Marc Caputo, Miami Herald

Marc Caputo

Marc Caputo covers state politics for the Miami Herald, in partnership with the Tampa Bay Times.


Twitter: @MarcACaputo

  1. Scott-Crist nears $100m in ad spending. 11 days to go


    Wanna make $96 million disappear into thin air?

    Then get into the business of making and running TV ads for the Florida governor's race, where about $12.7 million in broadcast and cable buys has been dropped since last week.

    The election team for Gov. Rick Scott, who admitted this week to tapping his personal millions as a campaign “investment,” plopped down almost $7.6 million for current and future ads since Oct. 17. That's 60 percent of the total increase. Democrat Charlie Crist's team put in another $5.1 million, or 40 percent. Crist has reserved air time through next week. Scott has bought through Nov. 4, Election Day....

  2. GOP leads in early votes, Dems slowly closing margin


    About 1.5 million pre-Election Day ballots had been cast as of Friday morning and the Republican advantage over Democrats is slowly eroding in terms of a percentage advantage.

    Yesterday morning, Democrats were down 10.8 percentage points compared to Republican ballots cast. Now, Democrats are down 9.8 percentage points.

    That's the first time since votes have been posted Oct. 6 that the Republican advantage has been cut to below 10 points. On Oct. 6, when overseas ballots (mainly military) were coming in, the GOP advantage was 20.5 percentage points....

  3. Marco Rubio becomes Rick Scott's latest Spanish-language TV ad spokesman


    First there was Jeb Bush. Then Luis Fortuño and Maurice Ferre. Now Marco Rubio takes the mic for Gov. Rick Scott in his latest Spanish-language spot.

    The translation:

    I was the Speaker of the House of Representatives during the first two years of Charlie Crist as governor… it was a disaster, property values falling, people losing their jobs, very high unemployment rates. We can’t let this state to go back to where it was just five, six years ago, when he was governor, and we did not have any serious solutions. The only way for Barack Obama and Charlie Crist to be able to win is for you not to vote. I vote in this county and in a few minutes I will go to vote for Rick Scott and I urge you all to do the same....

  4. Gov. Rick Scott says he'll spend his own money in Florida governor's race

    State Roundup

    Florida's high-dollar, mean-spirited race for governor remained exactly tied in a new poll Wednesday, with 1.2 million voters already casting ballots and Gov. Rick Scott finally admitting he'll spend some of his personal millions to win.

    Scott has spent the past few days ducking questions about whether he'll spend his own money — and now he won't say how much he has or will spend against Democrat Charlie Crist....

    Florida governor's race remains deadlocked with Gov. Rick Scott and Charlie Crist each getting just 42 percent of the vote in the latest survey from Quinnipiac University. [Will Dickey/Pool via The New York Times]
  5. Crist and Scott deadlocked at 42 percent each in Q poll


    From a press release:

    Women and men are polar opposites in the Florida governor’s race, as likely voters split 42 – 42 percent between Republican Gov. Rick Scott and former Gov. Charlie Crist, running as a Democrat, with 7 percent for Libertarian candidate Adrian Wyllie, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.

    This compares to results of a September 24 survey by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University, showing Gov. Scott with 44 percent of likely voters, Crist with 42 percent and Wyllie with 8 percent....

  6. More than 1 million Floridians have cast ballots by mail or early voting

    State Roundup

    More than 1 million Floridians have cast pre-Election Day ballots now that early in-person voting began Monday while mail-in absentee ballots continue to pour in.

    Right now, it looks like good news for Republicans. They're still out-voting Democrats, who tend to dominate early voting just as Republicans do at absentee voting.

    "The first day of early voting is in the books, and Charlie Crist's campaign is in complete meltdown," Gov. Rick Scott's deputy campaign manager, Tim Saler, wrote in a memo Tuesday morning to donors....

  7. Studying Gov. Rick Scott's style, from Columbia/HCA to governor

    State Roundup

    From his poor poll numbers to his formidable fortune, Rick Scott's political standing revolves around Columbia/HCA.

    Scott was once hailed as a "wunderkind" for making the hospital chain the largest health care company in America. Then, he became a pariah after he and his company were investigated for Medicare fraud, leading to his ouster in 1997.

    Today, Scott avoids even mentioning the words "Columbia/HCA."...

    Rick Scott was once hailed as a "wunderkind" for making Columbia/HCA the largest health care company in America. Then, he became a pariah after he and his company were investigated for Medicare fraud, leading to his ouster in 1997. [AP photo]
  8. GOP vote advantage is 14 points


    More than 888,000 absentee ballots had already been cast of Monday morning when early in-person voting began in Florida.

