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What Rick Scott’s 2-month $6.5m ad buy tells us

@MarcACaputo

Gov. Rick Scott released his sixth ad of the campaign today, a negative spot calling attention to how Democrat Charlie Crist “ran away” from Florida by trying to run for Senate when the state’s economy cratered while he served as governor.

The self-described “jobs” governor wants the credit for the good economy and he wants Crist to bear the blame for the bad times. It’s bread-and-butter messaging for Scott (fact check to follow.

Trailing in the polls, Scott has already run two negative ads that bash Crist over Obamacare. Scott has released three positive spots, one of which was in Spanish.

The TV ads’ contents aren’t the only message.

The size of the spend tells us something: more than $5 million since March 12 and at least $6.5 million by May 15. That’s more than any other incumbent governor at this point. It's probably about as much or more than each Cabinet officer spent statewide, on average, on TV. And it’s still April.

The location of the spend also sends a message: the I-4 corridor is of crucial importance to Scott. It’s the swing-area of the swing state.

Exactly 50 percent of the ad buy is reserved in Tampa Bay and the Orlando area.

Tampa Bay has the most Scott money reserved: 29 percent, or $1.9 million. Tampa Bay is Crist country.

Crist, who started out as a St. Petersburg state Senator, has been on the ballot in Tampa Bay or on TV for 22 years. Many voters there are simply used to voting for him. And consider this: In 2010, when Crist was in a three-way Senate race against Marco Rubio and Kendrick Meek, he won Republican-leaning Pinellas County as an independent. Chances are, if Meek had not been on the ballot, Crist would likely have beaten Rubio in Hillsborough County, Tampa’s home.

Miami-Fort Lauderdale, the state’s most-expensive media market, accounts for 10 percent of the ad buy.

West Palm Beach, where you get a better bang for you ad buck in the northern fringes of South Florida, accounts for 11 percent of the spend.

Market Amount % of total
Tampa $1,916,331 29%
Orlando $1,337,587 21%
West Palm $735,621 11%
Miami-FLL $628,899 10%
Fort Myers $552,932 8%
Jacksonville $452,305 7%
Pensacola $321,909 5%
Tallahassee $231,626 4%
Gainesville $209,042 3%
Panama City $125,449 2%
Total spend $6,511,701  

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