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Despite dismal poll numbers, Rick Scott still a challenge for Democrats

by MarcACaputo

Rick Scott’s poll numbers look dismal. His finances don’t.

"One number should worry you: $70 million. That’s how much Rick Scott spent in 2010," Annette Taddeo-Goldstein, Miami-Dade’s new Democratic chairwoman, told Democrats this weekend.

To be clear, she was referring to Scott’s personal money. And it was actually closer to $75.1 million.

Include the Republican Party, and Scott probably spent just under $100 million. He was worth at least $218 million at the time, but reports he lost net worth after becoming governor. His wife has millions more.

Scott is prepared to spend as much or more in 2014.

The money race is on. And Democrats are losing it. But they know it.

That’s a big reason they picked Allison Tant on Saturday as state Democratic chairwoman. When she nominated Tant, Taddeo-Goldstein specifically mentioned Scott’s spending.

Tant knows campaign money. She raised it for U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson and President Obama. She was recruited by Nelson and her friend, Congresswoman and Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

In much of the nation, many liberals feel Republicans are in retreat after Obama’s win. Florida Democratic leaders and insiders showed this weekend that they don’t believe it.

A few Democrats and many Republicans see Obama’s victory as more of a coin-toss result instead of a mandate in Florida. The president won the state by just .9 percentage points. Obama’s 2008 margin: 2.8 points.

After that first Obama’s victory, magazines like Time displayed a May 18, 2009, cover of an elephant with the headline: “Endangered Species.”

Democrats proceeded to lose every statewide elected seat based in Tallahassee in 2010. They were swamped nationwide, too. Republicans, though, no longer hold the supermajority they won two years ago in the Florida Legislature thanks to the last election.

“It’s foolish to think the next election will be easy,” said Nan Rich, a former state Senate Democratic leader from Weston running for governor.

Column here