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Former President Clinton to Stump for Crist on Friday

Published Wednesday, September 3, 2014 12:05 am

BRADENTON — President Bill Clinton will be joining Democratic gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist in Miami on Friday to kick off the final two months of his campaign to unseat Florida Governor Rick Scott. With polls between the two at pretty much a dead heat, Crist is hoping that the Democratic icon can help rally a base that is coming off a primary plagued by low voter turnout.

The RCP average of major polls has Scott with a 1 point lead, which falls well within the margin of error. Election analysts say the race will come down to which candidate best turns out the vote of their base. With Libertarian Adrian Wylie polling in the high single digits, he's also thought to be a factor who could ultimately act as a spoiler in the race.

Crist, the former governor of the state from 2006-10, was once seen as the future of the party and was even considered as John McCain's GOP running mate in 2008. However, his bid for a vacated US Senate seat was thwarted when a then little-known Marco Rubio was pushed by a groundswell of Tea Party support, essentially chasing Crist out of the primary.

Crist ultimately lost as an independent in that race, later becoming a member of the Democratic Party, who nominated him as their candidate on the 2012 ballot in last month's primary. Scott also came out of nowhere in 2010 to upset GOP favorite Bill McCollum in a narrow primary, mostly using his own vast fortune, before defeating Democrat Alex sink in the general election.

Clinton is one of the few nationally-known Democrats available to candidates and is far and away the most prominent fundraiser in the party. With little excitement among Floridians regarding the race, Crist's campaign is surely hoping for a Clinton bump after Friday.

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