First and foremost, Jim Davis lost out on the endorsement of the state's largest, and second most liberal, daily newspaper, the St. Petersburg Times. On one hand, it should have been a slam-dunk, as Davis has a clearly more progressive record than moderate Rod Smith. The Alachua lawmaker has some NRA backing and environmental votes that should have made any self-respecting leftie newspaper editorial board cringe.
But Smith won the Times over the same way he is slowly winning voters, by force of personality. Additionally, the Times has never been big fan of Davis', and the fact that he comes from Tampa is a strike against him at the St. Pete-centric Times editorial board.
Then there are the polls. Two of them last week showed the race tightening to a virtual draw.