Alright, the primary is finally over. Whether you like it or not, Governor Charlie Crist is now our nominee for the 2014 campaign. The time for infighting, bickering, and complaining is over and we must refocus all of our energy on denying Rick Scott a second term as Governor. Today’s “Unity Rallies” were a good start, however more work must be done obivously. There is one key number from election night that should motivate us to do better in November: over 100,000 more Republicans voted in the primary than Democrats which did not garner nearly as much coverage as ours. Thats a scary number and surely, should to push Democrats to rethink their electoral strategy going forward.
Charlie must focus all of his eneregy in our strongest of counties- Miami Dade, Palm Beach, and Broward if we are going to retake the Governor’s mansion from Rick Scott and the Republicans. The abysmal turnout in these three counties is a serious red flag going forward and must be addressed by the Crist campaign the rest of the way. Statewide the turnout figures were just about 17% however in our three strongest counties, turnout was far lower. Browards turnout was 10.76 percent, Palm Beach County recorded 12 percent turn out while Miami-Dade turnout was around 14.4 percent. Whats worse is turnout was signifcantly higher in the smaller and medium sized counties which routinely are Republican strong holds. Bay, Citrus, Lee, Okaloosa and Brevard all registered turnout figures between 22 and 30 percent. Our previous campaigns for governor have taken our base for granted and its time we break the trend and actually start winning some of these races and we can’t do that without galvanizing our base.
Over the past few days, many progressives (mostly Nan Rich supporters) are already issuing threats that they will not show up for Charlie in November. In response, I’ve tweeted and opined that this type of electoral narcisssim is the reason why Democrat’s do not win statewide elections in Florida anymore. For far too long Republicans have succeeded in dividing our party and slowly but surely effecting our turnout numbers and solidifying their stranglehold over our state. This must stop now. If we cannot come together and realize that if we allow Rick Scott another term, many of our biggest issues- a woman’s right to choose, raising the minium wage, expanding medicaid, restoring funding to our fledging education system, and gun control amongst others, will become targets for the right wing extremist legislature and undoubtedly will be allowed to pass as Rick Scott’s veto pen will sit in a drawer. Some of our party’s leading strategists are downplaying the GOPs performance two nights ago, arguing that their turnout was down this cycle as compared to the 2010 cycle- a flawed argument since the 2010 cycle was a heavily contested primary. Do not be fooled Democrats, we have A LOT of work to do if we are going to win this thing and we can’t do it without our base.
Charlie must focus on selling Floridians on his veto power over the next few months if we are to win this race. Whatever your opinions of Charlie, you must understand that the number one characteristic needed of our next Governor is that of a check on our extremist legislature. Charlie Crist can and will provide that. So Team Charlie if you are reading this, make sure you sell Floridians on the ever imporant veto power, connect with our base voters on this simple fact, and undoubtedly we will take back the Governor’s mansion and return the Sunshine State to the people. Do not screw this up, we are counting on you.