What Democrat will run against Rick Scott in 2014?
By Roger Caldwell
As the governor election of 2014 gets closer, Governor Scott is getting stronger and stronger. Our governor has a record and he can brag about the low unemployment numbers. He and the Republican Party will spend $80 million on television, and they will still have another $60 million to spend on other aspects of his campaign. He has the support from the Republican Party, the major companies in the state, and he will spend some of his own money.
The numbers are staggering when the experts examine the kind of money Governor Scott will spend not to lose. Any Democrat who is planning to run is at a disadvantage, because their fundraising potential cannot match Scott dollar for dollar.
The present Florida State Democratic Party is disorganized with a crowded field that will have a slugfest during the primary, which will resemble the Republicans in 2011. The Republicans spent weeks beating each other up, while President Obama fine tuned his machine, and organized his ground game.
At this point in Florida there are rumors that Broward County state Senator Jeremy Ring, former Miami Mayor Manny Diaz, former Republican Governor Charlie Crist, Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, state Democratic Party Chairman Rod Smith, former state Senator Nan Rich, Alex Sink, and U.S. Senator Bill Nelson will throw their hats into the race. This appears to be a big mess for the Democrats with no significant front runner.
When Alex Sink ran against Governor Scott in 2010, there was no strategy to build trust and enthusiasm in the Black and Hispanic communities. If the Democrats plan to win in 2014, they must register more Blacks and Hispanics to vote in the 2014 election, and that will take an organized plan and strategy. In the 2012 election cycle President Obama proved that a Democratic candidate can win in Florida which is traditionally a red state.
The clock is ticking and the Democrats in Florida must stop procrastinating and build a strong ground game and infrastructure across the state. At the beginning of this year Scott’s approval rating was in the thirties, but it is starting to improve. The old line Democrats keep saying that they will win the governor’s mansion in 2014, but the Blacks and Hispanics will put the Democratic candidate over the top.
The Democrats need a formidable candidate, who has a consistent message and a high level of integrity. Many pundits and political experts argue that Senator Bill Nelson is a game changer and could beat Governor Scott. There are rumors that he has always wanted the job, and he has the charisma to build a strong organization.
Last week Senator Nelson said he is not interested, but Sean Sullivan says he can always change his mind. “There are two overarching questions that need to be answered when it comes to judging how likely it is that Nelson will run: 1) Does he want to? And 2) Is he getting encouragement from within his party to make a bid? The answer to the second question is yes and the first question we will know soon,” says reporter Sean Sullivan.