Politics & Policy

Meek: Jeff Greene’s Early Lead Woke Up Democrats

Democratic Senate candidate Kendrick Meek told supporters in Tallahassee on Saturday that the early polls which showed Jeff Greene ahead may ultimately help his cause. 

“The reason why we’re going to win is the fact that every paper in Florida said, ‘Oh, I don’t know if Kendrick’s going to win or not.’ Remember a few minutes ago they were, ‘Oh, he’s down ten points,’” Meek said. “Everything happens for a reason. And I’m glad it happened. Because Democrats woke up in this state.” 

In an interview after the event, Meek said his slow start was partially due to his opponent’s financial resources. 

“That poll was taken before we were up on air, and we were down by 10,” Meek said. “Democrats really started paying attention, saying, ‘How could this man that just registered as a Democrat lead in the polls?’ And he led in the polls because he spent over $10 million on television — we didn’t even take an ad out yet.”

Now, with two recent polls giving him the lead, Meek exudes confidence. 

“I feel very firm and positive on the two size-15 feet that I stand on that we’re going to win this primary with hard work,” he told supporters. 

Throughout his 11-day statewide bus tour, Meek has hammered Greene for running with the GOP in a 1982 congressional campaign, and repeated the message that he’s the only major candidate in the race who hasn’t run as a Republican. The campaign has named it’s touring RV, “The Real Dem Express.” 

Meek went even further to demonstrate his true-blue cred Saturday by rattling off the local address and phone number of the Florida Democratic Party, remembered from his time as a student in Tallahassee. 

“Check this out, now I’m gonna show off,” Meek joked. “You know how I can remember the Florida Democratic Party number? Because when I was a student at Florida A&M University, I was the president of Young Democrats, and I used to call constantly trying to get pizza money and everything else.” 

Meek’s broader point, consistent with his campaign message since he went on the warpath against Greene, is that he’s the real Democrat in the race. “When you can go to the Florida Democratic Party and make phone calls to help me get elected,” you know he’s the real Democrat, Meek said. 

He also urged supporters to take advantage of early voting opening on Aug. 9. 

“The more opportunities that working people and students have to vote, the more likelihood they will,” Meek said in an interview. “I’m going to lead by example on Monday by voting early.”

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