- Democrat gubernatorial nominee Charlie Crist launched his first ad campaign following Tuesday’s decisive victory over Commissioner of Agriculture Nikki Fried
- The ad targets the incumbent Gov. Ron DeSantis, highlighting common media critiques of his legislative actions
- The ad also draws attention to Crist’s platform, touching on key agenda items like abortion access and addressing rising costs
- The Hill reports that Crist is preparing a $20 million ad blitz across Florida
Hours after Charlie Crist’s resounding 24-point primary win over party opponent Nikki Fried, the once-governor-now-Representative launched his first ad campaign as the Democratic nominee for governor.
Focusing on DeSantis, the ad targets frequent media critiques of the governor such as the so-called “Don’t Say Gay” bill, the spat over Disney’s Reedy Creek special district, and the recently-passed 15-week abortion ban.
In a tweet accompanying the video, Crist went so far as to call DeSantis fascist in his “Defeat facism, defeat DeSantis,’ tagline.
“Florida is my home,” a Crist voiceover states. “There’s so much to be proud of, but this [DeSantis] doesn’t represent us.”
Let’s make history, Florida.
Defeat fascism, defeat DeSantis. pic.twitter.com/o5AwUDtTjO
— Charlie Crist (@CharlieCrist) August 24, 2022
Crist’s ad additionally begins to prod at the notion that DeSantis will run for President in 2024, indicating that he may use the speculation as a primary attack against the governor throughout campaigning.
“Florida, we deserve better,” Crist remarked. “Someone who actually wants this job. I’ve spent my whole life fighting for the people of Florida.”
The ad goes on to showcase the platform talking points of Crist’s campaign. Namely, economic reform to boost middle-class residents, tackling the affordability crisis, protecting abortion access, and standing up to what he described as special interest groups.
The Hill earlier this month reported that Crist is preparing a $20 million dollar ad blitz targeting DeSantis.
“The campaign is spending the biggest chunk of money — nearly $5.2 million — in the Tampa media market, Crist’s home turf. That buy also includes a nearly $5 million investment in the Miami market and more than $4.8 million in Orlando. The spending in those three markets will include more than $2.2 million in Spanish-language ad buys,” said writer Max Greenwood. “But Crist is also set to spend heavily in North Florida — about $2.16 million, according to his campaign. That includes nearly $918,000 in the Jacksonville market and just shy of $572,000 in the Pensacola market.”
A series of recent polls place Crist behind the figurative eight ball directly out of his primary win. Going back to July, each conducted poll reports DeSantis consistently leading among voters by 6 to 8 points, with FiveThirtyEight forecasting DeSantis a 92 percent chance of winning.
Florida, a formerly politically purple swing state, has sloightly shifted to the right since 2020. For the first time in the state’s history, the Florida Republican Party declared a voter registration edge over the Democrats. In recent months the gap has increased even further, facilitating a political atmosphere that appears to be supportive of DeSantis retaining his position.