- The Democratic primary between Nikki Fried and Charlie Crist will consume millions of dollars over the final two weeks
- Both candidates are likely to deplete most of their campaign funds to ensure victory on August 23rd
- The winner of the Democratic primary will have to start fundraising almost from scratch
- Gov. Ron DeSantis has no serious primary challenger and has amassed a stunning $125 million in cash, all saved for the general election
The amount won’t be zero, but whoever wins the Democratic primary for governor on August 23rd will almost have to start fundraising again from scratch the very next day. Meanwhile, Governor Ron DeSantis awaits the winner while sitting atop a literal mountain of campaign cash.
While Congressman Charlie Crist is showing strength in recent public polling, he still can’t coast or take a victory for granted. That’s because Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried will spend every dime of her nearly $3 million in campaign funds over the next two weeks doing all she can to point out the stark differences in their respective records. Crist can expect at least one or two more hard-hitting television ads from Fried’s campaign, and he’ll likely have a broadside or two of his own in the closing weeks. Neither Fried nor Crist has any desire to play the proverbial hare who slept while the plodding tortoise crossed the finish line first, which means both will pull out all the stops in the closing days of the campaign to ensure victory.
With nearly $6 million between his political committee, Friends of Charlie Crist, and his campaign account, Crist is the most likely candidate to actually have at least some money remaining on August 24th from which to begin a general election campaign against the flush DeSantis. But how much, or how little remains to be seen.
No matter the amount, the difference in campaign accounts between Crist or Fried and DeSantis will be staggering, especially early on. DeSantis’s own political committee, Friends of Ron DeSantis, reported $125 million in cash on hand as of July 29th, and he has no primary opponent of consequence to compel him to spend a dime of it. And over the next two weeks, his advantage will likely keep growing as he keeps raising money. During the final week of July, the committee pulled in $2.88 million.
That’s not to say DeSantis and his allies aren’t spending some of that cash – in fact, Friends of Ron DeSantis spent or shifted $467,000 over the same final week of July. But almost all of those expenditures can be targeted toward preparations for the general election contest against either Fried or Crist, who are sure to face a blistering opening salvo from DeSantis almost as soon as the contest gets underway later this month.