Good Wednesday morning.
Whether you support Marco Rubio or Val Demings in their race for the U.S. Senate, your opinion probably didn’t change after last night’s debate.
Neither candidate won nor lost, but that probably means Rubio won. After all, he has a strong lead in the polls, and I doubt that will change much. If you went into the debate with a bias for one or the other, you likely heard what you wanted to hear — and didn’t agree with what you heard from the other side.
That’s not a game-changer.
I mean, what was the headline?
Demings attacked Sen. Rick Scott’s plan to sunset — read, possibly cancel — Social Security and Medicare in five years.
Rubio’s rebuttal: “No, that’s not my plan. That’s Sen. Scott’s plan.”
Abortion rights? That was the most contentious exchange of the debate, to no surprise for anyone who supported either candidate’s position.
Rubio stated, “I’m 100% pro-life,” but added that he favors exemptions. He didn’t say what those were.
Demings fought back.
“Senator, how gullible do you think Florida voters are? Number one, you have been clear that you support no exceptions, even including rape and incest. As a police detective who investigated cases of rape and incest, no, Senator, I don’t think it’s OK for a 10-year-old girl to be raped and have to carry the thing of her rapist.”
Rubio countered that Demings attacked a bill Rubio supported that has exceptions.
“She’s talking about extremes; here’s extremes,” Rubio said. “A child that’s born alive after a failed abortion happened 11 times in Florida in 2017. It happened eight times in 2020 — a child of a failed abortion was born alive. We have doctors in America that refuse to treat or provide medical care to a child that’s born alive.”
Demings fought back.
“What we know is that the Senator supports no exceptions,” she said. “He can make his mouth say anything today — he’s good at that, by the way. What day is it, and what is Marco Rubio saying? I’ve said time and time again, and he knows it, that I support a woman’s right to choose up to the time of viability.”
“We are not going back to a time when women are treated like second-class citizens or like property.”
Well, that encapsulated the abortion rights debate, but — as was famously said by Democratic operative James Carville in 1992, “It’s the economy, stupid.”
That will decide this election, which doesn’t bode well for Demings. As a Democrat, she’ll be tied to the economic problems in President Joe Biden’s term.
So, here we are.
Both candidates made their cases, and neither made the Big Gaffe that could turn an election. Only two weeks remain to change hearts and minds.
Did that happen Tuesday night?
It depends on which side you’re on, I guess.
Here are a few other thoughts:
— Democracy is in peril, but saving it isn’t a priority: More than seven in 10 voters said they thought Democracy is at risk, according to a New York Times/Siena College poll. Yet just 7% said it was the most important problem facing the country. More than a third of independent voters and even a small contingent of Democrats said they were open to supporting candidates who reject the legitimacy of the 2020 election. Among Republicans: 71% said they were open to supporting an election denier. If there’s any good news, it’s this: only a sliver of voters said that violence was the answer. Read more here.
— JMI’s 2022 ‘The Journal’: Florida is on a “collision course” with Washington D.C., as this year’s James Madison Institute’s journal theme reflects. The 2022 journal includes 25 articles, opinions, narratives and reflections from industry leaders, policy experts, JMI advisers and staff. The narratives highlight how Florida leaders are staying the course and avoiding the path many progressives would prefer. It also highlights how Florida is at the forefront of national policy and outlines what might be still to come in the Sunshine State. Take a glimpse at the just-released journal here.
— SITUATIONAL AWARENESS —
This one’s real. pic.twitter.com/LvXg8yNeun
— Val Demings (@valdemings) October 18, 2022
—@zacjanderson: “That’s Rick Scott’s plan; he can defend it he can talk about it,” Rubio adds, showing how toxic Scott’s plan has become, and how it is weighing on Republicans. Rubio was very quick to distance himself from it.
—@fineout: Fla @SenRickScott puts out a statement praising @marcorubio debate performance & says “Rubio never stops working to represent the best interests of Florida families.” Scott statement doesn’t mention part where Rubio distanced himself from Scott’s Rescue America plan
—@Mdixon55: Demings saying “socialist” “crazy” “Marxist” over and over again is going to be a clip coming your way soon … Her intent was to mock Republican attack lines, but context does not matter on these here interwebs
—@Scott_Maxwell: In all, Demings came on strong & had a moment on guns that was powerful, probably most memorable of the debate. Rubio remained mostly on defense, but didn’t cower, sounded largely serious. I’m not sure debates change minds in 2022, especially just 1. But Demings came to play.
