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Charlie Crist no longer looks, sounds like governor sunshine.

@MarcACaputo

Governor sunshine is losing his shine.

Once known for his likability, Charlie Crist is now viewed less favorably than favorably in Quinnipiac University’s poll of the Florida governor’s race released last week. Crist now trails Gov. Rick Scott 44-46 percent, virtually a tie.

Scott’s heavily negative ad campaign deserves a goodly amount of credit or blame for that.

Since Crist entered the race in November, Scott’s campaign and allies have placed more than $41 million in TV commercials that have or will run. Crist is at $16.7 million. The vast majority of the $57 million ad campaign has and will be negative.

Crist, just now ramping up his spending, is targeting the fraud at Scott’s former hospital company.

“Taxpayers got cheated. But Rick Scott bought a beachfront mansion, a private jet and a Montana ranch," Crist’s latest spot says. "He's just too shady for the Sunshine State."

But sun isn’t shining out of Crist’s mouth, either.

Crist was always a tough campaigner. But, in his various runs for office, there was a velvet lining to his steel glove. Against Scott right now, there’s little velvet to be seen. For a candidate who made himself the cheery “optimist,” Crist’s ads are undermining his brand.

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