Understandably, the reporters at POLITICO have an affinity for most things political coming out of Florida. They love Jeb and Marco and Charlie and Will and all of the intense and/or zany stories with a Sunshine State dateline. If POLITICO ever decided to open a bureau south of the Mason-Dixon, I imagine it would be in Tallahassee or Miami.
That said, it’s time for POLITICO to update its coverage of the 2014 gubernatorial race. The last time Maggie Haberman, James Hohmann and Co. scooped the local folks was in December when Hohnmann wrote about Charlie Crist ‘only’ leading Gov. Rick Scott by 4 percentage points in an internal poll conducted by Scott pollster Tony Fabrizio. The story is a textbook example of a campaign leaking poll numbers it isn’t unhappy with to a national outlet it knows will bite on a story, if for no other reason than to scoop the local yokels. The leak has Scott adviser Curt Anderson’s fingerprints all over it.
Team POLITICO still has its eyes on the Sunshine State, but it hasn’t broken any news or updated its narrative about the gubernatorial race since that leaked-poll piece. There have been at least two major behind-the-scenes developments, both reported by the Miami Herald‘s Marc Caputo, that POLITICO has glazed over.
The first was Caputo’s story about “a raft of poll data-points that” are making the GOP queasy because it shows Crist has broad support across Florida. Caputo shared eight data points about Scott vs. Crist, all of which provided more insight into the state of the governor’s race than Fabrizio’s numbers. Yet, Caputo’s findings didn’t get the POLITICO treatment.
Fast-forward to today when Scott’s finance co-chair has quit, along with a report that two high-ranking Republican staffers spoke in an inappropriate, borderline racist accent in earshot of one of Mike Fernandez’s lieutenants. This news received a line of coverage in POLITICO’s Morning Score, but that’s it. Certainly nothing on scale with Hohmann’s December story about Fabrizio’s poll numbers.
Based on all that has occurred in Scottworld this past month, POLITICO owes it to its readers to refresh its narrative about the race.