Florida’s Gov. Rick Scott is cast in the role of “King Maker,” or at the very least, he has a big say in who will be the 2016 GOP Nominee for President. The Sunshine State is traditionally one of the most important swing states in any election and this one will be no exception.
He has former Gov. Jeb Bush, who lives in Miami, and Senator Marco Rubio, makes home in the West Palm Beach area that are interested in a endorsement from Scott. However, in his last run for the Governor’s Mansion in Tallahassee, he got a great deal of help and a couple of big time endorsements from two men also looking to become president.
Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, both were seen often all over the state on the campaign trail. Both helped him raise millions of dollars and garner votes, then there was the three of them together talking to reporters and their many fans at Scott’s second-term inauguration in January.
Okay, that is four who would like to have Gov. Scott’s endorsement but there are two others who call Florida home at least part of the year and who also helped the governor out along the way. Either through fund raisers of just voicing their support. Add to the list GOP Presidential hopefuls, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee , with a home in Walton County and Dr. Ben Carson, who spends a great deal of time at his home in West Palm Beach.
That makes six people who would love to have Gov. Scott’s endorsement when he is willing to give it and that is not likely to be any time soon. According a recent interview in POLITICO, Scott did say that he could endorse a candidate for the 2016 Florida Presidential Primary.
“We’ll see what I’m going to do,” Scott told POLITICO when asked when and why he’d endorse in the primary. “But I’ll tell you what I want: I want somebody who’s going to focus on the economy. They have to limit the growth of the federal government. They’ve got to cut taxes and regulation — basically, what we’ve done. And we need somebody who’s going to fight ISIS. And then we still have to deal with health care.”
But the real point is what a Gov. Scott endorsement really worth?
Scott’s poll numbers are poor when compared to those of the two most-popular Republicans in the state, Bush and Rubio, who stand to gain relatively little from an endorsement. Rubio’s and Bush’s camps, however, say the men appreciate and respect the governor.
Florida is a high-priority target for Republicans nationally because without the state’s 29 Electoral College votes, the GOP probably can’t win the White House. The state was even more important in the previous two presidential cycles, when Florida became an early primary state. This year, the Legislature plans a winner-take-all primary March 15, 2016 — a move designed to make the state an attractive place to campaign.