott has already started spending money on negative ads, bashing Crist a year before the election. It will have an effect. And beyond that, if past major Florida races are any indication, the winner will prevail by just a point, maybe two. The gap will narrow.
But Team Scott didn’t get all the “Scott gains on Crist” headlines it wanted.
“Internal Rick Scott poll: Charlie Crist up in Florida,” Politico first reported.
The Miami Herald a day later focused on the results from a theoretical Democratic matchup in the poll that showed Crist would wallop Nelson by as many as 13 points.
Broward New Times had a spot of fun in a Twitter post: “@FLGovScott's internal polls have him losing to everybody. Even that broken stapler on his desk.”
So Scott isn’t just losing the race. He’s losing the expectations game.