TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Nikki Fired rolled into the first stop of her "Something New" bus tour, Tuesday evening ready to deliver a "closing argument" to voters ahead of next week's primary.
But right from the get-go, the target was Gov. Ron DeSantis; not her immediate opponent Charlie Crist.
"We will make Ron DeSantis a one term-governor and a zero-term president," Fried said at the rally.
In her 12-minute speech, Fried railed against the governor at least 12 times; saying he's demonizing LGBTQ youth, has done little to ease sky-high housing costs and blaming DeSantis for Florida's crumbling insurance market.
"Ron may have a Harvard and Yale degree, but what he's doing isn't smart at all. In fact, it's dangerous," Fried said.
Fried's takeaway message — she's the only one who can beat the popular incumbent as the sole Democrat to win Florida since 2012.
"She's off," Crist said.
But Fried has got to get through Crist, first.
The presumptive primary frontrunner brushed off a new University of North Florida poll that had him trailing Fried by four, Tuesday.
He's amassed more money, more endorsements, and is already well into planning for the coming months.
"Look, she's down in almost every poll. She's desperate and she's flailing about trying to resurrect herself," Crist said.
Voters will make the final decision on the 23rd, but Crist thinks many already have — citing internal polling showing a 10-point lead over Fried and 17-points among those who already voted.