David Jolly Archives - Page 7 of 62 - Florida Politics

Shock poll in Congressional District 13: Charlie Crist 54%, David Jolly 36%

A shocking new poll in Florida’s 13th Congressional District gives Democrat Charlie Crist an 18-point lead over GOP incumbent David Jolly.

The Public Opinion Research Laboratory at the University of North Florida puts the race at 54 to 36 percent. Nine percent of CD 13 voters are undecided, and one percent support another candidate.

The 18-point gap is by far the largest of any poll conducted in what is considered to be one of the most competitive congressional races in the country, though the redistricting of CD 13 prompted Jolly himself to quip that no Republican could possibly win it.

“This relatively large lead for Crist is due, in part, to name recognition, and I think this will play out in other races as well. Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have dominated the media, making it a struggle in this environment for candidates without highly recognized names,” said Dr. Michael Binder, faculty director of the Public Opinion Research Laboratory.

The poll of 611 likely voters in the Pinellas County district was conducted Oct. 9-11.

“Another advantage for Crist is that he is faring well across party lines and, perhaps because he was once a Republican, he’s getting 22 percent of Republican support,” Binder continued. “Even though Crist is doing quite well with African-American (87 percent) and Hispanic (72 percent) voters, this district is predominately white, and he is winning there too with 47 percent, compared with 42 percent for Jolly.”

The poll also shows a strong gender gap in the contest. Crist leads Jolly by nine points among men, but has a stunning 24 percent lead with women, 56 percent to 32 percent.

Jolly acknowledged when he re-entered the race in June it would not be an easy task to win the newly configured seat, saying, “we might have the most challenging race for a Republican in the country, in a very expensive media market, against a very well-qualified candidate in Charlie Crist, who has shown that he can win races. So I am not naive with the challenge we are undertaking.”

Most of the polls in the contest have shown the margin to be relatively close. A St. Pete Polls survey released Tuesday showed Crist leading Jolly by five points, 48 to 43 percent. A DCCC-sanctioned poll released last week that was quickly dismissed by the Jolly campaign had Crist up by 11 points, 50 to 39 percent.

One possible consideration for Jolly losing support could be from Republicans unhappy that he ISN’T endorsing Trump. Although a number of Republicans have backed away from their presidential nominee in the wake of the lewd comments he made in a newly surfaced videotape last week, many others are standing by him, in some cases so they don’t lose the support of the rank-and-file Republican voter. Jolly has never endorsed Trump, and at times has been quite critical of him. His campaign team Wednesday called on local television stations to stop airing a DCCC-produced ad that featured Jolly and Trump together.

The poll has a margin of error of four percentage points. The breakdown of responses was 28 percent on landline phones to 72 percent on cellphones.

Mitch Perry Report for 10.13.15 — Hillsborough Dems in denial about the Joe Redner factor in SD 18 race?

A St. Pete Polls survey released this morning shows Republican Dana Young with a six-point lead over her Democratic challenger, Bob Buesing, 38 percent to 32 percent. Independent candidate Joe Redner is in third place with 16 percent. Sheldon Upthegrove is at 3 percent, and 11 percent are undecided.

A survey taken earlier this summer showed Young and Buesing essentially tied, but that poll did not ask voters about Redner.

Although Redner has run many times for office, he’s actually putting some of his considerable financial resources into this campaign and, with his already well-established name recognition in Hillsborough County, is a definite factor in this race.

The adult club impresario and social activist dismisses any notion of dropping out of the contest to make way for Buesing, who he’s certainly in much more in agreement with on the issues than Young. Redner says he’s the best candidate in the race, so why should he get out?

As mentioned above, he’s also much better known than Buesing at this point. When asked earlier in the campaign about his relatively low name recognition considering he’s never previously run for office, Buesing countered that internal polling showed Young actually wasn’t that well known in Senate District 18 either. But Redner could very well be better known than either candidate. That doesn’t mean he’s going to win (this poll shows he’s not), but it does mean he’s having a serious effect on the ultimate outcome.

