As this blog first reported, Charlie Crist’s political committee for the first time outraised in a month “Let’s Get To Work,” the political committee backing Rick Scott’s re-election.
For a variety of reasons, this is not as big a deal as it seems, but it is still a significant moment in the gubernatorial race. Crist is coming off of probably his best month on the campaign trail (book tour, solid public poll numbers), while Scott’s campaign is simply stuck in neutral, despite positive news about Florida’s economy.
If February was a good month for Crist, wait until he gets to mid-May and June. That’s when the money will really start flowing!
Why? Because Scott’s veto pen won’t matter by then, at least not for another year, if ever again.
Come Memorial Day, the smart money men and women in Tallahassee and Orlando and Miami will have had months to read the kind of polls reported in this story from Marc Caputo and they will begin to hedge their bets. Of course they won’t public abandon Scott; in fact, some of them may even double-down on Rick Scott. But some of them will find a way to move money from somewhere into Charlie Crist’s campaign or political committee. They may have to move the money through a half-dozen committees and organizations, but the money will get there.
I heard as much last week while I was in Tallahassee from a half-dozen ur-lobbyists. Some of them had literally just finished having lunch with Scott and Texas Governor Rick Perry. Others had the day before been at a private function for Scott’s campaign where, for the first time that those in attendance could remember, the Governor seemed to acknowledge the difficult political situation he finds himself.
These lobbyists and power-brokers are committed to the Republican Party … they’re committed to Scott. But they also remember how Crist governed and they’re not afraid of that. They know Crist is not going to go to Tallahassee and turn upside down the DPBR. He’s not going to clean out the Augean Stables. He’s going to give most everyone (not everyone, mind you) the fair shake he gave them before when he occupied the Governor’s Mansion.
If you’re a PAC chair or a lobbyist or even a business executive, you owe it to your members or clients or shareholders to start thinking, “How do we get on board Crist’s train before it leaves the station?”