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Why Kendrick Meek needs to debate Jeff Greene

in Statewide by

Creative Loafing’s Mitch Perry lays out the case for why Kendrick Meek should debate Jeff Greene.  And soon. An excerpt:

Meek needs to debate Greene and [Maurice] Ferre soon.  Why? Because he’s currently mired in third place, well behind Republican Marco Rubio and former Republican Charlie Crist in the battle to become the next U.S. senator from Florida.  And there’s no indication in any way that he’ll soon break out of that third-place finish come November.

Meek’s biggest problem had been that nobody knew who he was, and to some extent, that may still be his problem.  As we’ve written about before, it’s almost shocking (but perhaps not, with so much focus on the Crist-Rubio battle royale) that Meek has barely moved the meter in terms of awareness about himself. A Quinnipiac poll published in late April showed that 71% of those surveyed said they didn’t know enough about him.  That’s  bad, but what’s worse is that back in October, in the same poll, 73% said the same thing.  For all his campaigning around the state, at least in that poll, Kendrick has not broken through to the public.

And that was before Governor Crist dumped the Republican Party and went indie.  Now we’ve seen a stunning number of high-profile Democrats already declare their allegiance to Crist.  Meek told CL in an interview earlier this month that there was no way that Charlie Crist would do as well with black voters as he did in 2006 against Jim Davis, because he was in the race now.  But all pollsters attribute Crist’s lead over Meek to the fact that in part Democrats are happily switching over (for now) to show their love for the governor.

Meek needs to change that equation somehow.

Continue reading here.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.

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