Florida and the Politics of Hurricane Michael

The Story:

In the midst of a tightly contested race in Florida for Senator, pitting the term-limited Governor against the incumbent Senator, Hurricane Michael slammed into the state’s panhandle on Wednesday, October 10.

Television Time:

One typical consequence of a weather crisis on a State is that the State’s Governor gets a lot of radio and broadcast time during and in the wake of the Act of God. This time is not of course spent overtly politicking; it is spent making official announcements, informing the public about available assistance, etc. Still, it puts the Governor’s voice and face ‘out there’ in a positive take-charge way.

Michael hit Florida as Governor Rick Scott (R) was running neck-and-neck in polls against  incumbent US Senator Bill Nelson (D).

The Thing to Know:

It is very likely Scott will get a significant upward bump in the polls from this exposure. It plays to his strength — he is seen as a strong leader who has reacted to the other storm crises in his tenure. Even before Michael showed up on radar, Scott had a television ad running making just that point.


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