"Florida Gov. Charlie Crist defends his changing positions on issues by saying as a former college quarterback he knows how to call an audible. By the end of Sunday's debate with his opponents for U.S. Senate, it looked like he was throwing a Hail Mary."
The debate spun out of control near the end as independent Crist and Republican Marco Rubio rapidly talked over each other."Crist, Meek gang up on Rubio in Fla. Senate debate".
See also "Crist hammers Rubio in debate", "U.S. Senate candidates Charlie Crist, Kendrick Meek, Marco Rubio spar in CNN debate", "Senate Candidates Tackle Issues, Each Other on CNN", "Who won?", "Florida Senate debate serves up zingers, issues" and "Watch replay".
Related: "Rubio has big lead", and "See poll questions, analysis of results". More: "TCPalm.com/Zogby poll: Rubio pulling away from Crist, Meek".
The Saint Petersburg Times editorial board: "Meek and Crist are correct: Rubio embraces an inflexible ideology, not practical solutions. The Republican leaves no room for compromise or consensus — and that is what is wrong with Washington." "Candidates' rigid ideology".
Is Florida or California the dumbest state?
Carl Hiassen: "If Scott wins, it will surely reignite the debate over whether Florida or California is the dumbest state in the union. ... At every appearance, Scott grandly pledges to single-handedly slash property taxes, create 700,000 new jobs and shrink state government. And right after that, he’ll climb into a great big balloon and fly Dorothy and Toto back to Kansas." "Scott is either incompetent or a lying crook".
"Locked in a close, contentious race for Florida governor, Rick Scott and Alex Sink are set to face off in one more debate before next week's election. The CNN debate Monday night at the University of South Florida in Tampa is critical for Republican nominee Scott and Democrat Sink as they try to woo still-undecided voters." "Fla. gubernatorial hopefuls debate for last time".
Dems after Thrasher
"Florida legislators rarely lose re-election, but the Democrats have one powerful Republican they hope to defeat: Sen. John Thrasher, who doubles as state GOP chairman. While the overwhelming majority of Florida senators and state representatives from both parties have weak or no opposition in the Nov. 2 election, the Democrats believe that former TV anchorwoman Deborah Gianoulis could beat Thrasher, even though the Republicans hold a 60-40 registration edge in District 8." "GOP leader faces tough Senate race in Jacksonville".
Amendments going down
"If Florida voters seem eager to throw incumbents out of office this year, they appear even more likely to vote down state constitutional amendments." "Proposals to loosen Florida's class size caps, to limit the Legislature's power to protect lawmakers' seats and to put some building and development questions on local ballots all appear headed toward defeat, according to a new St. Petersburg Times/Miami Herald/Bay News 9 poll." "Voters not backing proposed amendments, Times/Herald Bay News 9 poll shows".
"There are indications – mostly anecdotal, not hard evidence -- that some Democrats and liberal independents may be holding up their decisions in the Senate race. The Crist and Meek campaigns each hope that will lead to a large shift to their candidate as Election Day nears."
But whether enough would switch from Meek to Crist -- or from Crist to Meek – to defeat Rubio is highly speculative, and not very likely, said some political experts."Some Democrats thinking strategically on Senate vote".
Without a major shift, polling numbers appear to show Rubio in a near-invincible position.
Meek has "crucial role" in Guv race
"In Florida's three-way race for the U.S. Senate, Congressman Kendrick Meek is stuck in third, 20 points behind frontrunner Marco Rubio and facing almost certain defeat. But his role in the 2010 mid-term election is still significant."
Meek, an African-American from Miami, will play a crucial role in getting out the state's black voters. And that, in turn, could determine who wins Florida's governor's race: Democrat Alex Sink or Republican Rick Scott."Democrats' chances with Alex Sink may ride on black voters turning out to support Kendrick Meek".
Sink stands to gain if African-American voters turn out in big numbers, as they did during the 2008 election. Scott, whose black support is in single digits according to the most recent Mason-Dixon poll, benefits if they stay home.
"No matter what happens with his race, he's [Meek] important for the rest of the ticket," said Florida State University professor Lance deHaven-Smith. "If Alex Sink wins, he may be the key to her victory."
Mack going after Nelson?
