Time to make a choice
By John Wehrung
Here’s the choice for GOP voters as we enter the last two weeks of the Governor’s race: Do you go with Rick Scott, the lanky entrepreneurial outsider with a toothy polished–skull, a fresh business approach to fixing government and the heavy (albeit singular) baggage of $1.7 billion in Medicare fraud?
Or do you play it safe with Bill McCollum, the mousy, know-it-all boy-scout who’s been around since Pike’s Peak was a pimple and is about as exciting as a house plant, but is viewed as a steady hand at the wheel in rough seas.
In any given year, the average Republican voter would go for the candidate who has paid his dues, has the endorsements, solid experience and can talk a good game about applying conservative principles to the behemoth of government. But this year is far from typical.
Anger at politicians and government is at a fever-pitch, that’s why you see the incredible drama going on in political primaries, especially in Florida. Think about where we were six months ago when Marco Rubio and Charlie Crist were going at it. When that battle ended, we turned our focused anger to the Governor’s race, like switching channels on Sunday afternoon football games.
Will all this frustration carry over into the voting booth? While it has lasted a while in polling, it may not last all the way to voters who are actually casting their ballots. Isn’t there a difference between frustration at politics being expressed and vented versus letting that frustration flow through your fingers when finally filling out the ballot?
We’ll find out in 14 days how much of a difference in frustration there may be.
In the absence of any new revelations about McCollum (of which there are still many) from Rick Scott’s turbo-powered ad machine, look for polling to show this race tightening as GOP voters come home and play it safe with McCollum.
However, if Rick Scott’s vaunted yet over-worked ad machine were to somehow find a higher gear (like WARP Drive), this could be an incredibly historic election. If Rick Scott wins, the shake-up in Florida politics would be of Biblical proportion.
If you enjoy political theatre, drama and intrigue, fasten your seat belts folks. This is going to be a great race to watch.
John Wehrung currently serves as a Senior Partner at Battleground Group, a governmental affairs and public relations company specializing in public opinion analysis, campaign management, political advertising and assisting clients in dealings with state and federal government. E-mail him at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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