This blog has moved.

Please visit our new page here

« Florida Dems request federal investigation into Carlos Curbelo for failure to disclose firm's clients | Main | In Context: Wasserman Schultz's comments about Scott Walker giving 'women the back of his hand.' »

Dems' Arceneaux and GOP's Johnson talk gov race


We checked out a Q&A session today with the executive directors of the Florida Republican and Democratic parties, Juston Johnson and Scott Arceneaux, at a Florida Association of Professional Lobbyists (FAPL) conference in Tampa. Quick takeways:


**One word. Johnson swears that the GOP's focus groups consistently show the most common word that comes to mind when asked about Rick Scott is "Jobs." For Charlie Crist it's "Tan."

**The Stoner vote. Both men dismissed the notion that the Amendment 2 medical marijuana initiative will drive up turnout among young voters who could help Crist. Said Arceneaux: "Someboidy's got to put real money behind Amendment 2 to ccommunicate with real voters...I don't know if that's going to happen or not."

**Recent polling trends. Johnson noted that eight of the last nine public polls have shown Scott leading and tied with Crist, and ballots are going to start being cast in a few weeks so the recent trends "make us feel even better about where we are."

**Turnout, turnout, turnout: "If I were sitting in Scott's shoes I would be terrified aout the turnout," Johnson said, and Arceneaux pretty much agreed. The Democrat noted that Broward turnout has been lousy in recent years. "Broward keeps me up at night," he said.

**Running mates. Both executive directors agreed that the nominees for lieutenant governor have almost no bearing on who wins. "Maybe on the margins," Johnson said, but "nobody knows who either one of them are."

Arceneaux said people pick their running mate for a variety of reasons. "There are things like money...There are things like interest groups, there are all kinds of reasons. But they are not a big vote-driver."

**Pinellas County and Tampa Bay. Asked about Crist coattails helping Democratic candidates in Pinellas, Johnson dismissed the notion and suggested that Crist is spending so much time in south Florida "I think Charlie may be taking his home area for granted a little bit."

Arceneaux predicted that Crist would do better than Alex Sink did in the area.

***Manners. Arceneaux needs some work on that front. He gratuitously dropped at least two f-bombs, he slouched for most of the presentation, and several times checked emails on his phone while people asked questions...