"While he may have a famous name, U.S. Rep. Connie Mack, R-Fla. is still unknown to many Floridians -- but he is looking to change that with his strong stance on foreign policy issues, leading some to wonder if he is gunning for the U.S. Senate in 2012." "Connie Mack Raises Profile, Follows His Rising Star".
"At stake is the seat of Sen. Dave Aronberg, D-Greenacres, who abandoned the seat to make a failed bid for the Democratic Florida attorney general nomination. The seat is important because it could decide whether the Republicans can attain a veto-proof majority in the Senate. The GOP currently has a 26-14 advantage over Democrats in the Senate, just under the two-thirds majority needed to override gubernatorial vetoes." "Big Bucks in Liz Benacquisto, Kevin Rader SD 27 Fight".
"So much for Florida"
Fred Grimm: "Not only did that giant horrible plume of oil seem to disperse in the Gulf, it disappeared from politics."
The new right-wing activists, poised to chase Democrats out of their majority positions in Congress, regard talk of global warming as biblical heresy. As former House Majority Leader Dick Armey, reincarnated as a tea party intellectual, put it, "The Lord God Almighty made the heavens and the Earth to his satisfaction. It is quite pretentious of we little weaklings here on earth to think that we are going to destroy God's creation.''"So much for the oil spill's impact".
A New York Times/CBS poll this month found only 14 percent of the tea partiers called global warming an imminent problem. More than half doubted that global warming posed a future problem.
After Nov. 2, the new political establishment will ignore all those secular worries about melting polar caps, massive wildfires, dust storms, ocean dead zones and a rising sea that could inundate much of the Florida peninsula.
So much for worries about preventing future deep-water spills. So much for carbon-cutting measures that might slow global warming. If climate scientists are right about rising sea levels, and the tea partiers are wrong, so much for Florida.
Dyer endorses Cannon
Nancy Smith: "Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer and former Miami Mayor Maurice Ferre, both Democrats, showed rare courage among today's career politicians, breaking ranks with their party last week to support Republicans they believe will be better for Florida than the Democratic nominees. ... As loyal a Democrat as he is, Dyer nevertheless feels a kinship toward Cannon, who helped get SunRail – his pet transportation project – passed in the House. It nevertheless took a lot of guts for him to bite the hand that feeds him." "Buddy Dyer, Maurice Ferre, Heroes; Susan Bucher from Hanging Chad Heaven, Zero".
Sink, Scott saturate air waves
"Candidates for governor combined to spend more than $5 million in their respective bids last week as they saturated the air waves and amped up efforts to finish strongly in a race set to end in less than two weeks, the state Division of Elections reported on Friday." "Scott/Sink Spent $5 Million Week Ending Oct. 15".
"Dan Gelber says attack mailer is insulting and inaccurate".
"Metaphor for all things liberal"
"Barack Obama was a symbol of hope and change only two years ago. Now he's being used as a "metaphor for all things liberal" in the Florida governor's race, Democratic lieutenant governor candidate Rod Smith says." "Rod Smith says Rick Scott is using Obama to paint the Democratic ticket as liberal".
"The race for Florida House District 36 can be read as an exact replica of how Republicans would like to see elections all over the country fall: a political newcomer takes on a two-term incumbent in a Democratic district and rides a Republican wave to an upset." "Political Newcomer Greg Reynolds Guns for Incumbent Dem Scott Randolph in HD 36".
Wingnuts in a dither
"End of Florida's gay adoption ban increases pool of prospective parents".
The Orlando Sentinel editorial board: "Florida elects its county and circuit judges, a process state voters reaffirmed a decade ago. But that process, as a recent controversy shows, creates conflicts that might erode public confidence in a fair, impartial and independent judicial system." "Florida should switch from electing to appointing trial judges".
Bondi, Gelber "disagree on just about everything"
"In the cozy confines of a cable TV studio, Pam Bondi and Dan Gelber exchanged light banter, but when the lights went on the tone changed dramatically. So it goes for the candidates for Florida attorney general, who disagree on just about everything from President Obama's healthcare plan to restoring civil rights for former felons." "Two ex-prosecutors differ on philosophy, priorities".
Biden in the house
"Vice President Joe Biden and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano are speaking to law enforcement officials at a conference in Orlando." "Biden, Napolitano to speak at Orlando conference".