Tallahassee, FL - Defeated candidate for Governor Bill McCollum learned the hard way that early voting is changing Florida politics.
“The campaign has to be run throughout the entire period,” said McCollum.
In the final days leading up to the Primary Election, McCollum peaked in the polls. Some showed him with a six point lead. But it was simply too little too late.
Now the trend in Florida is that more than half of the voters are voting early or absentee. And McCollum’s opponent beat him to those votes. McCollum says he didn’t have the money to stay on TV through the two weeks leading up to Election Day. It’s an obstacle Scott Maddox, Democrat for Commissioner of Agriculture, is hoping to avoid.
“We started our paid communications on the 12th of October, so we have a little bit of time before early voting,” said Maddox.
5-thousand posters showing Governor Charlie Crist embracing President Barack Obama are ready to ship statewide as part of the Republican Party’s voter turn out strategy. The posters advertise Election Day, but the push for early votes began weeks earlier.
“We’ve had to move up our voter turnout operations so it’s not simply the final stretch,” said Conston.
In the past candidates could wait until the weekend before Election Day to empty their war chest. Now candidates have to peak early and stay hot longer, which may make winning office even more expensive.
Florida’s already had the most expensive governor’s race on record and one signal early voting is important in deciding that race: Republican Candidate Rick Scott dumped another million plus of his own money into this week’s TV spots.