Dems hope this Mason-Dixon poll is an outlier:
A new poll in the Florida governor race shows discouraging news for Democratic candidate Jim Davis, the congressman from Tampa: a 15-point gap between himself and Republican Charlie Crist, the state's attorney general, and a relatively little-known name among Florida voters. "Crist leaves Davis behind in Florida poll" (The Mason-Dixon Polling & Research survey surveyed 625 likely voters in phone calls Sept. 20-22, with an error margin of 4 percentage points.) See also "Mason-Dixon Results In", "Crist holds 15-point lead, poll finds" and "Poll: Crist leading Davis by wide margin".
The poll shows Crist and his running mate, Jeff Kottkamp, leading Davis and running mate Daryl Jones by 51 percent to 36 percent, with 11 percent undecided and other candidates totaling 2 percent. ...
Republicans exulted over the new Mason-Dixon Polling & Research survey, done for the Tribune and other Florida news agencies.
Unfortunately for Davis, the "state Chamber of Commerce announced a poll Tuesday with results virtually identical to Mason-Dixon's: 51 percent for Crist, 37 percent for Davis and 12 percent undecided, with a 3-point error margin." "Crist Leads Davis By 15 Points, Poll Shows". See also "Poll: Crist 51, Davis 37".
"New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, chairman of the Democratic Governors Association ... insisted the party sees Florida as "do-able. 'We're going to make Florida a priority,' he said, according to McClatchy Newspapers's Steven Thomma. 'We've had it as a toss-up. We think its do-able.'" "Money for Davis?" See also "Seeing red in Florida's gubernatorial race".
It may be a little late for Davis, but "with its nominee for governor being battered by Republican Party TV ads, Florida Democratic Party Chair Karen Thurman told reporters today that her party's first ad is only days away." "A Democratic TV Ad Within a Week".
"In the rush to tell voters he will ease their pocketbook pain, Republican Charlie Crist has proposed a tax cut that faces strong opposition from his own party, is fraught with glitches, and could take years to achieve." "Crist for new tax break, Davis not". See also "Crist pledges property tax cut", "Hopefuls spar over property taxes" and "Crist proposes property-tax relief strategy".
The Black Vote
"There are few black Republicans — less than 1 percent of all Florida voters, according to state election records. So by necessity, Crist must either peel black Democrats away from Jim Davis, the Democratic nominee, or somehow persuade them to stay home on Election Day." "GOP sees opportunity to pick up black votes in race for governor".
Lawson On Board
"In the end, state Sen. Al Lawson's decision to endorse his party's ticket for governor came down to personal loyalty, differences in education policy and worries about big money pouring into the other party." "Lawson makes his choice for governor".
"On Tuesday, the two men appeared together for the first time since that debate Aug. 23. Their show of unity came three weeks after Davis won the primary and as news surfaced that a Mason-Dixon Polling & Research poll showed Davis trailing Republican nominee Charlie Crist by 15 points." "Davis, Smith Display Democrats' Unity". See also "Smith joins Davis, pledges his support", "Smith pledges full support for Davis campaign", "Old rivals Davis, Smith join forces", "Smith joins Davis on campaign trail", "Smith declares he's '100 percent' for Davis", "All Smiles in Gainesville" and "With party unity on line, Smith backs Davis '100%'".
Who Is Todd Wilder
Yesterday the Hiami Herald reported about the newly created Coalition for Bipartisan Progress:
The new committee could hurt Davis more than help Crist, who boasts a substantial fundraising edge. Last week, Crist picked up $1.2 million, while Davis collected $148,000."Some Democrats raising money for GOP candidate". See also "Some Rod Smith backers say they now support Crist".
The group is registered with the state as an "electioneering communications organization," or ECO, which can collect "soft" money not limited under state law. The ECO can run ads that promote Crist -- coordinated with his campaign -- or tear down Davis.
Crist supporters reached out to Smith's troops, including his political director, Todd Wilder, immediately after the election.
