The strategy of the Charlie Crist “I don’t want your vote” line regarding DeSantis supporters

“Those who support the Governor should stay with him and support him. I don’t want your vote. If you have that hate in your heart, then keep it there.”

And so went the most notable line from congressman, former governor, and democratic gubernatorial nominee, Charlie Crist’s, opening salvo directed and his November opponent, current Florida Governor, Ron DeSantis.

Make no mistake, Crist isn’t going to literally turn away any votes in a race that many have already written off. He’ll take everyone he can get.

But this line is directed at the moderate voters who are still in play. The ones who haven’t made up their minds.

It’s also aimed at the Floridians who may not have liked the Governor’s more cavalier approach at leading over the past year, and don’t appreciate the Trump tone he’s taken as he eyes a 2024 presidential bid.

“I don’t have hate in my heart. Do I?”

This is the question that the line is meant to provoke. Its forcing us to take a self inventory of our values.

Now, there are some risks.

It will completely push away those already leaning towards the Governor. Crist probably doesn’t believe they can be saved anyways.

But it also allows the DeSantis campaign to take this rhetoric back to his own supporters.

“Bulletin board material” is the football term for it.

“If you support the free state of Florida, Charlie doesn’t want your vote.” DeSantis will say.

The words did serve their purpose. It got us talking about the Crist campaign, and that’s important because the reason that he lost to Rick Scott in 2014 is because we stopped talking about his campaign and the energy just drained out of the operation.

He cannot let that happen again.

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