After Scott says he will ‘invest’ personal wealth in his campaign, state GOP makes huge $13 million ad buy

Matt Dixon, (@Mdixon55)

Over the past eight days, the Republican Party of Florida has spent $13.2 million on television ads across the state, which is almost certainly a record over that time frame.

To put that into context, throughout the entire race, which has been the most expensive in Florida history, Gov. Rick Scott’s campaign, his political committee and the party have spent roughly $60 million.

The most recent buy means roughly 20 percent of the overall amount spent by the GOP this election cycle has been stuffed in the past eight days.

The huge purchase is almost certainly fueled by Scott’s personal wealth.

After much speculation, he said last week he would “invest” in his campaign. It’s rumored he has sunk more than $20 million in to his reelection bid, but the number is not yet public. The state GOP does not have to file its most recent campaign finance report until midnight.

In recent weeks, Scott’s camp has been reserving huge chunks of air time. For a five day span starting Oct. 15, the state GOP spent $6.3 million on ad time.

Like that buy, Scott’s most recent purchase focuses heavily on the Tampa and Orlando media markets.

He purchased 7,000 gross rating points, which are a measure of how many eyeballs actually see an ad in a particular market, in both Tampa and Orlando. Those television markets saw just over 7,000 points combined during the Oct. 15 buy, which at the time was considered huge.


Editorial: Data escapes Department of Corrections

From the Tampa Tribune:

It is outrageous that nearly two years of Florida Department of Corrections emails were destroyed in 2012 and even more outrageous that the loss of the public records was not acknowledged until now.

Gov. Rick Scott should assign the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to determine exactly what went on before and after the DOC emails were destroyed.

Matt Dixon of the Tribune/Scripps Capital Bureau, after making a number of inquiries about the agency records, received a letter the other day admitting that all DOC emails from January 2007 through September 2008 had been destroyed in March 2012. The loss, DOC officials said, occurred when a state-owned data center that retains information for state agencies tried to fix a hardware problem.

Very strange. Also strange is that the letter admitting the data loss was dated Aug. 6 but did not arrive until last week. Dixon first requested the DOC emails a year ago.

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Fact check: Democrats claim District 18 candidate Carl Domino ‘abused tax dollars’

Isadora Rangel, (@Isadora_Rangel2)

Democrats are trying to portray Republican Carl Domino, who is challenging U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy for the U.S. House District 18 seat, as “the beast that’s always hungry for our tax dollars.”

The Florida Democratic Party claims on campaign mailers Domino “abused tax dollars” during his state House tenure from 2002-10.

Here’s what a Treasure Coast Newspapers analysis found to be true

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Democrats narrow GOP lead as closers hit the campaign trail for both sides

Jenna Buzzacco-Foerster, (@Jenna_Buzzacco) &  Matt Dixon, (@Mdixon55)

Gov. Rick Scott and Democratic challenger Charlie Crist go into the final days of the hard-fought campaign with some of their party’s top surrogates by their side, as the latest early voting results show the election likely will be decided by a razor-thin margin.

Scott will join former Gov. Jeb Bush, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who heads the Republican Governors Association, while Crist is appearing with Vice President Joe Biden and former President Bill Clinton.

Republicans are leading Democrats by a 43-38 statewide margin in results from early voting.

Both sides aptly spin the numbers, but the bottom line is the race has so far generally followed a familiar trajectory. Republicans often take leads early and Democrats slowly eat into that lead with early voting.

In raw numbers, there have been nearly 2.6 million votes cast through Friday, with Republicans up by 126,864. Democrats cut into that lead by nearly 5,600 votes since Thursday. Most predict that Republicans will have a slight edge going into Tuesday’s election, which will make voter turnout a premium for both parties.

That’s where appearances from big party names come into play. Both candidates are relying on politicians who are considered possible contenders in the 2016 president race.

Scott continues his bus tour Saturday with Rubio joining him in Sun City Center, Venice, Fort Myers and Naples. Christie will attend the event in Naples.

Scott also will get some help from Bush on Sunday, campaigning in Hialeah.

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A quick update on key state House races

Matt Dixon, (@Mdixon55)

There are a handful of House races across the state that will help decide if Republicans have a super majority moving into the 2015 session.

For that to happen, the GOP would have to pickup five seats.

Below is a look at where those races stand through Friday. The number represents the gap between votes cast for Republicans and Democrats.

It’s important to remember, that a Democrat might not always vote for a Democrat, and vice-versa. The numbers are not an exact measure of where the race stands, but only which party is leading in that district. It is, however, a good snapshot.

The chart compares where these races were on Monday versus where they sit at the end of the week. (Note: * next to a candidate’s name means their party is up)