Charlie Crist is Like A Hurricane



TO:         Florida Chamber Members and Interested Parties

FROM:    Alex Coelho, Director of Data and Analytics

CC:       Mark Wilson, President and CEO, Frank Walker, EVP, and Nick Catroppo, VP Political Operations

DATE:     September 21, 2022

RE:          Florida Chamber Messaging to the Electorate for the 2022 Gubernatorial Contest

The 2022 general election contest for Florida Governor is about to enter its most critical phase. With just under 7 weeks until Election Day on November 8th, the month-long progression of votes being cast is about to begin as Vote-by-Mail ballots begin to be mailed out in a week’s time.

Governor DeSantis stands as a clear favorite to win re-election, boasting strong approval ratings and a record of achievement during his first term that has earned him the Florida Chamber’s endorsement as well as endorsements from a wide cross-section of interest groups and officials. These facts do not however make victory for the Governor an inevitability.

Florida remains a closely divided state politically, and the Governor’s lead over Charlie Crist is less than 5 points on average in polls conducted after the Democratic primary. These poll results are consistent with the Florida Chamber’s most recent statewide poll in which Governor DeSantis led Charlie Crist 51-43% after accounting for the boost in support on the political left one would have expected for Crist following his primary victory over Commissioner of Agriculture Nikki Fried.

The Florida Chamber has led the fight against excesses of billboard trial lawyers in Florida for years, and this brand makes the Chamber uniquely qualified and capable of exposing Charlie Crist’s past career in this industry as well as the detrimental impact of his policies for the insurance industry and others during his previous stint as Governor.

This message is in line with the existing unfavorable views likely Florida voters hold toward the billboard trial lawyer field. The Florida Chamber’s most recent statewide poll showed that billboard trial lawyers are viewed very negatively by the public, with 47 percent of likely voters in Florida viewing them unfavorably compared to just 16 percent with a favorable view. These strong unfavorables were seen across all parts of Florida, with a majority of likely voters in both media markets of the critical I-4 corridor expressing unfavorable sentiments toward the billboard trial lawyer industry.

Likely Voters View of Personal Injury, Billboard Trial Lawyers by Media Market

Media Market Favorable View Unfavorable View Net Favorability
Broward/Miami 12% 42% -30%
Ft Myers/Naples 17% 41% -24%
Gainesville 8% 42% -34%
Jacksonville 24% 46% -22%
Orlando/Daytona 20% 51% -31%
Panama City/Pensacola 11% 50% -39%
Tallahassee 15% 45% -30%
Tampa/St Petersburg 17% 50% -33%
West Palm Beach 14% 42% -28%

Source: Florida Chamber of Commerce Statewide Poll, conducted August 4-15, 2022

Reaching Floridians with a message of both Charlie Crist’s past failures as Governor as well as his work in a deeply unpopular profession will serve to blunt efforts from Crist’s campaign to narrow his deficit in the race for Governor. Sufficiently funded, this message is ready-made to be delivered to voters at the ideal time in this election cycle to persuade hesitant or undecided voters toward continuing the pro-growth governing agenda that Governor DeSantis has carried out over the past four years.


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