Looking Back on the Governor's Debate

Charlie Crist appeared composed and confident the morning after the rowdy gubernatorial debate, just like the image he tried to project to potential voters during the debate's more heated moments.

Charlie Crist, candidate for Governor, said, "I think what people want, just like after hurricanes, they want to have someone who has that calm, deliberative demeanor that can truly lead, and I think that's what we had last night."

But Crist spent most of the night on the defensive. He got it both barrels from not one but two opponents, Democrat Jim Davis, and Max Linn, the Reform Party candidate who won a last-minute court ruling to mix it up with the other two on a statewide stage.

Gov. Jeb Bush stole a line from Crist for his debate review.

Gov. Jeb Bush said, "I thought it was more like oddball than hardball. It was just, it was odd."

Democrats woke up to praise for Jim Davis' performance from many media outlets and political pundits alike. Davis was able to parry Crist's swipes at his questionable congressional attendance record with digs at Crist for not doing more to head off Florida's insurance and property tax crises.

The question is, were enough swing voters watching to tip the balance in what's likely to be a close race between the two front-runners? Florida Democratic Party Chair Karen Thurman says the independent vote will be key on November 7.

Karen Thurman said, "That's where the biggest turnover is coming in. It's really coming in the direction of Democrat this time."

But both camps say every vote is critical.


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