Democrats — including Buesing himself — say they’re not concerned Redner will take votes that might otherwise have gone to the Democratic nominee, insisting “Donald Trump Republicans” will back him. The polling shows Redner does garner GOP support. Just not as much as he does from Democrats.

The survey finds Redner gets 19 percent support from Democrats, 14 percent from independents and 14 percent from Republicans.

Young is getting more support from her Republican base than Buesing is from his Democratic base. The survey shows 58 percent of Republicans are backing Young, while 49 percent of Democrats are backing Buesing.

It certainly is relevant to note that St. Pete Polls does not poll cellphone users. However, before you write this survey off as out of touch with contemporary voters, you should note that it polled fairly accurately in several of the August primary elections.

In other news …

Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn is calling on Republicans to drop their support for Donald Trump and get on the Hillary Clinton campaign. 

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is using doctored photos to suggest David Jolly and Donald Trump are allies in a new ad, the Jolly campaign said Wednesday, and they wrote to local television stations, asking them to stop airing the ad.

Patrick Murphy says he’s now ready to debate Marco Rubio on Univision affiliates later this month.

A new report says Hillsborough and Pinellas Counties are two of the most eager state attorney’s offices in the nation in having their prosecutors ask for the death penalty.

HD 63 Democratic candidate Lisa Montelione is so busy helping constituents, she didn’t have time to appear in her first TV ad of the election cycle.

David Jolly campaign calls on TV stations to pull new DCCC ad linking him to Donald Trump

The David Jolly campaign is crying foul over a new ad produced by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) that links the Pinellas County Republican with Donald Trump. The Jolly camp calls it a “fake and deceptive television ad,” because it uses photoshopped photos of Jolly posed next to Trump. The Jolly camp says there are no actual photos between the two men because they have never met each other.

“This ad is a new low, even for the DCCC and Charlie Crist,” said Sarah Bascom, spokesperson for the Jolly for Congress campaign. Jolly is running against Crist in what has become an increasingly bitter battle for the 13th Congressional District seat, held for over 40 years by Republican Bill Young until Jolly won a special election to replace him in early 2014.

“This ad not only falsely attempts to link David Jolly to Donald Trump, even though he has publicly said he does not support a Trump candidacy, but it also has multiple photoshopped pictures of David Jolly throughout the ad,” Bascom says. “David Jolly has never met or spoken to Donald Trump, which is evidenced by the fact that they had to doctor up fake images because no picture of them together actually exists.”

Since Trump’s emergence in the presidential race more than a year ago, Jolly has mostly been critical of his candidacy, and has decidedly not endorsed him for the Nov. 8 election.

Adding to the anger of the Jolly camp: they say Crist is the actual candidate in the race who has a background with Trump.

“In fact, this ad would be more accurate if they used a picture of Charlie Crist with Donald Trump, which there are many resulting from the long relationship Charlie has with Mr. Trump,” said Bascom. “Mr. Trump has donated to Charlie Crist and has supported Charlie Crist in past campaigns, which actually leads to the next question. Why hasn’t Charlie Crist denounced Mr. Trump for the comments he has made towards women in the recent interview tape, or publicly denounced any comments Mr. Trump has made?

“Is it because he is secretly supporting Donald Trump and does not want to speak ill of his ‘backup’ candidate for president? Or could it be that Charlie is secretly playing both sides in the presidential election? Or is it because the person that is actually in those pictures with Donald Trump is Charlie Crist?”

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

The Jolly team also is calling on local television stations in the Tampa Bay market to stop airing the ad, contending that images in the ad are “patently false.”

“As you are aware, the ad is not being paid for, authorized by, nor offered by a candidate,” writes Tallahassee-based attorney Roger N. Beaubien to Kelly Lastra, national sales manager with WFLA-TV and WTTA Great 38. “Therefore, the advertisement is not protected political speech by a candidate as contemplated by the Federal Communications Commission.”

“Please be advised should you refuse to withdraw the advertisement from on-air play as of the date of the receipt of this notice, we are prepared to pursue all legal remedies against your station for the continued airing of the deceptive and misleading ad,” Beaubien adds.

