Here's how Charlie Crist beats Rick Scott
Charlie Crist's political fortunes have been hitched to President Barack Obama, for better or worse, since their man hug five years ago helped sink him in the Republican Party.
So it may seem counterintuitive that as the Crist campaign plots its path to victory over Gov. Rick Scott, the benchmark is not Obama winning Florida in 2008 or 2012. Rather, it's Alex Sink's narrow loss to Scott in 2010.
How does the former Republican governor make history by getting elected governor again as a Democrat?
The plan essentially boils down to matching Sink's performance — the former chief financial officer lost to Scott by 1.2 percentage points, less than 62,000 votes — and then, through sophisticated computer modelling, analytics and voter targeting, to modestly improve on her showing among various voter groups that make up Florida's complicated electoral mosaic.
"We know the universe we have to turn out," said Omar Khan, Crist's campaign manager and one of many Obama campaign veterans helping Crist. "Every decision we make and everything we've done is to get to 50 percent plus one. We know where our voters are, and we feel very comfortable."
The Crist victory map, on the surface, seems simple enough to achieve. Crist need not do dramatically better than Sink, just improve on the margins here and there.
Based on interviews with senior members of the Crist campaign team, here are some opportunities and goals the team is focused on: