David Jolly Archives - Page 7 of 62 - Florida Politics

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.

 

David Jolly’s call for expanded early voting sites not shared by Pinellas GOP

The Charlie CristDavid Jolly matchup is one of the most keenly observed congressional races in the country. And while the two continue to engage in strong partisan rhetoric against each other, they did come together in common cause this week in calling on Pinellas County Supervisor of Elections Deborah Clark to expand the number of early voting sites.

However, Clark still isn’t interested.

“She feels as though that our election plan provides equal ballot access to all Pinellas County voters,” said Jason Latimer, a spokesperson for the Pinellas County Supervisor of Elections office.

Early voting begins in Pinellas County Oct. 24, and Clark has maintained she will open only five early voting locations in the county, a smaller amount than is happening in similarly sized counties around the state. While voting by mail has become more popular each election cycle, nowhere has that style of voting been employed more than in Pinellas, thanks in part to Clark’s efforts to encourage voters to do so.

Of the five previously announced early voting sites in Pinellas, none are located further south than Fifth Avenue North in downtown St. Petersburg. That’s prompted Democratic Party activists and elected officials like Crist and St. Pete Mayor Rick Kriseman to call for another site to be opened in South St. Pete. And on Wednesday they were joined by Jolly, who wrote to Clark asking, “that your office ensure that all communities throughout Pinellas County have equal access to early voting locations.”

Not all Republicans agree with Jolly on requesting Clark to expand early voting access, however.

“I think Deb Clark is doing an outstanding job as supervisor of elections and her plan for this election is incredibly fair and non-partisan,” says Pinellas County Republican Executive Committee Chairman Nick DiCeglie. “The outreach her office has done in all communities over the last 16 years is a testament to her professionalism and non-partisanship.  I encourage all voters who may have difficulties getting to an early vote location or to their neighborhood poll on election day to request an absentee ballot. It has never been easier for ALL voters to exercise their right to vote.”

Although Jolly and DiCeglie appear not to be on the same page regarding early voting, that’s not the worst thing in the world for the GOP incumbent. In a district that has been redrawn to make it much more Democratic friendly, Jolly has been campaigning as a representative who listens to the public, and not party leadership. That’s the same independent ethic that has created a fissure between himself and his party’s leadership in Washington D.C.

More than 2.6 million ballots were sent out to Florida voters this week, a record amount.

Latest polling should serve as a warning to ‘Mean David’ Jolly

A new poll commissioned by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee shows Charlie Crist maintaining a double-digit lead over incumbent Republican David Jolly.

Crist leads Jolly by a 50-39 percent margin. The 11 percent of undecided voters lean Democratic by a 37-20 percent margin.

Despite this healthy lead, the Crist campaign would do well not to crow too loudly about these latest numbers. That’s because, as Republican political consultant Nick Hansen first noted on Twitter, Crist and his allies have spent more than $1 million more than Jolly since it last released its internal polling to the media and Crist’s lead has dropped by a point. In July, a poll from Anzalone Liszt Grove Research showed Crist leading Jolly by 12 points.

Unfortunately for Jolly, Crist does not have another $11 million to spend in order for the gap to close.

I, for one, do not believe Crist is up 11 or 12 points on Jolly. In fact, I am more confident with the recent survey from St. Pete Polls which shows the race a relative dead heat. My gut tells me Crist has pulled in front of Jolly because of a) Jolly’s debate performance and b) Crist’s resource advantage, but I don’t believe Crist has yet pulled away, as this internal poll would suggest.

The trouble for Jolly is — and it was my wife, Michelle Todd Schorsch, (a longtime Crist acolyte) who first suggested this issue to me — the indignant, if not angry, David Jolly in the local media and on the debate stage is nothing like the David Jolly first introduced to Pinellas voters when he ran against Alex Sink.

According to Crist’s internal polling, Jolly’s net favorable rating has shrunk from +23 to +14. As much as I disagree with the topline of this poll, I wholeheartedly believe this favorability number is accurate.

The more Jolly bares his teeth attacking Crist, the worse his numbers get.

