A new Mason-Dixon poll has dropped and it gives Governor DeSantis an overwhelming lead in this November’s Governor’s race. In fact, Politico’s Gary Fineout calls it a “Red Wave Alert.”
The numbers certainly are not encouraging from the Crist perspective, and reflect the bump DeSantis got from Hurricane prep – the poll was taken September 26-28 as Ian was barreling towards and then through Florida
A prep bump was not just down to the official role of the Governor, but that increased viewership for local news and the Weather Channel meant a nonstop barrage of ads both for the governor and anti-Crist (paid for by the RPOF). This advantage was uncontested, as the FDP and Crist campaign do not have similar financial resources- in fact in many areas of the state, the Democrats are being outspent 10-1.
The potential down-ballot impact is catastrophic for the party. In the CFO race, Adam Hattersley is trailing by ten points per the poll. In the Attorney General’s race Aramis Ayala is down 13. Further down ballot, Democrats are facing a tough redistricting year map, where the GOP hopes to gain 2/3 majorities in both the House and Senate. That is now a very real possibility.
One caveat – It is very possible once homeowners have problems with their insurance companies in the wake of Ian, something that seems inevitable, things could change. But if the Democrats don’t have the money to communicate that Charlie Crist is the guy who took on the industry when he was Governor and Crist himself is having such a difficult time earning media, is the race really still an active one?
YOU HAVE TO EARN MEDIA TO COUNTER A MASSIVE FINANCIAL DISADVANTAGE.
Let’s add another caveat. Polling has been more unreliable in Florida, than any other state with the possible exception of North Carolina, going back to 2012. So it is very possible Crist is in fact closer and the fact Hattersley who has not been able to raise enough money to do anything in the way of paid media is only 10 points behind CFO Jimmy Patronis, might be a decent enough sign for the Democrats.
Polling is going to be difficult from this point forward because of the number of people displaced by Ian, which was an event that impacted much of the peninsula. So this might be the last really good snapshot we get of the race for sometime.
We’d like to welcome our newest writer Joe Dye, who has already contributed to this column several times. His first feature piece for the site appropriately enough given the above discussion, will be on the State House races to watch from a Democratic perspective. Look out for it in the next 48 hours.