August 27, 2014

Why Charlie Crist's tepid North Florida Dixiecrat support makes him a typical Democrat


Here's another sign that Republican-turned-independent-turned-Democrat Charlie Crist is a real Florida Democrat: conservative North Florida Dixiecrats aren't crazy about him.

Had it not been for the rural counties, Crist's 74-26 percent statewide win over longtime Democrat Nan Rich would have been bigger. It's not as if the conservatives up north loved what the liberal from down south stood for -- they just don't like the frontrunner, even a fellow Southerner.

Look at what happened in the 2010 Democratic governor’s race: then-Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink ran against a complete unknown named Brian P. Moore, who earned 23 percent of the vote – only 3 percentage points more than Rich four years later -- thanks in great part to strong North Florida support.

Continue reading "Why Charlie Crist's tepid North Florida Dixiecrat support makes him a typical Democrat" »

August 24, 2014

The Charlie Crist-Nan Rich campaign that wasn't

@MarcACaputo @Stevebousquet

Charlie Crist has ignored his Democratic opponent for nearly a year, and now voters will decide the soundness of his strategy Tuesday in the party’s primary race for governor.

Crist is expected to roll up a big double-digit victory over Nan Rich, a former state Senate Democratic leader whose lack of name identification was matched by her inability to mount an effective campaign that excited voters or garnered media attention.

Crist refused to debate Rich, focusing instead on Republican Gov. Rick Scott and inflaming Rich and her supporters in the process.

But voters don’t seem to be holding it against Crist, even in Rich’s home county of Broward, where Crist opened a regional headquarters, rented a beachfront apartment and will gather with supporters Tuesday night rather than in his usual place, his hometown of St. Petersburg.

“I like Nan Rich, but I voted for Charlie Crist because he has the best chance of beating Rick Scott,” said Richard Maisel, 76, who lives in Rich’s Weston-based precinct. Maisel said his wife, Janice, also voted for Crist when they cast their ballots at a Broward early-voting site.

Closest to home, Rich has not stirred much enthusiasm. Of the 1,300 registered Democrats in Rich’s precinct, only 59 have cast early and absentee ballots, a sign of low overall turnout in this Democrat-rich county.

Even if there’s a small Democratic turnout Tuesday across Florida, Crist said, he isn’t worried that it wouldn’t indicate the base of the party wasn’t ready to vote for him in the general election.

“The base is excited,” Crist said. “And the base is excited because of Rick Scott. He’s a four-year disaster.”

more here

July 29, 2014

Gov. Rick Scott agrees to 3 debates


Gov. Rick Scott's campaign announced today that he agreed to appear in three debates against the Democratic nominee, either former Gov. Charlie Crist or Nan Rich. The debates are all within four weeks of the Nov. 4 general election:

The governor declined to participate in a planned Oct. 7 debate sponsored by the Tampa Bay Times, WTSP-10 News and the University of South Florida, which would have been the first of the season. Scott spokeswoman Jackie Schutz said three is enough.

"Three statewide debates will give voters ample opportunity to hear from Gov. Scott and his challenger,' she wrote in an email. "He will be spending the rest of his time traveling the state and meeting with voters."

By signing on to dates later in the election season, many voters many have already made up their minds by the time the two gubernatorial nominees square off.

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July 23, 2014

Nan Rich faces Truth-O-Meter on economy, taxes

PolitiFact Florida fact-checked two claims by Nan Rich, a Democratic candidate for governor, from statements she made to the Florida Press Association July 11.

Rich said, "tourism and retirees are the dominant economic engines in our state."

We didn’t find a simple way to quantify whether tourism and retirees are the dominant economic engine in Florida, but a combination of statistical data and expert analysis suggests that both are important engines, and possibly too important, due to the low-wage jobs they bring.

We rated this claim Mostly True.

Rich also said that there is evidence that Florida has "the third most-regressive tax base," though she acknowledged when she spoke she wasn’t certain if she had the number right.

She was close: A study placed Florida No. 2 in terms of its regressive tax base.

Florida has a regressive tax base because we lack a state income tax. Though the Tax Foundation criticized the report, it didn’t dispute the states’ rankings, and other experts we interviewed also had no qualms about Florida’s placement.

Rich’s number of third place was just a smidgen low, so we rated this claim Mostly True.