Sunday, October 22, 2006

Jim Davis Losing the Democratic Base

I have never seen a Governors' race in which a candidate had so much of his base defect to the other side. Case in point is Jim Davis.

"For thirty-six years I've supported every Democratic nominee for governor of Florida,'' begins the e-mail from Miami public relations consultant Seth Gordon. "But this November I'll break this tradition and support my Republican friend Charlie Crist.''


There also is the possibility that Charlie Crist will take black voters away from Davis. Crist polled at 23 percent in a Florida Chamber of Commerce poll and 20 percent in the Quinnipiac University poll. That way seem small. But it's fatal for an underdog Democrat like Davis.

It's easy to see why Crist has been making inroads with blacks. He has been trying and Davis has been fumbling. Charlie Crist has met with Martin Anderson's parents. Jim Davis still hasn't. Davis's meetings with black community leaders has not gone any better.

At a recent meeting with black leaders up in arms about violence, Davis declined to endorse their petition drive to repeal a law backed by the National Rifle Association. It could have been a powerful moment with the parents of Sherdavia Jenkins, a 9-year-old girl gunned down in July as she played on her front porch in Liberty City.

''We gave Jim a chance to latch on to something that's like a dagger in the heart of this community. He failed to capitalize on it.'' said the Rev. Anthony Dawkins, one of the leaders of the petition drive.

If his staff didn't know about the petition drive before the meeting then they're bad. Candidates can't walk into these things snowballed.

I have a feeling many Democrats will regret backing Crist. I can't say that Davis would actually care about their concerns. That's why the troops are defecting.


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