New polls showing a Far Left Democrat leading several Republican challengers in the mayor’s race seem to indicate the aggressive campaigns being run by GOP candidates are sullying the brand.
Daniel Davis, head of the Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce and veteran politician, has been considered the man to beat in the race. But his scorched-earth campaign style may be hurting him and other Republicans as well.
A poll done at the University of North Florida showed Donna Deegan leading Davis, LeAnna Cumber and Al Ferraro.
Davis has a boatload of money and he is spending it to trash his opponents unmercifully in a campaign run by consultant Tim Baker, who takes no prisoners.
One ridiculous TV ad accused Ferraro, a member of City Council, of “voting to spend billions of dollars” because he voted with a majority of the council to approve the city’s budget, without which there would be no police or fire protection.
One would hope no voters are stupid enough to fall for such slop, but it is possible.
Cumber and Ferraro are responding, of course, but they do so using relevant facts.
Ferraro actually is doing better than some had expected. Cumber, also a City Council member, had more money in her coffers and — to some — more “pizzazz,” but the latest poll showed her behind Ferraro. Polls aren’t the last word, but they often send signals.
Deegan has no experience and is as liberal as they come but she has high name recognition as a result of her TV career and she will get the Democrat vote.
That puts the race where most end up: depending on party turnout and independent turn-on.
Barring a miracle, the top two finishers will be a Democrat and a Republican. But there are a lot of independents and swing voters in Jacksonville.
That is why the question: Will they be so turned off by the GOP mud-slinging that they will fall into the Democrat column in the runoff?
Low-information voters are like bulls in a China shop.
Unless Cumber is her opponent, Deegan probably will be telling voters a lot of hooey about how Jacksonville cannot survive unless it elects a woman as mayor.
Republicans should be talking about their own records and visions for the city’s future in the primary and the winner should go into the general election with both guns blazing because it looks like a classic liberal/conservative conflict is coming.
The local government does not need liberals any more than the state and federal governments do. Which is not at all.