Saint Peter Nailed It: Why Charlie's Numbers Are Falling

By: Nancy Smith | Posted: June 3, 2014 3:55 AM
I Beg to Differ

It probably pained Peter Schorsch to say it, but his observation in a Sunday blog about why Rick Scott has overtaken Charlie Crist in the latest polls is so direct, so simple, so spot-on it's like the SaintPetersBlog guru threw a can of paint in my face.

How right he is.

Charlie is falling behind because Floridians increasingly realize the state is headed in the right direction.

Schorsch, a self-described "Charlie Crist acolyte," dissects the late-arriving crosstabs in the most recent SurveyUSA poll and finds "that Scott’s rise is coming at the expense of Crist." He says in Central Florida, which includes 19 counties around Orlando, the governor has gained ground in each of four tracking polls and today leads there 47 percent to 34 percent. Look at it right here.

That's bad news for Charlie. He needs the I-4 corridor. He had the edge on it, but let it slip away. And it's doubtful he can go anywhere without it. 

Schorsch reports, "Crist’s support is down among whites, down among blacks. Among Cubans, Scott now leads 2:1."

For the first time, the WFLA-TV (SurveyUSA) poll that tracks the Florida governor's race showed Republican Scott in front -- Scott at 42 percent, Democrat Charlie Crist at 40 percent. According to the poll report, the data were gathered just ahead of Memorial Day weekend. Compared to an identical SurveyUSA poll 10 days earlier, "Scott is up 1 point, Crist is down 4 points, a 5-point shift to the right."

Says Schorsch, "... It’s hard to separate Scott’s improvement in this poll from the increased number of Floridians who believe the state is moving in the right direction."

He ends his commentary with this: "Those alarm bells at Crist campaign headquarters going off yet?"

No doubt Schorsch is trying to get the Crist election team on its feet, off its hands and ready to paint on a fresh canvas. It's a cry in the dark. So far the Democrats' broad strokes on Charlie's behalf -- expanding Medicaid, building railroads and spending on climate change, for example -- are producing abstracts that plain haven't resonated with Floridians. By his body language, I don't think they've resonated with Charlie, either.

As for his one-line pronouncement on Obamacare ("I think it's great!"), Charlie is going to find himself eating the oft-repeated words he first spoke in February 2010 when he gave the three reasons why he would oppose it:

"No. 1," he said, "it would raise the rates people would have to pay for health insurance. No. 2, it would raise taxes at a time when we don’t need to be raising taxes at all. And No. 3, it would have the incredible effect of taking about half a trillion dollars out of Medicare."

Watch the 2014 general election become a referendum on Charlie Crist, not Rick Scott.

Which, by the way, is highly unusual. Usually, it's the incumbent who carries the baggage. Not this time. Scott might not be popular, but he isn't a hole too deep either. And let's face it, in 2010 he wasn't popular, he still won, and we all walked that road with our current governor. It's old news.

What we look at now is the balanced state budget Scott signed -- as Senate President Don Gaetz said Monday -- "approving the largest broad-based tax cut in a decade and affirming the Legislature’s commitment to set aside more than $3 billion in reserves." All amid a rising state economy. 

This is what lifts Scott's numbers. 

The gubernatorial race has already become all about Charlie Crist. All about the questions he has to answer and so far hasn't. About the primary debate he shuns. About how many times we will hear Crist was "for (fill-in-the-blank) before he was against it." About why voters should support Crist for a job he walked out on after one term because he wanted to go to Washington and not govern. And if the Scott budget is so bad, how come 43 of the 59 Democrats in the Legislature supported it?

This is the Charlie Crist show now. Winning won't be automatic, no matter how many voters he hugs. Peter Schorsch seems to have a better grip on reality and the ticking clock than Crist's high-priced campaign team.

Reach Nancy Smith at or at 228-282-2423. 

Comments (10)

Fran k
8:09AM JUN 4TH 2014
I wouldn't vote for Crist if he was the only person on the ballot. I've had enough of these slick professional politicians that have questionable agendas, such as Crist.

Honestly, Florida is doing great under the leadership of Rick Scott. The liberal wingnuts try to explain it away as it would have happened anyway, I think not. They can't accept that conservative ideals are the ticket to prosperity.
what's the difference
3:06PM JUN 4TH 2014
Now Fran k........

You people a devoid of the truth! You say "you wouldn't vote for Crist if he was the only person on the ballot!"

But, you are going to vote for Rick Scott who is being supported by the child abuse house of horrors architect himself! What difference does it make?

And granted he is a slick politician! But who made him a slick politician?

Mel Sember from this hometown of Clearwater, that's who. The same Mel Sembler that has funded these "conservative wingnuts" for decades.

The same Mel Sembler that founded Seed and Straight, Inc. that has destroyed thousands of our youth from coast to coast and groomed untold numbers into homosexuality. With remnants of the Franklin Scandal and his Straight, Inc. who honorable, moral Fl DCF employee's tried to bring to light and tried to stop his abuse of our children. What did his paid for Florida state law makers do? they passed "uncle Mel" a special law exempting religious so called "jesus camps" like the Green isle Boys Ranch in Lake County run by the local sheriff and his friends from not only state licensing but state DCF facility inspections as well.

And now the man who post turtled Charlie Crist to the governor's office (he also supported Mitt Romney in 2012) has thrown Charlie Cirst under the bus so to speak and had Rick Scott down to his Clearwater abode for a nice big fact fundraiser to keep Rick Scott on board with their organized houses of horrors and child abuse.

Non-believers can Google Surviving Straight and the Green isle Ranch (much of which has been blown off the web), but the facts are still there!
Harold Monoginslogin
10:20AM JUN 3RD 2014
Scott is taking credit for what would have occure in many counties irregardless of who was Governor. In many rural counties the recession is still lingering, with high unemployment and little or no economic development. And Scott is not helping any of these areas. I am not a Charlie Crist fan, but Rick Scott is no big saviour of Florida's economy!!
what difference does it make
10:13AM JUN 3RD 2014
The only votes that really count are the ones that "they" count on their Clint Curtis vote rigging optical scanning software anyway. Their polls always lean to the side of the ones paying for them! The machine will always win the elections the way "they" program them to do and the voters will be left scratching both ends wondering how that could have happened. Just like when their brother Obama got 141% of the votes cast in St Lucie County in November 2012!
9:49AM JUN 3RD 2014
Two points, it is because he is so greay, his support cannot stick. The one danger would be a late entry into the race by Bill Nelson.
9:49AM JUN 3RD 2014
Tom Bryson
8:40AM JUN 3RD 2014
Perhaps Charlie's falling poll numbers are the consequence of more people paying more attention as the election nears. I have never understood how anyone could believe they could sell this washed up pandering politician to Democrats. Well the answer is they cant but of course they don't care. Crist v Scott is a win win for the corporatist. It's big money protecting big money and It's the Scott campaign practicing rat [filtered word] politics. Sadly the voters are left without a real choice once again.
10:04AM JUN 3RD 2014
Correct - of course, the only poll that matters is taken on Election Day.
what difference does it make
7:18AM JUN 3RD 2014
You are going to suppress the truthful blogs because you are nothing but a pawn for Rick Scott and the Bush machine! Just like you blew off the truthful blogs yesterday on the Metz machine and corruption!
6:15AM JUN 3RD 2014

Leave a Comment on This Story

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
To prevent automated spam submissions leave this field empty.