The CD 13 race is distinct in that it is one of the few — if not the only — race in the country where a Republican is questioning a Democrat about their association with Trump. Although Trump has given campaign contributions to politicians from both major parties over the years, Crist received donations from Trump while he was a registered Republican, an affiliation he changed in 2010 before becoming a Democrat in 2012.

“Once again, we call on Charlie Crist to denounce the comments made by Donald Trump, and now we call on him to denounce this fake and deceptive television ad produced by his friends in the Democratic national establishment,” said Bascom. “If Charlie Crist truly is a ‘man of the people,’ like he claims, then he too should call for the removal of an ad that knowingly and intentionally lies to the people of Pinellas County.”

The DCCC is not backing down, however.

“David Jolly can’t take issue with the facts that he, like Donald Trump, would outlaw women’s right to choose and defund Planned Parenthood, so instead he is trying to keep voters from hearing about his record,” said DCCC spokesman Jermaine House.

“The truth hurts, and no matter how hard Jolly tries to keep voters from hearing it, they will know exactly how similar Jolly is to Trump when they walk into the voting booth.”

And late on Wednesday afternoon, attorneys with the DCCC wrote to those same TV stations about the request by Jolly to take down the ad.

Attorneys Daniel B. Nudelman and Aria C. Branch with the Washington based law firm of Perkins Coie write that, “Notably, the letter does not challenge any of the content of the advertisement. Rather, its only argument is that the advertisement contains photo-shopped images depicting Representative Jolly with Donald Trump. But as the letter acknowledges, each of these images is accompanied by an on-screen written disclaimer that reads “DRAMATIZATION.” It is clear from both the context of the ad and the accompanying disclaimer that the images are not real, but are used to depict what the future might look like if voters support Representative Jolly’s candidacy. There is no risk of confusion on this point. The images simply contribute to the advertisement’s central message that Representative Jolly and Donald Trump share the same dangerous positions on important issues and that if Mr. Trump is elected president and Representative Jolly is reelected to his seat in Congress, he will support Mr. Trump’s agenda on these issues. This advertisement is accurate in every respect, raises critical public policy issues, and should continue to air.”

More outside money spent in Florida congressional races than in any other state

Florida might have only four truly competitive congressional races this fall but outside groups are spending big in them – more than in any other state.

Groups such as the  National Republican Congressional Committee and the Democrats’ House Majority Fund have poured millions of dollars into Florida’s Congressional Districts 7, 13, 18 and 26 since the Aug. 30 primary and throughTuesday, according to the latest data available from the Federal Election Commission.

Overall such groups have spent $11 million since the primary, almost all on those four districts. Outside groups also spent millions of dollars on primary races before Aug. 30, and for the cycle they’ve spent a total of $17.8 million so far in Florida, through Tuesday. The state with the next highest amount of spending in congressional races including primaries, New York, has seen $12.4 million; in third-highest Nevada it’s $11.3 million, and in fourth-highest Minnesota it’s $9.7 million.

In Florida’s CD 7, featuring Republican, incumbent U.S. Rep. John Mica facing Democratic challenger Stephanie Murphy for the Seminole-Orange counties district, it’s all been for Murphy and against Mica. Outside groups have spent $1.1 million so far supporting Murphy and another $441,000 opposing Mica.

In CD 13, with Republican, incumbent, U.S. Rep. David Jolly facing Democratic challenger Charlie Crist in the Pinellas County district Crist is getting almost all the outside help. Groups have spent $1.5 million opposing Jolly and another $62,000 supporting Crist; while others have spent $155,000 opposing Crist.

In CD 18, where Republican Brian Mast and Democrat Randy Perkins are battling over outgoing Democratic U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy‘s Treasure Coast district, Mast is the big beneficiary. Groups have spent $3 million opposing Perkins and $463,000 supporting Mast.

And in CD 26, where Republican U.S. Rep. Carlos Curbelo faces Democrat Joe Garcia, the money is flowing to help both candidates in the Monroe-Miami-Dade counties district. So far, $1.6 million has been spent opposing Garcia and $302,000 supporting Curbelo; while $1.5 million has been spent opposing Curbelo and $681,000 supporting Garcia.

