Scott's Re-Election Bid in Fla. Could Cost $100 million

Wednesday, 06 Feb 2013 11:38 AM

By Melanie Gray

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Florida Gov. Rick Scott is ready to spend $100 million to keep his job, a sum that would make his 2014 re-election campaign the most expensive in state history, Politico reported Wednesday.

According to Politico, the Republican, who relied primarily on TV advertising to win his 2010 race, is expected to go much bigger this time around by possibly employing a massive ground operation, analytics to help in targeting specific voters, and lots more advertising.

Scott's critics say he'll need all the help he can get to overcome his personal unpopularity with Florida voters.

Citing insiders connected to Scott's campaign, Politico noted that the actual amount he ends up spending will depend on who his Democratic opponent turns out to be.

So far, at least four Democrats have expressed interest in running, including former Republican Gov. Charlie Crist, who switched to the Democratic Party last year, and Alex Sink, who was the party's nominee against Scott in 2010.

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According to Politico, a Scott-Crist matchup would likely result in the most expensive campaign, with both candidates drawing lots of funding help from their respective parties.

A recent state voter survey by the Democratic-leaning Public Policy Polling had Crist leading Scott by 14 points. The same poll, put out last month, put Scott's approval rating at 33 percent, while a Quinnipiac University poll in December put job approval rating at 36 percent.

Still, Florida GOP Chairman Lenny Curry says Scott can reverse his poor performance ratings if he focuses on improving the economy and talks about his record.

“If you talk about what’s happened under his term thus far and you talk about his policies, Floridians react positively to that,” Curry told Politico.

“He was so viciously attacked in 2010, and then when Florida began to turn around during his term, the presidential campaigns and all the negativity surrounding both sides just drowned out our message in Florida. Now we have an opportunity to tell our story.”

But a well-financed campaign may not be enough to turn things around for Scott, Florida Democratic strategist Steve Schale told Politico.

“You sort of reach a point where it doesn’t matter how much money you’re spending if voters have already decided," Schale said. "The reality for Scott is, there’s a distinct possibility that voters have already decided.”

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