—@WalshFreedom: (Donald) Trump broke Rubio. Rubio is like a shell of a person. Never looks like his heart is into anything. Just going through the motions. Even when he spouts the MAGA bullshit. You can tell he doesn’t believe it. It’s all on him though. Like all the others, he CHOSE to sell his soul.
—@MarcACaputo: The Rubio-Demings debate is a real debate — except when the moderator stops them from … debating. Not blaming the moderator. It’s the format, & it sucks here & everywhere. These aren’t debates. They’re joint interviews where debates break out before they’re suppressed
—@mmpadellan: Marco Rubio just said “there’s danger in drop boxes” for voting, but he’s perfectly OK with a 15-year-old owning an AR-15. Make that make sense.
—@joncoopertweets: BREAKING: The Florida debate moderator just called the Democratic candidate “Senator-Elect Val Demings.”
—@ScottFist: No questions on UFOs — excuse me, UAPs. I mean what the hey?
—@BillKristol: Fox News poll (in field Oct. 9-12) has Dems +3 on generic congressional ballot. NYT/Siena poll (in field Oct. 9-12) has Reps +3 on generic congressional ballot. GOP reaction/spin: Happy triumphalism. Dem reaction/they don’t know how to spin: Sad defeatism. Truth: A tossup.
—@JeremyH418: Pretty stable returns compared to yesterday. @FloridaGOP gained 0.08% on @FlaDems, and now trail by 7.26%. Republicans expanded their turnout rate lead (ballots returned versus sent) by 0.7%, and lead by 3.9%. That enthusiasm gap becomes more significant every day.
— DAYS UNTIL —
Taylor Swift’s ‘Midnights’ release — 2; the Gubernatorial General Election debate — 5; Florida Chamber Annual Meeting & Future of Florida Forum — 6; Cormac McCarthy’s ‘The Passenger’ releases — 6; Jon Meacham’s ‘And There Was Light: Abraham Lincoln and the American Struggle’ releases — 6; City & State Florida Digital Summit — 8; Early voting begins for General Election — 10; 2022 General Election — 20; ‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’ premieres — 23; ‘Captain Marvel 2′ premieres — 23; FITCon 2022 begins — 29; ‘The Flash’ premieres — 29; The World Cup kicks off in Qatar — 33; The U.S. World Cup Soccer Team begins play — 36; Florida TaxWatch’s Annual Meeting begins — 45; ‘Willow’ premieres on Disney+ — 45; 2022 Florida Chamber Annual Insurance Summit — 47; McCarthy’s ‘Stella Maris’ releases — 48; ‘Avatar 2’ premieres — 58; final Broadway performance of ‘The Music Man’ with Hugh Jackman — 74; Bruce Springsteen launches his 2023 tour in Tampa — 105; ‘Ant Man and the Wasp: Quantumania’ premieres — 121; final performance of ‘Phantom of the Opera’ on Broadway — 122; 2023 Legislative Session convenes — 139; ‘John Wick: Chapter 4′ premieres — 157; American Association of Political Consultants Pollies ’23 conference begins — 181; 2023 Session Sine Die — 198; ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3’ premieres — 198; ‘Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse’ premieres — 226; Christopher Nolan’s ‘Oppenheimer’ premieres — 275; ‘Dune: Part Two’ premieres — 380; ‘Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse’ Part 2 premieres — 527; ‘Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes’ premieres — 583; Opening Ceremony of the 2024 Olympic Games — 646; ‘Thunderbolts’ premieres — 646; ‘Blade’ reboot premieres — 688; ‘Deadpool 3’ premieres — 751; ‘Fantastic Four’ reboot premieres — 849; ‘Avengers: The Kang Dynasty’ premieres — 926. ‘Avengers: Secret Wars’ premieres — 1,115.
Sunburn is authored and assembled by Peter Schorsch, Phil Ammann, Daniel Dean, Renzo Downey, Joe Henderson, Jacob Ogles, and Drew Wilson.
This article originally appeared here and was republished with permission.