Former GOP Gov. Charlie Crist (D) said that he has discussed getting into the GOV race with several of President Obama’s advisers, including David Axelrod, Jim Messina and Valerie Jarrett. (Palm Beach Post)
SCOTT ‘NO LONGER A LONG SHOT’. The political winds “have shifted in ways that make” Gov. Rick Scott’s (R) reelection “much less of a longshot than Tallahassee prognosticators once expected.” With no Democrats yet in the race, the party is having trouble raising money to take him on, while Scott has raised $8.7 million this year and has a vast personal wealth to draw on. 2010 nominee/former CFO Alex Sink (D) said she would decide “soon,” noting that she had already raised $2-3 million at this point in her last campaign. And Democrats are worried that Crist won’t be as successful at fundraising “in a party that relies heavily on smaller donations and unions.”
Meanwhile, the unemployment rate is down and Scott’s campaign is already forming a narrative around the economy’s improvement. Sink: “The problem is, that’s a response that takes more than a 30-second sound bite. … Somebody has got to come up with some clever graphics and clever sound bites to push back on one individual taking credit for an improving economy when the rest of the country is improving, too.”
The RNC is already pouring resources into the state and the state GOP plans to put tens of millions into a voter-targeting and mobilization strategy mirrored after Obama’s 2012 ‘quality over quantity’ approach, using smarter data analytics to identify persuadable voters.” (Orlando Sentinel)
SCOTT TOURING STATE. Scott is kicking off a statewide tour tomorrow touting his new call to cut taxes by $500 million. “The ‘It’s Your Money’ tour will last from Tuesday through Friday” with stops in “Orlando, Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Jacksonville, Orlando and Tampa”. (Palm Beach Post)
CRIST PRESSING FLESH IN KEY DEM COUNTIES. Crist is making a big push in South Florida as he prepares for a likely GOV bid, “renewing ties and meeting with old pals” in Broward and Palm Beach counties, which will be key to a Democratic victory next year. (SunshineStateNews.com) “Crist on Sunday appeared to be like a man on the campaign trail, making a stop at the Ocala Hilton to speak to the Marion County Democratic Party,” where he worked the room and proudly proclaimed himself a Democrat. (Ocala Star Banner) Crist will be in Broward County again this week, where he’s hosting a fundraiser for the American Cancer Society. “Ostensibly non-political because of the nature of the charitable cause, it still gives the former governor a chance to do what he does best: schmooze with people who could end up as potential campaign backers.” (Ft. Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel)
GREER SPEAKS. In an interview from prison, former state GOP chairman Jim Greer said that he fully expects to be featured in attack ads on Crist next year. Greer: “Charlie’s a cut-and-run kind of guy. Don’t go up the hill in a battle with him, because you may turn around, and he’s not there with you. Charlie’s a loyal person when it benefits his self-interest.” (Tampa Bay Times)
MEMOIR COMING IN FEBRUARY. Crist said Friday that he has finished his “no-holds-barred” memoir, which will be out in February. (Palm Beach Post)
— Sarah Mimms
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Trump, in a statement: “Based on the fact that the Democratic nominating process is totally rigged and Crooked Hillary Clinton and Deborah Wasserman Schultz will not allow Bernie Sanders to win, and now that I am the presumptive Republican nominee, it seems inappropriate that I would debate the second place finisher. ... I will wait to debate the first place finisher in the Democratic Party, probably Crooked Hillary Clinton, or whoever it may be.”
"It's about time for unity," said UAW President Dennis Williams. "We're endorsing Hillary Clinton. She's gotten 3 million more votes than Bernie, a million more votes than Donald Trump. She's our nominee." He called Sanders "a great friend of the UAW" while saying Trump "does not support the economic security of UAW families." Some 28 percent of UAW members indicated their support for Trump in an internal survey.
"Donald Trump on Thursday reached the number of delegates needed to clinch the Republican nomination for president, completing an unlikely rise that has upended the political landscape and sets the stage for a bitter fall campaign. Trump was put over the top in the Associated Press delegate count by a small number of the party's unbound delegates who told the AP they would support him at the convention."
"Clinton and Bernie Sanders "are now devoting additional money to television advertising. A day after Sanders announced a new ad buy of less than $2 million in the state, Clinton announced her own television campaign. Ads featuring actor Morgan Freeman as well as labor leader and civil rights activist Dolores Huerta will air beginning on Fridayin Fresno, Sacramento, and Los Angeles media markets. Some ads will also target Latino voters and Asian American voters. The total value of the buy is about six figures according to the Clinton campaign." Meanwhile, a new poll shows Sanders within the margin of error, trailing Clinton 44%-46%.