According to polling of late, Palm Beach billionaire Jeff Greene will likely lose today in the Democratic primary for U.S. Senate against Rep. Kendrick Meek. Greene held a lead of as much as 10 points as of July 29. The main reason for those leads was television, television, and television, as he had spent $11 million of his own money through Aug. 15 on ads, while Meek spent about $2 million. For instance: Jeff Greene with his family; Jeff Greene with his mom; Jeff Greene with senior citizens; Jeff Greene creating green jobs; Jeff Greene, not the career politician.
But just compare the two candidates’ schedules for election day, and it’s pretty easy to see who’s expending more shoe leather:
4:30 a.m., AFSCME Member Bus Terminal Stop-in, 16150 Northwest 42nd Avenue, Miami.
6:15 a.m., Breakfast at Jimmy’s Place, 11901 NW 7 Ave., North Miami.
7:15 a.m., Polling site stop, South Kendall Community Church, 16550 SW 147 Ave., Miami.
8:45 a.m., Polling site stop, Palm Beach Co. Fire and Rescue No. 42,. 14276 Hagen Ranch Rd., Delray Beach.
5:00 p.m., Sign waving, N. University Dr. and Sunrise Blvd., Plantation.
5:45 p.m.,. Polling site stop, Hollywood Hills High School, 5400 Stirling Rd., Hollywood.
Evening, Watching election returns, Westin Diplomat Hotel, 3555 S. Ocean Dr., Hollywood.
9:00 a.m., Voting, Palm Beach Fire Station #3, 2185 S. Ocean Blvd., Palm Beach.
7:00 p.m., Watching returns, Marriott Hotel, 1001 Okeechobee Blvd., West Palm Beach.
This pattern was repeated throughout the campaign, as Meek ran an 11-day bus tour throughout the state, qualified for the ballot by getting 145,000 signatures on a petition, and ran much longer hours than Greene, who began his days at 11 a.m. Despite never having run in a competitive race, Meek was simply a more hard-working campaigner, shaking hands with the Democratic party base and unions, and exciting supporters at rallies with his longtime ally, Bill Clinton.
It’s something of an article of faith in Florida politics that being on television matters the most, and it makes sense given the size and population of the state. But there’s such a thing as taking that advice too far, as the Democratic primary will likely prove.
The Greene campaign announces that Greene will be campaigning after all today. He will be in South Florida in Pembroke Pines, Tamarac, and Coconut Creek this afternoon.