Rick Scott's new ad hits Crist
New poll suggests Rick Scott has spent a lot of money for nothing

Why Charlie Crist is right

Today, WPBF 25 announced that the Florida Press Association, Leadership Florida and television stations throughout Florida are planning an Oct. 15, gubernatorial debate to be held at Broward College.

Formal invitations have been sent to leading major party contenders Gov. Rick Scott (R) and former Governor Charlie Crist (D), both of whom have previously participated in debates produced by the partnership of Leadership Florida and the Florida Press Association. Candidates Nan Rich and Adrian Wyllie also have been invited.


Let's pause for a moment.

Why in the world are Leadership Florida and the Florida Press Association sending invitations to Wyllie and Rich? Is this just an act of kindness? Do the organizers really believe either has a reasonable chance of being Florida's next governor?

First, let's consider Libertarian candidate Wyllie.

Okay. That's done.

Now, former state Senator Nan Rich. She is very serious about her campaign. She is traveling, giving speeches, raising money, and demanding a Democratic primary debate with former Governor Charlie Crist.

Crist is declining. His campaign - and quite a few Democrats - say they want to spend their time focusing on Scott. His biggest risk in refusing to debate Rich is that he will give an opening for Scott to insist that he has no reason to debate Crist. 

And one can easily imagine that Scott would rather do anything than debate Crist.

But that is for another day. Back to Rich.

The simple fact is that she has no path to becoming the Democratic nominee for governor. The most telling measure is dollars. She has raised few of them. Her cash haul is a bit more than $328,000. She has other contributions - largely from the Florida Democratic Party to pay for her small staff - of about $182,000. She has spent $230,000. 

She will not raise much more. Her campaign is effectively broke. She cannot do the things that need to be done to win a statewide race in Florida.

Consider this number: 4,628,876

That's how many Democrats there are in Florida. They are in 11 media markets. An effective statewide advertising campaign costs $2 million a week - a Democrat can spend about half that for a primary race in fewer markets. And that is minimal. Scott is planning on spending $100 million on his reelection. Crist talks about spending $50 million to return to the governor's mansion.

Rich is not rich enough to get there. Unless she suddenly gets a sizeable infusion of cash, her campaign is  a quixotic effort that has no real chance of success.

The state is too big. There are too many voters. You can't reach them all by car. You can't talk to enough of them individually or in groups to make a serious dent. We are a media state - traditional and social - and it takes cash, lots of it, to win.




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Joe Kreps

Yes, Charlie Crist is right. Center right to be exact. When Nan beats Charlie the money will flow like Niagra Falls. Friend me on Facebook and learn why Nan Can.

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