    Right now, Republicans lead Democrats 49-35 percent in terms of absentee ballots cast by party. That 14 percentage point margin is lower than it was in 2010 but it’s far higher than in 2012.

    Democrats typically excel at early voting while Republicans dominate voting by mail....

  9. Rick Scott now says he may spend his own money on reelection


    n 2012, Gov. Rick Scott was clear about plowing his personal fortunes into his reelection campaign: “I won’t have to.”

    But now that Democrat Charlie Crist outraised him 6:1 last week, Scott appears ready to open his personal piggy bank. He has spent $56.5 million on ads (at least two-thirds of them negative) to Crist’s $26.5 million (also heavily negative) yet he and Crist remain tied....

  10. Did Crist break debate rules? Not so clear


    Amy Sherman at PolitiFact Florida had the unenviable task today of pouring through debate rules to determine if Democrat Charlie Crist broke the rules of Wednesday night's debate when someone from his campaign put a fan at his lectern.

    Was it a clear violation of the rules? Depends.

    "By Monday night, there were two separate signed agreements: one by the Scott campaign that excluded fans and one by the Crist campaign that had a handwritten addition allowing the fan. There was no follow-up, either written or in conversation, about who would get to decide if a fan was necessary."...

  11. Fan flap stirs an ill wind in governor's race

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — Gov. Rick Scott's sudden absence at the start of a statewide TV debate reshaped the governor's race Thursday as event sponsors accused Charlie Crist of breaking the rules and Scott's side fretted over whether he damaged his re-election prospects.

    At the center of the storm was a $20 fan that viewers couldn't see, quietly whirring near Crist's feet as he stood alone on stage Wednesday night at Broward College in Davie....

    Dan Gelber, Crist’s debate point man, signed an agreement that included a rule against electronic items (including fans) being on the stage. Gelber included a stipulation, bottom, that was not prioritized because organizers received it Monday evening, when a lawsuit was being addressed.
  12. Transcript of the weirdest start to a Florida gubernatorial debate

    State Roundup

    DAVIE — In what had to be the strangest start of a gubernatorial debate, Gov. Rick Scott initially refused to participate Wednesday night because Democrat Charlie Crist insisted on a fan to keep him cool.

    Here's the transcript:

    Eliott Rodriguez, CBS4 anchor and debate host: "Ladies and gentlemen we have an extremely peculiar situation right now. ... We have been told that Gov. Scott will not be participating in this debate. ... Gov. Crist has asked to have a fan, a small fan underneath the podium. ......

    Democratic challenger Charlie Crist waits for Florida Gov. Rick Scott to start their second debate, Wednesday in Davie. Scott delayed the start of the debate because of an electric fan below Crist’s podium.
  13. A transcript of FanGate at the debate


    In what had to be the strangest start of a gubernatorial debate, Gov. Rick Scott initially refused to participate because Democrat Charlie Crist insisted on a fan to keep him cool.

    The Republican governor finally emerged six minutes late as flummoxed moderators struggled to figure out what to do with only a bemused Crist standing on stage at BrowardCollege.

    Here’s the transcript:...

    Charlie Crist stands alone at the podium Wednesday night.
  14. Fangate overshadows sharp debate between Gov. Rick Scott and Charlie Crist

    State Roundup


    In the weirdest start of a gubernatorial debate, Florida Gov. Rick Scott initially refused to take the stage Wednesday night because Democrat Charlie Crist insisted on using a fan to keep him cool.

    The Republican governor finally emerged at least six minutes late as flummoxed moderators struggled on live TV to figure out what to do with a bemused Crist standing solo on stage at Broward College....

    Democratic candidate Charlie Crist waits for Gov. Rick Scott to start their second debate Wednesday in Davie. Scott's campaign said Crist's use of an electric fan violated debate rules that there could be no electronic equipment on stage. [Associated Press]
  15. 535,000 absentees already cast, Dems lagging but gaining


    More than 535,000 absentee ballots have already been cast as of Tuesday night and, as in prior mid-term elections, Republicans have a solid lead in returns.

    About 48 percent of all ballots cast so far have been by Republicans, 35 percent by Democrats and 17 percent by independent voters. That Republican lead of about 13 percentage points is certainly bigger than during the 2012 presidential elections, when Democratic turnout is generally higher, but it’s slightly less for this time in the election season for a mid term....