Florida governor’s race down to the wire as pundits hype polls

Gov. Scott and family

Florida’s First Family—Gov. Rick Scott, wife Ann, (center) and children and grandchild. (Scott campaign photo)

You know it’s almost Election Day when pundits hype polls, and the Florida governor’s race is a favorite among media right now.

Regardless of party preference, pundits agree on one thing. Gov. Rick Scott and attorney Charlie Crist are locked in a close race with both Republicans and Democrats focusing on getting voters to actually go vote. 

One pundit at a left of center Internet tabloid said independents would give Crist an edge. That might be the case in a general election, but people tend to procrastinate when it comes to midterms.

Do you know smart people who don’t vote? I do. I remind them often if they don’t vote, there are no grounds for complaining about outcomes.

It’s rather remarkable that Crist is even a contender in this race. For one thing, the former one-term governor ended up splitting the Democrats’ ticket in the 2010 Senate race. Crist lost the Republican Primary and opted to stay in the race as a non-party affiliate despite the fact he had promised to support the GOP nominee. The Democrat in that race was a black man who had served in Congress. It’s likely he wasn’t too pleased when Crist began to schmooze Dem donors while technically running as an NPA.

Now Crist is officially a Democrat. This go ‘round, he disenfranchised a former state senator who is a lifelong Democrat. She happens to be a woman.

Imagine the headlines if a Republican candidate disenfranchised a black man and a woman in two different races.

If you stack up records, no one who wants Florida to continue a trajectory of success would vote for anyone but Scott. His record speaks for itself.

Republicans have fretted over a marijuana initiative on the ballot largely as a result of efforts by a major donor to Crist. Instead of fretting, it’d be a great idea to tell people why a second term for Scott is a good thing for Floridians. The GOP makes a serious error by believing anyone who votes for the initiative will vote for Crist. That is not the case.

It is also not the case the initiative will have Florida going Colorado, so the pro-cannabis crowd buying into suspect claims by Crist supporters may have surprises in store. If cannabis is the overriding issue, the only candidate favoring true legalization is Adrian Wyllie who is running as the Libertarian candidate.

I’ve followed the race from the beginning, and I still have no idea about the outcome despite more polls than I can count. I think if Republicans can get out the vote, we’ll win. That, in a nutshell, is the way of midterm elections. It’s all about who can get those people off the couch and to the voting booth.

Featured Photo: Florida’s First Family; Gov. Rick Scott third from right. (Rick Scott campaign)

(Commentary by Kay B. Day/Oct. 30, 2014)

About Kay Day

Kay B. Day is a freelance writer who has published in national and international magazines and websites. The author of 3 books, her work is anthologized in textbooks and collections. She has won awards for poetry, nonfiction and fiction. Day is a member of the American Society of Journalists and Authors and the Authors Guild.
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