The Florida gubernatorial race could be getting yet another curveball thrown into it, the St. Petersburg Times reports, with independent candidate Bud Chiles expected to drop out soon. And at first glance, it looks like this could ultimately benefit the Democrats.
Chiles, a businessman and activist for health care for children in poor areas, is a son of the late Democratic Gov. Lawton Chiles, and had acknowledged that his views are closer to the Democratic side than the GOP. Interestingly, Chiles said last week that he thought the upset win in the Republican primary by right-wing former health care executive Rick Scott would help his own campaign — but that he would not want to be a spoiler.
“I’ll say this till the end: I’m not in this race to create a situation where Rick Scott becomes governor,” Chiles told reporters last Thursday. “I believe every day, and I think what happened in the (Republican) primary is a very strong indication that I have a very viable candidacy. As long as my candidacy is viable, then, if I’m sending the message that Floridians want to hear, I’m going to keep doing that. And if, at some point, I feel that it’s not viable then we can have another discussion about it.”
The TPM Poll Average of the three-way race gives Democrat Alex Sink the lead with 40.9%, followed by Scott at 36.7%, and Chiles with only 7.7%. Furthermore, take a look at the downward trend of Chiles’s line, as his supporters seemed to be breaking away to decide on major-party candidates.