More is likely coming, if the races remain competitive. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, for example, pledged it would spend up to $3 million to support Stephanie Murphy and oppose John Mica, but so far has spent only $535,000 in CD 7.

The NRCC so far is the biggest spender, having dropped $3.3 million, evenly split between CD 18, for Mast; and CD 26, for Curbel0.

The House Majority PAC has spent $2.6 million in Florida this fall, mostly in CD 13 for Crist; with a good chunk going into CD 7, for Stephanie Murphy; and a small amount in CD 26, for Garcia.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee also has spent $2.5 million in Florida, with three-quarters of it going into CD 26, to help Garcia; and the rest going to CD 7, for Murphy.

And the Congressional Leadership Fund has spent $1.8 million in Florida so far, all of it in CD 18, to help Mast.

So far $4.8 million has been spent opposing Democrats and $776,000 supporting Republicans; while $3.6 million has been spent opposing Republicans, and $1.8 million supporting Democrats.

Sixteen outside groups have weighed in on Florida’s congressional campaigns this fall ranging from the Immigrant Voters Win PAC to the National Association of Realtors Congressional Fund. But after the four big, partisan, congressional committees, none of the others has spent more than $155,000.

Charlie Crist regains polling advantage over David Jolly in CD 13, now leads by five points

His commercials omnipresent on Tampa Bay televisions, Charlie Crist has taken back the lead from David Jolly in the race for Florida’s 13th Congressional District.

According to a fresh survey from St. Pete Polls, the former governor now leads the incumbent congressman 48 to 43 percent with a healthy 9 percent of CD 13 voters undecided.

A poll conducted three weeks ago by the same firm had Jolly up three points over Crist.

This swing may be both easy and complicated to explain. The easy answer for Crist’s eight-point move is that he and his allies at House Majority PAC have turned on the spigot and are inundating the Pinellas County district with positive ads about Crist and negative spots about Jolly. Crist holds a significant fundraising advantage over Jolly, while at the same time national Republicans have been hesitant to invest in a seat they believe is difficult to win and in a candidate with whom it has had a rocky relationship.

The more nuanced explanation for Crist’s new advantage is that some voters’ perception of Jolly may have changed. With little money to air attack ads against Crist, Jolly has had to take the gloves off against the Republican-turned-Independent-turned-Democrat. Jolly took a harder edge against Crist in a televised debate and has been relentlessly critical of Crist, despite a commitment he made at his announcement event in June to avoid discussing his opponent.

“I have expressed my opinions about his candidacy, and I don’t intend to reference it anymore between now and November,” Jolly said at the time. “Part of my promise to change the tone is hopefully you all won’t hear me utter another candidate’s name between now and November.”

The latest polling suggests Jolly’s new direction is costing him with voters. In September, CD 13 voters held a +28 favorable opinion of Jolly. This new poll shows Jolly with a -2 favorable rating. Crist’s favorability rating remain a mixed bag at +6, although that is an improvement from the previous poll’s -2 rating.

Of course, there is a third explanation for this poll showing Crist leading Jolly by four points. That’s also about the same margin by which the top of the ballot is being decided.

Voters in the swing-y CD 13 narrowly support Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump for president. In a four-way match-up that also includes Libertarian Party nominee Gary Johnson and the Green Party’s Jill Stein, Clinton leads Trump 47 to 43 percent.

The poll has a sample size of 1,280 respondents and has a 2.7 percent margin of error.

Crist, an attorney who was Florida’s governor from 2007 to 2011, was cited as a possible VP pick for John McCain in 2008. He ran for U.S. Senate as a Republican in 2010 but lost to Marco Rubio in the primary. Crist then switched parties, ran in the general as an independent and lost. He then switched parties again, becoming a Democrat, and ran unsuccessfully for governor against Rick Scott in 2014.

Jolly, 43, who has been in office only two years, earlier had announced he would run for U.S. Senate. But when Rubio dropped out of the presidential race and said he would run for re-election, Jolly got out of the race.

Mitch Perry Report for 10.11.12 — Bill Clinton comes back to Tampa Bay

Bill Clinton comes to Pinellas County tonight, after two earlier scheduled events in Palm Beach County and Fort Myers, and the question is: will he make news?

