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. 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]
  2. 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....

  3. 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....

  4. 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."...

  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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, right, walks back to his podium as Republican Gov. Rick Scott enters after he delayed his entry onto the stage because of an electric fan that Crist had behind his lectern.
  9. 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....

  10. Court rules Wyllie has no right to debate access


    A federal judge denied Libertarian Adrian Wyllie’s emergency motion seeking access to Wednesday night’s gubernatorial debate.

    U.S. District Judge James I. Cohn said Wyllie did not meet the requirements for gaining access to the debate hosted by the Florida Press Association and Leadership Florida. Cohn said the private nonprofit debate sponsors did not change the access rules by increasing the polling threshold required for a qualified candidate, 15 percent....

  11. Crist 45, Scott 41 in SurveyUSA/WFLA poll


    SurveyUSA's poll tracking for WFLA-TV shows that Charlie Crist is still marginally topping Gov. Rick Scott, 45-41 percent. Libertarian Adrian Wyllie is at 7 percent

    But, like all other polls, that Crist lead is inside the error margin. So it's basically a tie....

  12. Jeb Bush cuts TV ad for Rick Scott


    Gov. Rick Scott's campaign features a not-so-new but pretty-effective spokesman in a new ad: Former Gov. Jeb Bush.

    "In my experience as governor, I've found that there are two kinds of politicians," Bush says. "Those that are driven by personal ambition. And those that deliver results."

    In case anyone was wondering, the first politician Bush references is his successor and Scott predecessor and current Scott challenger Charlie Crist. What makes the ad effective is that this somewhat-negative message is shown, not told. That is, Bush never says Crist's name. The camera just cuts to B-roll of Crist on the campaign trail....

  13. Optimus FL poll: Charlie Crist tops Rick Scott 41-39%; Wyllie at 13%


    The new Republican-leaning data-analytics firm, 0ptimus, has released its latest survey in the Florida governor's race, and it looks a lot like the last survey: a basic tie between Democrat Charlie Crist and Gov. Rick Scott.

    Crist gets about 41 percent of the vote to Scott's 39 percent (it's 40.5 to 39.4 percent to be exact). Libertarian Adrian Wyllie is still pulling an impressive 13 percent in the poll....

  14. Charlie Crist targets Rick Scott's jobs flip flop


    There are two major ways to attack a foe: at his weak point and at his strength.

    Charlie Crist has chosen the latter route in his new attack ad targeting Gov. Rick Scott over his flip-flopping on his job-creation promise. PolitiFact rated the reversal a "full flop." Scott would have been looking at a "Pants on Fire" rating had PolitFact examined his clearly false denial that he ever said the new jobs created would be on top of forecast employment gains....

  15. Rick Scott tops Charlie Crist 43-42 in McLaughlin & Assoc. poll


    Gov. Rick Scott is slightly leading Democrat Charlie Crist 43-42 percent, according to a new poll from Republican pollster McLaughlin & Associates.

    Like other recent polls that show Crist up by a point or two, Scott's lead in the McLaughlin survey is within the margin of error, making the race essentially tied. The Republican Party of Florida paid for the poll of 1,000 likely voters....