With less than 24 hours remaining before Democratic primary voters head to the polls on Tuesday, the campaign of former governor Charlie Crist is kicking into high gear with a series of events designed to get out the vote. Crist will visit five cities today, sprinting from stop-to-stop in Jacksonville, Tampa, Orlando, Wellington and Ft. Lauderdale.
The emphasis on today’s campaign swing is to rally volunteers at phone banks and oversee a statewide organization that is working hard to turn out voters in an election will few big draws. Most polling has shown Crist with a solid double-digit lead in the Democratic race for governor, easily beating out former State Senate minority leader Nan Rich.
The former Republican, who became an independent while running for U.S. Senate in 2010, is looking for a big win over Rich that will propel him into the general election. The Crist campaign hopes to make a statement by running up a large margin of victory, cementing the candidate’s recently acquired Democratic credentials.
Tomorrow’s election will serve as a dress rehearsal for the Crist organization, allowing them to practice mobilizing volunteers to make phone calls and work the polling places. If the campaign struggles to turn out the Democratic base or fails to decisively trounce Rich, it could signal trouble for November.
Not going down without a fight, Rich appeared on Miami radio this morning and will be campaigning hard to the end. The Florida Democratic Party has already scheduled a “Unity Rally” for Thursday, with both Rich and Crist, as well as several other heavy-hitting Democrats like Senator Bill Nelson.