The 42nd president of the United States got himself and his wife’s campaign into all types of hot water when he “blasted” the Affordable Care Act last week, though a closer look at his words show his stance isn’t radically different than what Hillary Clinton has been saying on the stump — though certainly not as bluntly.

“The current system works fine if you’re eligible for Medicaid, if you’re a lower-income working person, if you’re already on Medicare, or if you get enough subsidies on a modest income that you can afford your healthcare,” he said. “But the people that are getting killed in this deal are small-business people and individuals who make just a little too much to get any of these subsidies. Why? Because they’re not organized, they don’t have any bargaining power with insurance companies, and they’re getting whacked. So you’ve got this crazy system where all of a sudden, 25 million more people have healthcare and then the people that are out there busting it — sometimes 60 hours a week — wind up with their premiums doubled and their coverage cut in half. It’s the craziest thing in the world.”

The fact of the matter is, there ARE problems with the ACA, and only the most partisan Democrat could say otherwise.

The argument about how to fix it has been stuck in such partisanship, since House Republicans have insisted for years there is no way to fix the situation, but instead it should be repealed outright. That couldn’t happen under a President Obama (or President Clinton), but what about under a President Trump?

In The Atlantic last week, reporter Julie Rovner listed a series of actions Trump could do to undermine the law, though he could not on his own outright repeal it.

A new Trump administration “really could collapse the federal exchange marketplace and the state exchanges if they end cost-sharing” payments to insurers, said Sara Rosenbaum, a professor of law and health policy at George Washington University in Washington D.C. Another way to undermine the law would be to not enforce its various provisions, especially the individual mandate.

Of course, it’s not looking good on the Trump train four weeks out, but the question is: if the Republicans still control one of the two branches of Congress, would they be willing to work with the Democrats in agreeing on some corrections? The American economy is at stake in this discussion, but in this fact-free political debate this fall, it’s rarely being talked about.

Maybe Bill Clinton did do everybody a favor, after all, in getting Democrats to more publicly admit the law needs fixes. But it takes two parties to make anything happen in Washington, and that hasn’t been happening at all in recent years.

In other news …

Planned Parenthood’s Cecile Richards paid a visit to the USF campus, where she told a group of mostly female students that as part of the millennial demographic, they will decide the next POTUS.

Patrick Murphy is calling Marco Rubio a “coward” for refusing to renounce Trump after his 11-year-old recording of lascivious comments went global on Friday.

Both Murphy and Rubio have released new Spanish-language television commercials; Rubio leads Murphy among Latinos in Florida, thanks to much better name recognition.

A Pinellas tea party group has produced a list of candidates they’re endorsing for next month’s election, and David Jolly appears to be the only Republican not on the list.

6 reasons I’m looking forward to Tuesday’s ‘Popcorn & Politics’ event

‘Tis the season.

It’s that most wonderful time of the year when candidates running in this fall’s elections make the rounds at candidate forums, hob nobs, and Tiger Bay debates. It’s at these events that candidates distinguish themselves from their opponents with a quick retort — or a regrettable gaffe.

Tuesday, the St. Petersburg Chamber of Commerce (of which I am now a member of the board of directors) is hosting “Popcorn & Politics,” an event it bills as a speed network opportunity with candidates running for Congressional District 13, House District 69, and county commission, as well as advocates for and against Amendments 1 and 2.

Presented by the Tampa Bay Times, Popcorn & Politics gives attendees valuable time with the candidates running for these key local offices. The way it works is candidates (and those advocating for and against the initiatives) rotate from table-to-table where they will “speed network” for several minutes with Chamber members.

Here are five reasons I’m looking forward to Tuesday’s event.

1. Another chance to see Charlie Crist and David Jolly up close, and the first time since Donald Trump was caught on tape making shockingly crude comments about a married woman he tried to seduce. As much as we might hope the race for CD 13 would be about local issues, Trump at the top of the ballot is still what’s driving the discussion. Both Crist and Jolly are trying to maneuver around this 800-pound gorilla, but Crist has history with the New York businessman and Jolly is in the same political party as him. Popcorn & Politics will be the first public venue where Crist and Jolly may have to answer questions about the GOP presidential nominee.

