Davis Crist Debate review by Mitch E. Perry


A new strategic Visions poll released today shows Attorney General Charlie Crist up by 9 points over Jim Davis in the race for Governor…That follows up on the Quinnipiac poll released on Monday that shows Davis down by only 2 points.

Nevertheless, the Davis campaign feels the Tampa Democrat is gaining momentum, fresh off his debate with Charlie Crist in South Florida last night.

Each candidate seemed to have one overriding message they wanted to get across to the state wide televised audience. For Crist, it was to pick at one of the most vulnerable spots of Davis’ record – his poor attendance in Congress the past 2 years as he’s ran for Governor in Florida. (roll tape#1 o.q.�that’s exactly what I would do�)

But Davis, who endured similar barbs thrown at him by his Democratic opponent, Rod Smith, in their only debate, seemed ready for the line (roll tape#2 o.q.’and record profits�)

And then Davis followed up with the one line that he wanted to get across to Floridians tuning into the debate, a line he repeated throughout the debate (roll tape#3 o.q.�for all consumers’)

Most polls find that the number one issue among Florida citizens this year is Property Insurance.

Although the Crist camp has criticized Davis for his lack of production when it comes to sponsoring legislation in his decade in Congress, Davis considers his opposition to the Federal intervention in the Terri Schiavo case last year as one of his finest moments – and he said Charlie Crist did nothing at the time (roll tape#4 o.q.�)

Charlie Crist, trying to show his sunny optimism, responded thusly (roll tape#5 “in the United States Congress�)

Davis responded that his overall voting record is 93%, but he has missed a substantial amount of votes in the last 2 years as he runs for Governor.

As moderates in their respective parties, much has been written and discussed as to how similar the candidates are many social issues..

In fact, when it came to immigration, both said they supported Florida GOP Senator Mel Martinez’ legislation in Congress, legislation that models much of what President Bush supports. But Davis went to the right of Crist on one aspect of the issue (roll tape#6 o.q.�illegally�)

An issue that at least earlier in the campaign appeared to hurt Jim Davis was his refusal to vote for compensation for 2 Black men falsely imprisoned by the state of Florida, some 16 years ago. Democratic opponent Rod Smith brought out the issue in their only debate, and it seemed to bother Black voters not familiar with the Tampa Congressman.

Finally, Davis did meet up with the 2 men- Wilbur Lee and Freddie Pitts, to apologize directly to them. He seemed to put that issue to rest with his acknowledgement last night that he had erred in not voting to compensate them (roll tape#7 o.q.� and his forgiveness�)

When it comes to property tax relief, Charlie Crist supports a Constitutional Amendment that would double the homestead exemption for homeowners from $25 to 50,000.

Jim Davis’ says he plans on providing 1 billion dollars worth of tax relief. When asked how he would pay for it, Davis has said he would try to rescind some of the cuts that Governor Jeb Bush has made with the intangibles Tax. That led Charlie Crist to invoke a former classic liberal Democrat (roll tape#8 o.q.�let’s move on�)

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