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Wednesday, August 25, 2010

And Winner of Last Night's Primary Is... Alex Sink!

I suspect that the DNC is ultimately pretty happy with what happened on primary night in Florida.

There is no clear path the Senate victory for the Democrats. Meek is still in third place, but has sufficiently strengthened his support among Democrats to pull Crist into second place.

This suggests that Meek still faces a bridge too far in terms of reaching 40% (likely to be the win number in a three way race, unless either Meek or Crist's support completely collapses - which could happen). Crist may have hit his high water mark a few weeks ago, when it looked like the far less palatable (to many Democrats) Greene was leading the Democratic primary.

So how can the DNC be happy with this?

Because the Senate race was never their main concern.

It would be nice for them, but they are much more concerned about Alex Sink. And Sink is sitting pretty.

Rick Scott winning the GOP primary for governor was a blessing. Yes, Scott could dump another $50 million into television ads, but he's already done that - and all he managed was to get something less than 50% of Republicans to hold their nose and vote for him. He can still use him money to attack Sink (much as he did to McCollum), but his brand is damaged and the law of diminishing returns is surely setting in, in terms of the value of his spending.

Sink will benefit from Crist's ability to draw out independents and moderate Republicans, many of whom will look at Scott and run towards Sink.

She will also benefit to the extent that Meek can energize Florida's African-American voters.

The other big race I've been following is up the I-4, where Congressman Alan Grayson found his opponent - Daniel Webster.

Grayson is running an aggressive, well funded campaign, but in 2008, he ran a few points behind Obama and is now running in a much tougher environment.

Webster has no money in his account, so the big question is, will the right-leaning netroots - folks like Eric Erickson over at Red State - jump on the bandwagon and help him raise big bucks? I don't expect Webster to match Grayson overall, but I expect to pull in some big money online and have more than enough cash on hand to run a competitive race.

The other big question is whether Webster still has "it." Like many state legislators in Florida, his former legislative seats were so gerrymandered, that he rarely had to run a strong campaign to win. Does he and his team know how to win tough races? Love him or hate him, but Grayson showed in '08 that he knew how to cross the finish line. Webster, despite his long history as an elected official, cannot make the same claim in recent memory.

2 Comments:

At 8/28/2010 09:50:00 AM, Blogger Benjamin J. Kirby said...

Sink is "sitting pretty" against hospital grifter Rick Scott, it's true.

But how bad does Bud Chiles hurt her? And will he go the distance?

 
At 8/29/2010 05:11:00 PM, Blogger Campaign Manager said...

Chiles is making noises like he might drop out - and I think that fact that Scott is the GOP nominee makes that more likely.

If he stays in, he'll get ten points, but my guess is that he draws almost as many GOP'ers who can't stomach Scott (but won't vote Sink) as old school Dems who remember the Chiles name.

 

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