"They basically gave me a chance to stay in the game, because I couldn't support the other guy," said Wilder, a Democratic strategist and one of the pro-Crist committee's founders. "I think Charlie Crist is making a genuine attempt to reach out to Democrats."
"Citizens CEO Ricker resigns". See also "'Overworked' Citizens CEO to step down" and "Citizens' transition may hit bump in Legislature".
"Bill McCollum, a former congressman from the Orlando area who is running for state attorney general, agreed to speak to the Dade County Bar Association at a luncheon today along with Democratic rival Walter 'Skip' Campbell, but made it clear he wouldn't debate or take any questions." "McCollum won't debate before Dade Bar". In the meantime, "McCollum's ad angers opponent".
"In the chamber's poll [mentioned above], 47 percent of respondents said Florida was headed in the "wrong direction" and 39 percent said the 'right direction.' Nevertheless, Gov. Jeb Bush - whose name Crist continually invokes - remained popular, with a 63 percent approval rating." "Crist Leads Davis By 15 Points, Poll Shows".
Which brings us to this: "When Crist Says 'Stay the Course'". More on "staying the course" from Bob Butterworth:
Butterworth likes Crist, but he said the Republican risks defeat when he talks of staying the course on Gov. Jeb Bush's education policies like vouchers and the FCAT. "Charlie is going to have to get out of that, or he's going to lose this race," Butterworth said. "I think it's Charlie's race to lose.""For What It's (Butter) Worth".
"$10k gets you a photo with Charlie Crist".
Paper Ballots Ruling Appealed
"The state agency that oversees elections is appealing a Sarasota judge's decision to allow voters there to choose whether the county should have a voting system with a paper record in 2008." "Paper ballot question for Sarasota appealed". See also "Paper trail dust-up".
"Jeb Bush on Monday urged families to spend more time together at the dinner table, a small gesture that he said can make a big difference in combating drug and alcohol abuse." "Bush promotes family life".
"Dwindling federal support for the Everglades rescue mission is tipping the scales in favor of reserving water, the River of Grass’ lifeblood, for farms and urban developments, according to a landmark scientific report." "Report: Political climate threatens to doom Everglades restoration".
"The House District 52 race between Republican Angelo Cappelli and Democrat Bill Heller may be the most competitive in Florida, and the state GOP wants in. During the first two weeks of September, the party gave Cappelli $25,000, boosting his take during the reporting period to $65,500. The health care industry also gave big to Cappelli, a St. Petersburg native and bank trust adviser." "Cappelli gets major push from state GOP".
A Miami-Dade Thing
"Miami-Dade government just can't seem to shake the discomforting revelation of one County Hall scandal after another." "County scandals keep on going. . . and going".
"The Buzz has learned that Vice President Dick Cheney will be campaigning in Sarasota on Oct. 6 for Republican House candidate Vern Buchanan." "The VP is coming".
"Bush's dream? A world record".
Bushco Reacts to Chavez
"A state legislator [Rep. Adam Hasner] wants Citgo, Venezuela's government-owned oil company, kicked off Florida's Turnpike in retaliation for comments that county's leader made about President Bush at the United Nations last week. ... Hasner, R-Delray Beach, also sent a copy to the president's brother, Florida Gov. Jeb Bush." "Lawmaker angry with Chavez wants Citgo off Turnpike". See also "Gas Attack".
More From The "Values" Crowd
"DCF's shameful failure".
Yet Another Crist Ad
"The third Crist TV spot paid for by the Florida Republican Party is a variation of its previous ad, which also ridiculed Davis as a 'liberal Washington politician.'" "AD WATCH: Governor's Race". See also "Ad watch: Rising property taxes".
"DOT will buy 4,000 acres from St. Joe".
Harris Has The The South Asian Vote Locked Down
"A series of blog-site postings this month suggests someone is responding to negative comments about the Republican Senate candidate and refuting them with short blasts of pro-Harris material. The messages bear different e-mail addresses, but they share the same internet protocol address, the 11-digit string that identifies the computer or network creating the message. And that address seems to located in western India." "Katherine' Harris' secret pal?".