10 big questions facing Florida politics heading into 2018
Illustration of the State of Florida silhouette map and flag. Its a JPG image.

Florida map and flag

The holidays are over. Welcome to 2018. That means campaign season pretty much starts now. Fasten your seat belts because we guarantee a bumpy ride.

Let’s start with the Top 10 (for now) Florida Politics Big Campaign Questions™:

#1: When does Rick Scott take the plunge?

Or does he? As the USA Today Network-Florida’s James Call writes, “The pundits … say 2018 may not be a Republican year — even in a red state like Florida.” (See Democrat Doug Jones’ squeaker of a win over the GOP’s Roy Moore in Alabama.)

#2: What kind of fight does Bill Nelson have in him?

Don’t count out the old astronaut just yet. The state’s senior U.S. senator this past summer told reporters, when asked about a possible Scott challenge, “I know how to campaign … I’ll leave it at that.”

#3: How does Adam Putnam avoid becoming Jeb 2.0?

By running further to the right. (See his social media for clues.) Then again, that could backfire. (See Jones vs. Moore.)

#4: What tricks does Richard Corcoran have up his sleeve?

Money aside, the House Speaker needs to up his name ID. He’s already staking out a position as a populist, “protecting your tax dollars” candidate—should he run, of course.

#5: So … is Ron DeSantis for real?

He got a thumbs up from President Trump and announced a finance team. But is it enough these days to have a Trump endorsement? Or is that a liability? (Have we mentioned Jones vs. Moore?)

#6: Can Gwen Graham raise real money?

It ain’t enough to just be Bob Graham’s daughter. We wonder if her anti-establishment, people-person stance will get in the way of her ability to make major bank.

#7: Does Andrew Gillum stay in until the end?

Such youth, such promise. Then came the annoying FBI, with its investigating of possible local Tallahassee corruption. He’s been told he’s not a target, the mayor says. But the who’ll-get-indicted distraction is still a problem.

#8: Can Phil Levine connect with Democratic primary voters?

He’s rich and he’s white. And that could be his boon—or his bust.

#9: Can Chris King gain traction?

Seems like a nice guy, smart. Too bad for him nobody seems to know or care.

#10: Can Jose Oliva keep up the Republican Party’s winning streak in the state House?

Mary Ellen Klas has said Oliva himself has “made clear he will not moderate the small-government, no-tax, anti-corporate welfare policies Corcoran has pursued.” Now he must figure out how to translate that to continued electoral success.

What about the unknown unknowns? Email or tweet us your ideas to keep the conversation going. We’ll see you on the campaign trail(s), starting … NOW.

Peter Schorsch

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including Florida Politics and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. Schorsch is also the publisher of INFLUENCE Magazine. For several years, Peter's blog was ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.


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