Current polling suggests that current Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) is going to crush any of the possible Democratic candidates running for governor by double-digits. DeSantis’ popularity in the state continues to rise and, barring some unforeseen surprise, he should cruise to reelection. That doesn’t mean that the Democratic Party does not have to field someone in opposition.
In August there will be a primary to determine who that will be. There are currently three candidates vying for the top spot. Democratic State Rep. Annette Taddeo, U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist, and Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried.
Taddeo is fading, while Fried and Crist are both in contention, with Fried scoring high on crucial favorability ratings. Fried is not doing herself any favors down the stretch, however. Her campaign just put out a TikTok video that leaves many observers scratching their heads.
It is unclear what the campaign was trying to accomplish with the video, but it is being roundly panned on social media. She already has an optics problem being linked to a messy divorce by her relationship with Jake Bergmann and her financial dealings may have run afoul of Florida’s ethics laws, based on her income disclosures.
The TikTok video may be a last ditch effort to catch up. Crist is starting to open a wide lead over Fried. Crist is consistently outraising Fried in fundraising and has received the lion’s share of endorsements. It is possible that the Fried campaign sees the writing on the wall and is now positioning itself for future political candidacies. Fried is still relatively new on the political scene, especially compared to Crist.
It might be in her best interest to raise her profile, let Crist get destroyed by DeSantis, and then run for Governor again if DeSantis makes a presidential run. Her strong showing also puts a run for Congress on the table. Fried should spend the rest of the campaign rehabilitating the uncertainty from her past and take it easy on social media video production.