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How Rick Scott Bought the Florida Governorship May 6, 2011

Posted by Mary W. Matthews in Politics.

According to Public Policy Polling, Rick Scott’s popularity, never high, has plummeted as “remorse of the bought” has soared. It’s too late, dupes: Scott is already plotting on how he can buy his way to another “victory” in 2014.

I’ve been curious for months now about just how Gov. Voldemort managed to pull off his upset victory, given that every even slightly respectable news­paper in the state of Florida urged voters to vote for Democrat Alex Sink. This has been a much more difficult job than I started out thinking it was going to be. The bibliography at the end of this post cites where I got the facts I show here. I present the most recent numbers I have been able to find.

Total population of Florida in 2009: 18,537,969
Registered voters in Florida in 2008: 8,786,388
Democrats: 4,722,076 (53.74%)
Republicans: 4,064,301 (46.26%)

Despite the fact that in 2010 there are almost 700,000 more Democrats than Republicans in Florida, Republicans have gerrymandered themselves an insurmountable lock on the Florida legislature. In 2011, there are 28 Republicans and 12 Democrats in the Florida senate, where only 24 votes are needed to pass most bills; similarly, there are 80 Republicans and 39 Democrats in the Florida house, which requires only 71 votes to pass a given measure. Thanks to Citizens United spending (more on that below), a large majority of the politicians in the Florida legislature are Tea Puppets, as is Gov. Voldemort. In the legislative session that ended today, most Democrats in the Florida legislature felt about as useful and effectual as male tits.

Here are the totals for the 2010 midterm election:

Scott Sink Other
 Percent of votes cast: 48.87 47.72 3.41
 Percent of entire electorate: 29.81 29.11 2

Rick Scott “won” the 2010 election by a margin of 0.7% of the entire Florida electorate, more specifically by approximately 61,000 votes.

Thanks to Citizens United, it is virtually impossible to trace the vast preponderance of the 2010 tsunami of lies and smears to original sources. Most sources estimate that Citizens United spending designed to influence the 2010 election at approximately $4 billion. Several sources estimate $3.7 billion, and add that not all accounting has been done, and that $4 billion would not be unreasonable as a final number. One source, written in October 2010, estimated $3 billion. Whether $4 billion or merely $3 billion, it’s a huge amount of money, and at least 90 percent of it was spent in pro-GOP attacks and smears on Democratic candidates.

The facts below come primarily from three non-partisan sources: Public Policy Polling, Real Clear Politics, and Center for Responsive Politics. The category “NON-party spending” covers super PACs, undisclosed donors, and all other non-Citizens United sources.

In millions of dollars Scott Sink
Spent by candidate: 73 10.4
Spent by candidate’s party: 7.2 1.1
 Spent on Citizens United attacks:  90  16
 Total spending:  184.2  32.6
 Percentages:  85%  15%

In other words, approximately $184.2 million was spent attempting to influence voters to vote for Rick Scott, while $32.6 million was spent attempting to influence voters to vote for Alex Sink. This works out to $12.75 spent per vote by Democrats. Republicans spent $70.32 per vote, or 5.52 times as much as Democrats spent.

A final factoid I ran across today: In the 1990s, Rick Scott was a partner of George W. Bush in ownership of the Texas Rangers baseball team.


Rick Scott

Polling: Scott Incredibly Unpopular

Florida Quick Facts from the U.S. Census Bureau

Democrats have edge on registered voters in Florida

Florida Governor’s Election

Gerrymandering and Election Fraud

[Florida] Redistricting Amendments Trigger Fierce Debate

Florida Democrats on Outside Looking In

Real Clear Politics – Election 2010 – Florida Governor – Scott vs. Sink

Florida Election 2010 by the Numbers

Florida Gubernatorial Election, 2010

Citizens United and the 2010 Mid-Term Election

Election 2010 to Shatter Spending Records

After Citizens United, Conservative Undisclosed Donors Spent 10 Times as Much as Liberal Ones in 2010 Election



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