The latest on Florida’s 2014 governor’s race

Gov. Scott
Photo Credit USASOC News Service

The latest on Florida’s 2014 governor’s race includes polling information released by the Republican Party of Florida yesterday suggesting Gov. Rick Scott starts out tied with former Gov. Charlie Crist, should Crist be the Democratic gubernatorial nominee in 2014.

The results show Crist’s personal image is 49 percent favorable, 31 percent unfavorable and that he would start out tied with Scott at 41 percent in a general election match-up, with 18 percent of voters undecided.

The survey was conducted by the firm Hamilton Campaigns and also shows Scott is modestly ahead of other Democratic candidates. The poll was taken from Jan. 30 to Feb. 4, testing 600 registered voters.

The poll tested other potential Democratic candidates, including former state CFO Alex Sink, DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz, former Miami Mayor Manny Diaz, former Orlando police chief Val Demings and Rep. Kathy Castor.

In other news, the Orlando Sentinel reports that a web site has been set up — DraftPutnam.com — that has a link for a signature for an on-line petition. The web page states: “Republicans are tired of Rick Scott. We need a real Florida leader. Everyday Floridians are asking today for Adam Putnam to declare his candidacy for Governor of Florida.”

This coming on the heels of an email sent out Monday “touting Putnam’s disagreement with Scott over expanding Medicaid coverage in Florida,” as noted by the Tampa Bay Times. The e-mail cited news reports that call Putnam a “potential candidate for governor.”

Apparently, there was some confusion over who sent the email, which had a disclaimer that said it was paid for by the RPOF. A party spokesman stressed that no one at the party had anything to do with it.

And after some early speculation, Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer noted in his “State of the City” address on Wednesday that he will not run in the Democratic primary for governor next year, which may be further indication of the success Charlie Crist is having in clearing the field.

Also, look for a Florida Insider poll out soon from Tampa Bay Times political editor Adam Smith that’s sure to offer some interesting perspective on the race.

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Tom Tillison

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