In it, but not of it. TPM DC

America's Nastiest Primary? GOP's Florida Gov Race Takes It To The Next Level

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Newscom

The tough words aren't just on the campaign trail. In an interview with Politico this month, McCollum called Scott's campaign "appalling" (that was right after the whole Scott-makes-money-from-abortions thing came to light).

Expect things to get nastier on Scott's side of things as more details about the Florida GOP's meltdown come to light. Scott has already tried to tie McCollum -- a longtime big-name figure in state Republican politics -- to the state party's woes, and he likely won't ignore the opportunity to do so again as the story returns to the front pages in Florida.

Why are things so hot and heavy in the race? Mainly because Scott has McCollum on the run. McCollum was marching toward his party's nomination in the August primary when Scott came in and rained millions in campaign cash all over McCollum's parade. Voters clearly weren't that excited about McCollum, because the TV ads Scott bought worked better than many people expected -- he's now officially the frontrunner in the contest after a June 8 Qunnipiac poll showed Scott leading McCollum 44-31.

Republicans would probably rather not have Scott -- who brings with him a ton of baggage -- as their nominee. But Scott seems to have caught fire with some voters down in Florida, and that means McCollum has to get scrappy to fight him off. Expect this race to stay nasty all the way to the finish line.