With Florida’s much-anticipated gubernatorial debate nearing, Floridians look to tune in to the year’s most anticipated political spectacle.
The debate was intended to occur on October 12th but was postponed to October 24th due to Hurricane Ian.
The Floridian has compiled a shortlist of issues likely to be covered during the debate.
The recent derogation of Roe v Wade by Dobbs v Jackson has empowered states to individually and independently regulate abortion.
As such, both Democrats and Republicans have been searching for ways to enshrine or restrict abortion in their own states, respectively.
Gov. DeSantis will likely criticize Crist’s plan re-install Roe-level abortion rights retracted by the United States Supreme Court.
Alternatively, Crist may criticize DeSantis for signing HB5. Crist has previously claimed HB5 is an all-inclusive and ultra-restricting abortion bill.
When I debate Ron DeSantis on October 24, I’m going to ask him to explain his abortion ban that has no exceptions for rape or incest.
— Charlie Crist (@CharlieCrist) October 11, 2022
Namely, HB5 bans all abortions in the state after 15 weeks of pregnancy with no exceptions. However, abortion seekers are free to obtain an abortion prior to the 15-week deadline, no matter their circumstances.
Ubiquitously found in all political debates, immigration is also on the minds of many Floridians.
The recent initiative by Republican-led states, including Florida, to transport illegal migrants to Democrat-run cities has once again placed immigration in the political spotlight.
Additionally, Florida is home to approximately 10% of the nation’s illegal immigrants. Florida’s high exposure to illegal immigration has caused many Floridians to request answers from its state leaders.
DeSantis has repeatedly called for the improvement of current immigration laws. Therefore, he is likely to connect the uncontrolled crisis at the border with Crist-endorsed, Democrat immigration policy.
Conversely, Crist is not expected to give immigration much attention. The gubernatorial candidate has not even officially recognized the issue as one of his priorities.
Florida’s economy has boomed during and following the COVID pandemic, and DeSantis has been able to capitalize on that.
DeSantis will attempt to harness Florida’s unparalleled economic growth to attract support from undecided voters.
If asked about the economy, Crist is expected to pivot to Florida’s Rising Housing Insurance Costs and criticize DeSantis for it. Florida Housing insurance costs have skyrocketed as insurance premiums have risen at feverish rates.
Potential points of contention:
Crist’s past contradictory stances may be weaponized by DeSantis. The ex-Republican has been widely criticized for flip-flopping on hot button issues.
DeSantis’ could also mount attacks against Crist based on the latter’s decision to select a running mate who seemingly sympathizes with socialism.
On his end, Crist could look to criticize DeSantis by attacking the “Parental Bill of Rights”. The law was signed by DeSantis to allegedly shield students up to third grade from receiving sexual education. Democrats have dubbed the law the “Don’t say Gay” bill and Crist has promised to repeal the law if elected.
Notwithstanding uncertainty regarding coverage amount per issue, the debate certainly presents an uphill battle for Crist.
Most Floridians have reportedly already made up their mind regarding who they’ll be voting come November, and Crist lags behind DeSantis in the most recent polls by a wide margin.