Florida’s Democrat gubernatorial candidates are receiving poor marks for their lackluster debate performances last week, even from their ideological allies.
In a column recapping the debate, Tampa Bay Times opinion editor Tim Nickens expressed astonishment about how unready the candidates were “for prime time” or to “debate Republicans.” Despite already campaigning for the state’s highest office for months, the candidates showed “no grasp” of policy beyond spouting “platitudes” and “empty sound bites.” In one particularly embarrassing exchange, the candidates were unable to answer how much the state spends on education.
Nickens wasn’t the only Florida political analyst to come to a similar conclusion. Florida Politics columnist Peter Schorsch also argued the Florida Republican gubernatorial candidates were the real winners of the debate because they “should be able to dispatch any of the [Democrat] candidates.”
Florida Democrats hoped their gubernatorial candidates would rise to the occasion, but this faith appears to have been misguided. As these candidates continue to struggle and underwhelm, their chances of taking back the governorship keeps diminishing.