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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Kendrick Meek's camp sees advantages in 3-way Senate race



To: Kendrick Meek for Senate Campaign
CC: Interested Parties
From: Abe Dyk, Campaign Manager
Date: April 26, 2010
Re: Governor Crist as Independent Candidate
Kendrick Meek is in a commanding position to win a race with Speaker Rubio as the
Republican nominee and Governor Crist as an Independent candidate. Both are architects of Florida’s failed economy, both favor more tax breaks for the wealthy and corporate special interests as their only economic proposal, and both are embroiled in the same income tax evasion scandal.
A look at the numbers shows that Meek is likely to win in November. According to NCEC data, the Democratic Base in Florida, before persuasion efforts or turnout efforts, is 2.5 million votes. In the 2010 cycle we anticipate a total turnout of just under 6.2 million votes.
Therefore, in a three way race in which all three candidates are competitive, the Democrat Kendrick Meek can win with 40% of the vote on his Base Vote alone. In a three-way race, this alone makes Kendrick Meek not only competitive but the likely winner.

With an expected turnout of 43% Democrats and 40% Republicans, Kendrick Meek needs only to win 75% of the registered Democratic vote and only 17% of the registered Independent vote to win with 35% of the total vote. This is eminently achievable - as a point of reference, Democrat Jim Davis won 49% of Independents in a losing effort against Crist in 2006 for Governor. What’s more, this assumes Meek wins no Republican votes; Davis won 8% of the Republican vote 2006.
For sure, Governor Crist initially would poll quite strongly in a three way race for the simple reason that Kendrick Meek is not widely known at this point in the campaign. The apparent strength that Governor Crist is currently registering in polls will not last.
Running against two Republicans will create a dynamic making it much easier for Kendrick Meek to increase his already impressive fundraising (over $5.5M as of 1st Quarter filing), get on television, and secure the support of the Democratic base in Florida.
Meek has tremendous room for growth. There are twice as many undecided Democrats as Republicans in the April 15th Quinnipiac Poll. Additionally, in that poll, 73 percent of voters 
were not familiar enough with Meek to take a favorable or unfavorable view of his candidacy – this provides a tremendous amount of growth, especially among Democrats, 61 percent of whom were not familiar with Meek and are likely to support the Democratic nominee.
Whether Crist stays in the race until the end or drops out of the general election as he’s preparing to do in the primary, his Democratic and moderate independent vote will end up with Kendrick Meek. And if he does drop out Meek will inherit a good chunk of the moderate Republicans as well.
All these voters over time will be repulsed by the right-wing fervor that dominates the Tea Party movement – including sentiment to abolish Social Security and Medicare. It simply is not tenable for Marco Rubio to be elected allied with this movement in a swing state like Florida, nor is it tenable for Charlie Crist to secure enough Democratic or independent support to win in November.


[Last modified: Thursday, September 9, 2010 11:32am]


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