As I’ve written before, Jolly’s hatred of Crist is seemingly personal. My theory is that Jolly’s resentment of Crist goes back, at least partially, to when Crist was governor and had to select a replacement for Mel Martinez in the U.S. Senate. The late congressman to whom Jolly owes his political career, C.W. “Bill” Young, was asked to interview for the position. To Crist’s surprise, the Indian Shores Republican arrived at the meeting in an untucked polo shirt and sneakers, and the 78-year-old proceeded to take charge — telling the governor directly he was not interested in an interim role as U.S. senator. Young’s camp did not appreciate Crist subjecting their guy to a dog-and-pony show.

Jolly’s animus for Crist has been on display for months, beginning with Jolly ill-advised decision to crash Crist’s campaign announcement. This animus infects Jolly’s tone when he speaks of Crist. Jolly seems almost to seethe when he talks about his opponent.

All of this is out of character with the measured, polite, and precise communication style that helped Jolly win a special election and build a national profile as a maverick Republican determined to reform the political process. Jolly is the son of a preacher, yet he, according to one Crist campaign aide, would not acknowledge Crist when both men were face-to-face backstage before the first debate.

It was at the debate when ‘Mean David’ was on full display. At first, I though Jolly had won the debate because he had landed the most jabs and scored more zingers, but as I read the comments on social media, my mind changed. Jolly was being compared to Donald Trump because of how many times he interrupted Crist.

For the first time since I met him, David Jolly, one of the last true gentlemen, was being described as “rude.”

That’s not the David Jolly I know.

Perhaps Jolly thinks there is no other way to win in this solidly Democratic district than with the playbook he’s running.

But I doubt ‘Mean David’ can win this election.

Mitch Perry Report for 10.7.16 — On any given Sunday

As I begin typing at 6:40 a.m., the worst effects from Hurricane Matthew have yet to occur on the Atlantic coast of Florida, though more than 300,000 are without power. A shift of the eye of the storm towards the east has made the expected damage not nearly as significant — as of early this morning.

There’s a lot going on this weekend, and it will all climax late Sunday night with the second presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump — that really may be Trump’s last, best hope to change the trajectory of the election.

That is not what it looked like two weeks ago, which makes any declarative forecast somewhat absurd. There’s no doubt Trump was ascendent and Clinton looked in decline going into that first debate at Hofstra University. Then the debate happened, and Clinton has received a nice bounce from virtually every single national and battleground state poll since then.

Trump held a town hall meeting in Sundown, New Hampshire last night before a select, invitation-only crowd of 160 people, where he was read questions from Boston radio talk show host Howie Carr — not exactly the same level of intensity that he’ll be getting from moderators Martha Raddatz and Anderson Cooper on Sunday.

Actually, Trump emphasized last night was not preparation for the debate, saying, “I want to be with the American people.”

I’m wondering if he thinks it’s a weakness to admit he would want to prepare. According to the Manchester Union-Leader, Trump then asked the the audience if they really believed that Clinton was prepping for days before Sunday’s debate.

“No,” audience members shouted. Trump said she was “resting.”

It’s sort of a weird world when, before an audience that will probably be at least 50 million nationally tuning in, you wouldn’t want to admit you were preparing, and wouldn’t want to admit you’re opponent was preparing. No?

Now, what about the substance? One would hope these two candidates would be asked how they intend to deal with climate change, an issue that has not been broached in either the  first presidential debate, nor the VP debate last Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Trump will be in Lakeland, Ocala, and Panama City next week, as he attempts to keep it close here in the Sunshine State. An Emerson University poll shows Trump leading Clinton in Florida, 45 percent to 44 percent. Most other polls have Clinton on top.

In other news …

While David Jolly and Charlie Crist were debating, the DCCC issued out their own internal poll which showed the Democrat by an astounding 12 percentage points. Other polls show the race much, much tighter.

One Republican voting across party lines for Crist is Beverly Young, the late Bill Young’s widow who now essentially loathes Jolly, a longtime aide to her husband.

We asked the six people running for the Tampa City Council District 7 seat what they thought about a Cuban consulate in Tampa, Mayor Buckhorn’s neutral stance on the idea, and how the citizens police review board is doing currently.

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