MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Locked in a virtual tie two weeks before the General Election, Governor Rick Scott and former Governor Charlie Crist are trying to rally support in Miami-Dade on the first day of early voting.
Crist’s running mate Annette Taddeo attended a rally at the Palmetto Golf Course on SW 152nd Street early Monday morning before casting her ballot at the Coral Reef Library on Coral Reef Drive.
“The people have the opportunity to change the way we’re going to run this state. To be a government of the people, for the people and by the people as it should be,” Taddeo said.
People were lining up for early voting at the library, but for some there just weren’t enough voters.
“This is America and I get very annoyed at people who don’t vote,” said Helen Lovely. “There’s a lot of apathy out there, which there shouldn’t be. More than ever I think people, no matter what side they’re on, need to go out and voice their opinion.”
While Lovely was upset at what she consider a low turnout for early voting, others saw it as an opportunity.
“I feel good, it’s really nice. The last time I voted at this place here I waited five hours, so this was a breeze,” said voter Barry Post.
“I am leaving today to Colombia and don’t come back until November 11th. It was my only chance to come here early in the morning,” said voter George Coulson.
In a plan to increase early voter awareness, Taddeo is also attending rallies later Monday afternoon at the ILA Union Hall on NW 2nd Avenue in Miami and at the Notre Dame D’Haiti Catholic Church on NE 62nd Street.
Polling spots on Monday will stay open until 3 p.m. in Miami-Dade, 5 p.m. in Monroe County and 7 p.m. in Broward.
The big name, South Florida Republicans were in one spot, Human Rights Park in Southwest Miami-Dade. They were there trying to shore up support for incumbent Governor Rick Scott’s election campaign. They bashed democratic challenger former Governor Charlie Crist. “What does he work for?” asked Republican Lt. Governor Carlos Lopez-Cantera. “What does he spend his time and energy on? His tan and his fan.”
Of course, the Lt. Governor’s talking about the fan under Crist’s podium in the last debate. That whole flap kept both candidates from taking stage on time. Crist supporter say it shows Scott is petty. Scott has his own take. “He wants to talk about fans he wants to talk about things like that,” said Governor Scott. “Charlie can’t, he sweats so much because he’s worried about his record,” he said.
At the rally, Scott supporters threw out a lot of one liners, taking jabs at Crist for changing parties and running for multiple offices. “Just like sequels that tend to be really bad movies,” Republican Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart said, “Charlie Crist is trying to be the Charlie Sharknator Two.”
“What happens if two years from now we have another economic downturn?” asked Republican Florida Senator Marco Rubio. “What’s he going to run for then? State-wide dog catcher?”
Scott’s rally nearly had more candidates and fellow politicians than supporters. Aside from bashing Crist, they reminded people to vote.
Senator Rubio and the Lt. Governor lead supporters to an early voting location — both of them casting their ballots, with Scott warning what could happen if his supporters stay home. “In 2012,” he said, “when Mitt Romney lost he lost because republicans didn’t early vote. We can win this election. In Miami-Dade only 23% of Republicans voted early. We’ve gotta get out and vote!”
Scott has put an emphasis on the importance of early voting. He says that presidential candidate Mitt Romney lost in 2012 due to not enough Republicans participating in early voting, adding that he won’t let that happen to him in his race against Crist.
In recent weeks both campaigns have brought in political heavy weights to help stump for votes.
Crist’s people brought in First Lady Michelle Obama and Vice President Joe Biden among others. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has attended a number of events for Scott. The governor’s campaign has also run endorsement ads from former Governor Jeb Bush.
A CNN poll released last week had Crist and Scott tied at 44 percent among likely voters with Libertarian candidate Adrian Wyllie at nine percent. Among registered voters, the poll showed Crist edging Scott by two percent with Wyllie taking 10 percent.
The third and final debate between the two major candidates takes place Tuesday, October 21st, in Jacksonville.