Florida GOP sinks $6.3 million into ad buys this week for Rick Scott

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For those who think the floodgates of Florida political ads have opened wide: you ain’t seen nothing yet.

A wave of television ads are coming next week, thanks to a huge ad buy from the Republican Party of Florida in support of Gov. Rick Scott’s re-election effort, writes Matt Dixon in the PoliticalFixFlorida blog.

The non-stop fusillade of advertising  – from both sides — has helped make the 2014 gubernatorial race the most expensive in Florida history.

However, for a six-day period starting Oct. 15, the day both Scott and former Gov. Charlie Crist face off in the second gubernatorial debate, Dixon says “it gets real.”

The state GOP reserved $6.3 million in airtime statewide, an immense number.

To put it in perspective, Scott’s campaign spent more on television for the period than in the entire month of August. In 2012, President Barack Obama spent $5.8 million for the same period largest swing state, during the same timeframe in 2012.

Over the same period, the Crist campaign is spending about $3 million.

Not quite chump change, Dixon writes, but compared to Scott, it is.

Upon learning of the massive ad buy, Cristworld immediately portrayed the move as “desperate.” Over the last four polls, Crist is given a razor-thin lead. Crist consultant Steve Schale had this to say:

The spending also supports a persistent rumor that Scott, at some point, will dip into his own personal funds to push ahead of Crist. After all, he did spend $73 million to clinch the governorship in 2010 — by less than a single percentage point.

Dixon notes that a personal check to the state Republican Party would not show up campaign reports until Oct. 31, only four days before Election Day.

Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing and management experience, Phil produced material for both print and online, in addition to founding HRNewsDaily.com. His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for Patch.com, technical articles and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine and advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as a contributor and production manager for SaintPetersBlog since 2013. He lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul and can be reached at phil@floridapolitics.com and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.