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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Rick Scott's big obstacles



Rick Scott may be blessed with virtually unlimited campaign money and a Republican wave looming over November, but two numbers stand to be giant obstacles to him winning the governor's race: 13 and 600,000.

Democratic Alex Sink was leading Scott by 13 percentage points among independent voters in a CNN-Time poll released last week. She was leading among nonpartisan voters 50 percent to 37 percent. Overall, the poll had her ahead among registered voters 49 percent to 42 percent.

Six hundred thousand is the voter registration advantage Democrats have over Republicans in Florida. That could be enough to minimize the impact of that Republican wave, which is almost sure to produce higher Republican turnout than Democratic turnout.

"We're starting with the largest voter registration advantage we've had in 15 years," noted Democratic strategist Steve Schale, a Sink campaign adviser. "Even if Republican turnout is nine or 10 points higher, it still means basically the same number of Democrats and Republicans vote."

Which in turn means independent voters once again will decide the election. In Florida, it's not enough to just solidify your base (and that CNN poll showed Sink winning 85 percent of Democrats and Scott 76 percent of Republicans). Winning also requires winning independents, so Scott is virtually doomed if he doesn't improve his standing with nonpartisan voters.


[Last modified: Thursday, October 7, 2010 5:28pm]


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