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Rep. Charlie Crist
Rep. Charlie Crist speaks to the media before voting in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Aug. 23, 2022.Chris O'Meara / AP

Here's how the Florida Democratic candidates are making the sale on the airwaves

Former governor and current Rep. Charlie Crist holds the ad-spending edge over Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried.


Democratic voters in Florida head to the polls Tuesday to decide who they want to nominate to take on Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis in the fall. And the two candidates jockeying for that mantle have employed two different advertising strategies to that end.

Former governor and current Democratic Rep. Charlie Crist has outraised Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried throughout the campaign, an edge he's employed to build a significant lead in advertising spending through primary day, per AdImpact.

Crist has spent about $5 million on ads between his campaign and political committee, compared to about $2.8 million in ad spending from Fried. The former governor's two groups spent almost $1.9 million on ads in the race's final week, compared to $1.2 million by Fried's.

The strategies the two campaigns are employing on the airwaves match the rhetoric they've used on the trail — Fried looking to energize the base on issues like abortion rights and hitting Crist on his Republican past, and Crist framing himself as the consensus choice that's the party's best chance to topple DeSantis.

Fried's most-aired ads (per what's tracked by AdImpact) include spots that frame her as a chance for Democrats to buck the past by giving the state a chance to elect its first female governor, leaning on issues like protecting abortion access and criticizing Crist for his time as a Republican.

Crist on the other hand has focused significantly on DeSantis, criticized Fried's lobbying career and pushed back on the criticism on abortion access by pointing to his congressional career.