2. Speaking of Trump, I believe Republican state Rep. Kathleen Peters needs to be asked about her reaction to Trump’s comments. Peters was quoted by the Tampa Bay Times as saying, “The people I’ve been talking to today, it hasn’t bothered them because of how long ago it was.” So joking about sexual assault is OK because it happened a long time ago? Peters is a good friend of my wife, Michelle Todd, but that comment really upsets me. Someone at P&P should ask her to better explain what she meant.

3. Peters’ Democratic opponent Jennifer Webb missed a high-profile Tiger Bay forum and is largely unknown to St. Petersburg’s business community. Unless there is Democratic wave, it’s doubtful she will upset Peters, but she will likely run for something else in the future. If she wants to win next time, she’ll need to perform better at these kind of events.

4. Is the business community behind Republican Mike Mikurak or are they comfortable with Democratic incumbent County Commissioner Charlie Justice? If the “Popcorn & Politics” crowd is evenly split, that’s probably good news for Justice.

5. Both Amendments 1 (solar power) and 2 (medical marijuana) appear likely to pass, although a well-organized, last-minute stand against the initiatives could keep them under the necessary 60 percent they need to pass. Do the advocates against Amendment 1 and 2 have a real plan to block these measures?

6. The St. Petersburg Museum of History houses one of the best hidden craft beer bars in the region. I subscribe to the belief that political forums are better enjoyed with an IPA in hand, so my advice is to fuel up before the event takes off. And if the weather is nice, as it often is this time of year, head back to the bar after the popcorn is gone and the politics have gone stale.

“Popcorn and Politics” begins at 5:30 p.m. at the St. Petersburg Museum of History. It’s open to nonmembers, although there is a $20 cost for a ticket.

Pinellas tea party group endorses every local Republican except for David Jolly and Chris Latvala

The Tampa Bay Times isn’t the only local organization David Jolly didn’t receive an endorsement from this weekend in his race for re-election to his 13th Congressional District seat against Democrat Charlie Crist. 

The South Pinellas 912 Patriots has produced a voters guide for next month’s election, and the group’s list of candidates noticeably omits Jolly — one of only two local Republicans on next month’s ballot who isn’t getting the group’s backing.

The group has been a member of the national tea party movement since 2009. It’s most successful entry into electoral politics was their creation of No Tax for Tracks in 2014, the group formed to advocate against the passage of the Greenlight Pinellas transit tax measure.

The South Pinellas 912 Patriot’s list of endorsements is extensive. In addition to weighing in on judicial, legislative and county races, the group also gives their endorsements on state and county ballot measures.

Barb Haselden, one of the leaders of the South Pinellas 912 Patriots, was not available for comment.

Update — 9:57 a.m.: State Rep. Chris Latvala noted on Twitter that he, too, was not endorsed by this organization.

Mitch Perry Report for 10.10.16 — Shock and Awe

Happy Columbus Day, for those few of you who actually get to observe (i.e. take off) the federal holiday. And a simple request today? Can we just end this sad presidential election now and not wait the remaining 29 days?

Well, hardly anyone has voted, so that won’t work. Nevertheless, that presidential debate Sunday night — specifically the first 30 minutes, were unbelievably sad and depressing. Exciting? Yeah, like waiting for a car crash to happen.

Okay, where is this race at after the debate? Quick takes…

Donald Trump certainly looked like he put in the preparation that was so sorely missing from his first debate. Hillary Clinton? Not a great night at all, so certainly by my scoring, Trump “won” on points.

But Trump is not winning this race, and with just one more debate to go, he’s running out of time.

Trump boasted after the first debate that he didn’t “go there” on Bill Clinton’s sexual past because daughter Chelsea was in the audience, but you knew after the events of Friday night that he had to go there.

Yes, Juanita Broaddrick, Paula Jones, and Kathleen Willey were in the house. And were mentioned during the debate.

But Trump went further, declaring that if elected, he would appease the GOP base and the “Lock.Her.Up.” crowd regarding her use of a private server for her emails as secretary of state.

