On eve of Democratic Primary, Charlie Crist eyes contest with Ron DeSantis

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‘It feels good. It really feels good right now.’

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist is confident headed into Tuesday night.

“It feels good. It really feels good right now,” Crist said, regarding his mindset about Election Day.

Crist delivered a final assertion of his readiness for a fall battle against incumbent Ron DeSantis duringa relaxed Zoom meeting with reporters that didn’t suggest any great worry about Tuesday night’s results.

“Florida’s done with Ron DeSantis,” Crist said, not for the first time nor the last, describing his strength as a candidate. He noted he’d been endorsed by over 200 elected officials, most major labor unions, six major newspapers, and had raised nearly $15 million to date. Reminded of DeSantis’ fundraising edge, he wasn’t worried.

“People will be very encouraged to get engaged and get engaged quickly,” Crist said about the General Election.

In a sign of the global focus imminent for this campaign, a British reporter asked about “unique challenges” in running against DeSantis.

“I think it’s more challenging for him,” Crist said, noting the Governor’s out-of-state campaigning in Pennsylvania and Ohio even in the days before the Primary as proof DeSantis had his “eye off the ball of Florida.”

Crist’s confidence is to be expected given the final public poll of the race, one that shows a Fried fade.

St. Pete Polls’ last survey of this race found Crist with 59% support, nearly doubling up on Fried’s 30%. Undecided voters made up the remaining 11%.

“Polls are up, polls are down,” Crist said, saying the only poll that mattered was Tuesday night’s.

Of the 57% of respondents who said they had already voted, Crist was even stronger, drawing 63% support compared to 31% for Fried.

Crist said his “experience and electability” set him apart from Fried, and Tuesday night will show if voters agree.

Regardless, Crist said Democrats have to coalesce quickly after the Primary.

“There may be a unification rally to be held in South Florida on Thursday,” Crist said, noting he promised to endorse Fried if she won, and that if he wins, he hopes that she would endorse in kind.

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