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Crist Campaign Soliciting Donations in Midst of Hurricane Mayhem

As Floridians deal with one of the most severe weather events in modern history, Charlie Crist goes on a begging frenzy.

TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA — Florida Standard readers are reporting a surge of emails from the Crist campaign, begging for donations.

At the same time, Florida has been ravaged by one of the most severe weather events in modern history. Public donations and support are needed for hurricane response – and one of the main ways to do so is to help the Florida Disaster Fund, established to assist Florida communities with response and recovery after emergencies. It’s administered by the Volunteer Florida foundation.

But Charlie Crist and his team have apparently decided to compete with hurricane disaster relief efforts over Floridians’ hard-earned money, and it looks like the begging frenzy has grown increasingly aggressive. One reader reports receiving 11 emails from the Crist campaign since Ian made landfall on Wednesday. Some of the messages have a desperate tone:

“Have you given up on me, friend? My staff tells me that they’ve reached out multiple times because we’re not on track to meet our FINAL end-of-quarter goal of the election. But with just hours until our deadline, not enough people have answered the call, so we’re still falling short,” one email reads.

On Thursday, the Crist campaign sent an email announcing a $200,000 fundraising goal for Friday at midnight. It is apparently vital for Crist to reach this “benchmark” and the reader is informed that time is running out. The funds must come in before Saturday:

“When Gov. DeSantis looks at Florida, all he sees is a stepping stone to the White House. And to be blunt, beating him won’t be easy — it will take a huge statewide movement. In fact, a political science expert recently sounded the alarm in The Tampa Bay Times, saying this election ‘will test whether Florida remains a purple state.’ That’s why we’re coming to you. Can you take this opportunity to give? At this time on Saturday, it will be too late to help us hit this critical benchmark. We're counting on you, team,” the email states.

Another email – this one from today – contains more optimism from the Crist campaign, and references to “the latest poll:”

“Friend, We couldn’t believe our eyes when we saw this latest poll:

Charlie Crist: 53%

Ron DeSantis: 47%

Now, this is unequivocal good news, but don’t think for one second that Gov. DeSantis and his army of far-right, billionaire donors will go quietly. No way. Instead, they’ll double down on blanketing the Internet and the airwaves with attack ads. So we need to ask: Will you help us hold the line by pitching in to Charlie’s FINAL end-of-quarter goal? Deadline: TONIGHT @ 11:59 p.m.”

But there are no references or links in the email to the poll in question. Research by The Florida Standard indicates that the claims for such a surprising flip in the governor’s race – which goes counter to the majority of recent polls – may stem from a recent Newsweek article.

In the story, an individual named Greg Fink of a polling company called The Listener Group claims that Crist leads DeSantis in a “recent poll.” But a visit to their website shows no evidence of any recent poll or numbers indicating that DeSantis is trailing Crist by six points. The company’s latest update is from August 23. The Florida Standard has not been able to locate or verify the supposed poll or any supporting data.

The Crist campaign has not responded to our request for comment.