“I didn’t think I’d say this, but I’m going to say it, and I hate to say it, but if I win, I am going to instruct my attorney general to get a special prosecutor to look into your situation,” he said. “There has never been so many lies, so much deception, there has never been anything like it, and we’re gonna have a special prosecutor.”

“It’s just awfully good that somebody with the temperament of Donald Trump is not in charge of the law in our country,” Clinton responded.

“Because you’d be in jail!” Trump fired back.

The conventional wisdom is that Trump solidified his GOP base, some of whom deserted him over the weekend after The Washington Post broke the internet on Friday afternoon with the posting of Trump’s vulgar sexual remarks from 2005. So everything’s hunky dory? Hardly.

I continue to write that Hillary Clinton’s strategy of sitting back and watching Trump self-immolate isn’t a wining strategy, and with a full month to go in the race, this sitting-on-the-clock approach could backfire on her. Her relatively laid-back (and at times defensive) debate performance didn’t help, though it didn’t hurt her either.

In other news …

We had local Republicans like Dana Young and Jackie Toledo denounce Trump on Saturday, but not renounce their support for the GOP standard bearer.

Despite David Jolly‘s entreaty, Pinellas County Supervisor of Elections Deborah Clark says she’s determined NOT to add an additional early voting site in two weeks.

House District 59 Democrat Rena Frazier says “no thanks” to Ross Spano’s request to have the two candidates sign a pledge to not run a negative campaign against each other.

The deadline to register in Florida’s Nov. 8 election is tomorrow — but Florida’s Democratic delegation wants Rick Scott to extend it until Friday.

As Joe Redner continues to lay out his progressive challenge to win the state Senate District 19 race, Democrat Bob Buesing insists Redner won’t be taking any additional votes away from him against Republican Dana Young.

Joe Henderson: GOP is distancing from Donald Trump. Except David Jolly; he was already there.

Many Republicans have distanced themselves from Donald Trump after crude sexual remarks about women he made surfaced on tape Friday, but stopped short of saying they won’t vote for him in November.

David Jolly is not one of those. His anti-Trump chops can no longer be debated. He is all-in on being all-out on Trump.

Jolly, trailing Democrat Charlie Crist in the race to represent Florida’s 13th Congressional District, flatly stated Trump’s banter in a decade-old tape is the last straw.

“A man who brags about sexual assault isn’t qualified to be president of the United States,” the Tampa Bay Times reported through a spokeswoman Saturday.

Jolly also told the Times/Herald, “I’m not voting for him.”

Jolly’s support for Trump always has been tepid at best. During the primary, his opponent, retired U.S. Marines Gen. Mark Bircher, stated the Republican Party should support him if Jolly refused to endorse Trump.

Jolly easily won the primary.

Last month, though, his support of Trump was still an issue. In an interview with Sunshine State News, Jolly said, “If the election were today, I would not support Donald Trump. I don’t know where I’ll be in November, but I don’t see a pathway to support Donald Trump.”

If there was a pathway then, it no longer exists.

Of course, it should be noted that politically this likely is Jolly’s best and only option. According to a recent Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee poll, he is trailing Crist 50-39 percent. Other polls have the race much closer.

Jolly is banking on his image as someone willing to buck the Republican establishment to win him votes in a new district that seems to favor a Democratic candidate. Most notably, he filed a bill aimed at party bosses who require their members of Congress to spend up to four hours daily on fundraising.

That didn’t make him popular in top GOP circles, and the party responded with crickets when Jolly abandoned a planned run for the U.S. Senate and announced he would try to keep his seat in the U.S. House.

It didn’t help that Beverly Young, widow of Republican icon C.W. Bill Young — the man Jolly succeeded — said she would vote for Crist. On her Facebook page, she said, Bill would be totally disgusted and ashamed of how (Jolly) has handled his district of 50 years.”

There is a lot of disgust going around in politics these days, and it was coming in waves since the Trump revelations. Whether that makes any difference in Jolly’s bid to stay in office remains to be seen. But after tap-dancing up to the edge with Donald Trump, there is no ambiguity now where Jolly stands.

 

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