How Fangate Hurt Rick Scott & The Man Who Killed Medical Marijuana

    A new poll by Gravis Marketing shows that “Fangate” changed voters opinions of Rick Scott, Paul Ryan & Jeb Bush edging out Marco Rubio against Hillary Clinton in 2016, and Medical Marijuana garnering just 50% support.


    By Jacob Engels


    A poll conducted after the final gubernatorial debate on October 21st shows Rick Scott & Charlie Crist still in a damn close race with less than 10 days before voters have a final chance to vote. The poll surveyed 861 likely Florida voters, with 37% being Democrats, 36% being Republicans and 27% being Independents.


    While “Fangate” has garnered worldwide attention, polls following Rick Scott’s awkward temper-tantrum have not yet addressed the the fan issue – with this Gravis poll being the first to do so. 37% were unsure when asked if the debacle changed their views on either candidate, while 33% said it changed their opinion on Charlie Crist and the remaining 30% saying it changed their perception on Rick Scott. At first glance, these numbers seem to suggest that “Fangate” had more of an effect on Charlie Crist then it did Rick Scott.


    However, 44% of respondents said they would vote for Charlie Crist if the election were held today, with 42% saying they would cast their vote for Scott and 14% undecided. These numbers show Crist coming from 42% support in a Gravis poll released on October 13th to 44% support and Rick Scott lagging by 2-points now. These numbers, like almost every other poll in the Governor’s race put the candidates within the margin of error, but it’s important to note that Crist gained a net total of 4% points post “Fangate”. But the “Fangate” effects realized in this poll might be overshadowed by the decline in support for Amendment 2, which aims to legalize medical marijuana in Florida.


    Months ago in February, Gravis Marketing head Doug Kaplan conducted a poll on the issue and the Miami Herald crowed that the poll laid out the road map for opposition messaging against Amendment 2.


    “There are no standards for caregivers and the language would permit drug addicts, drug dealers or felons to assist in smoking pot,” one Gravis question asks. “Knowing this, would you vote Yes or No on the amendment?”


    In response, only 25 percent said yes and 67 percent said no. That’s a net shift of 68 percentage points against the amendment. Another question about kids getting marijuana without their parents’ knowledge or permission polled in a similarly poor fashion.


    At the time Kaplan tested this messaging, strong opposition to Amendment 2 was not visible and grossly unorganized. Some doctors and law enforcement groups were opposed, but they had not yet found their footing or funding to take on the millions that liberal trial lawyer John Morgan was pumping into the measure. Then, on the heels of the Febraury poll Amendment 2 opponents received several rounds of checks from Las Vegas casino magnate Sheldon Adelson totaling over $4 million.


    The anti-medical marijuana crowd was suddenly flush with cash and started releasing websites, TV ads, radio spots, and an aggressive PR campaign. Their messaging? A word for word and letter by letter match to the questions Doug Kaplan tested through his polling firm. Caregivers could be felons or drug dealers, and kids will have access to pot cookies and sweets. Support for medical marijuana started plummeting from 80%, to 70%, to 60%.


    Now, Gravis Marketing’s latest poll shows support for the amendment at an all-time low, with only 50% of voters saying they will vote for it. 42% of likely voters said they are against the legislation and 8% are undecided. It needs 60% to pass and it seems less likely that it will as we get closer to November 4th. If Amendment 2 fails, Doug Kaplan should be credited with slaying the baby of liberal behemoth John Morgan.


    The campaign against medical marijuana will have won by right of conquest, but they should remember that Kaplan is the one who provided them with the path to victory.


    On to Barack Obama’s approval rating and what the 2016 field looks like. 38% approved of the President’s job performance while 53% dissaproved, slightly better numbers than the results from the Gravis mid-October poll. Jeb Bush & Paul Ryan are the ones strongest enough to carry the Republican banner in 2016 against Hillary Clinton according to the poll’s results. Bush actually improved his mid-October numbers which showed him down 37% to 36% with the rest undecided. He is now up 46% to Clinton’s 45% with just 8% undecided. Former GOP Vice Presidential nominee and Congressman Paul Ryan also fared well against the former Secretary of State. Clinton claimed 46% of the vote to Ryan’s 44% with 10% undecided.


    Finally, Florida U.S. Senator Marco Rubio saw his number improve slightly from the last poll, but was found yet again to be the weakest against HRC. Rubio received 39% to Clinton’s 44%, with 15% undecided. The poll was conducted by Gravis Marketing and the full results can be seen by clicking here. Gravis Marketing founder Doug Kaplan told us that he plans on releasing at least 1 more poll before election day.



    Jacob Engels, is the Founder of East Orlando Post & Seminole County Post. He is a seasoned political operative who has led numerous statewide political groups and has worked on several high-profile local, statewide, and national races. Jacob has been interviewed on national television & radio programs, with his work having been featured in the Orlando Sentinel, New York Times, Washington Post, Miami Herald and other publications nationwide. He can be reached at