Democrat Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, has endorsed turncoat Rep. Charlie Crist in Florida’s Democrat gubernatorial primary, thereby bypassing two of the Democratic Party’s
top female elected officials – Agriculture Secretary Nikki Fried and state Senator Annette Taddeo-Goldstein.
Fried, who is the only Democrat to hold statewide office in Florida, and state Senator Taddeo-Goldstein, one of Florida’s top female Democrats of Hispanic origin, might have expected more consideration from their party’s top female, but Pelosi apparently went with loyalty to her, rather than assist two female Democrats break the glass ceiling.
"I've worked with Charlie the past six years in Congress, and I've seen him fight for Floridians every single day," Pelosi said in a campaign video shared first with Politico.
"He always puts people first. He'll be a champion for women's reproductive rights, create opportunities for small business owners, and always show empathy and compassion for our working families. It's a stark contrast to the current governor."
What Crist gains from an endorsement by one of America’s least-liked political figures is anyone’s guess, however, Charlie McCarthy of Newsmax reports Pelosi's endorsement comes as Fried has been criticizing Crist for insisting he's "pro-life" despite having been supportive of abortion rights after changing parties a decade ago.
Recent polling suggests Crist continues to hold a double-digit lead in the Democratic Primary for Florida Governor.
A survey conducted by Alvarado Strategies shows 43% of likely Democratic Primary voters favor Crist, with 33% picking Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried, and 15% liking state Sen. Annette Taddeo. Only about 8% of respondents started out unsure.
The poll was conducted from March 17-20 for Floridians for Economic Advancement, a political committee that has supported state legislative candidates from both parties. Results shows significant growth for all candidates since the last time the committee polled the race in February.
Jacob Ogles, writing for Florida Politics, shared some of the messaging tabs from the poll and it is shocking how out of sync Democrat Primary voters are with the rest of the electorate:
For Crist, the most effective negative messaging came from informing respondents that he voted for a $1.6 billion funding bill that included money for “Donald Trump’s border wall.” About 62% of those polled said they were less likely to back Crist based on that knowledge, with about 38% “much less likely.”
Less effective was messaging that Crist backed Florida’s same-sex marriage ban, but 53% of voters still reacted negatively to that information.
Fried seemed especially vulnerable to messaging about a failure to disclose more than $350,000 in lobbying income. About 55% of respondents were less likely to support her based on that, about 29% much less likely.
The fact Fried counts Republican U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz as a personal friend was less poisonous, but 46% were less likely to support her over that fact.
For Taddeo, about 63% of voters were less likely to back the Miami state Senator when they learned she voted against the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act in the wake of the 2018 Parkland shooting. About 42% were much less likely, the strongest reaction to any negative messaging tested in the poll.
The poll found visceral concern among Democrat Primary voters about the direction Florida is taking under Governor Ron DeSantis. About 65% of those surveyed feel Florida is on the wrong track, compared to 25% who think it is on the right track. By comparison, about 54% of Florida’s Democratic Primary voters polled think the nation is on the right track, and 35% see it on the wrong track.
Rep. Charlie Crist is the leading Democratic fundraiser raising $8.2 million through the end of March. Crist collected $1 million in March. He has $5.3 million in cash on hand.
Florida's Democrat Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried raised $440,000 in March and has $3.8 million in cash on hand. Democratic state Sen. Annette Taddeo raised $111,000 in March for her campaign for governor and has $733,382 in cash on hand.
In contrast Republican Ron DeSantis has raised over $100 million by far the most money ever raised by a candidate for Governor.
Florida Governor race
Nancy Pelosi endorsement
2022 Florida Democrat primary
Agriculture Secretary Nikki Fried
state Senator Annette Taddeo-Goldstein