In Florida, Crist loses his lead in GOP Senate primary to a darling of the teabagging crowd




It seemed like a sure thing for Charlie Crist last year when he announced his run for U.S. Senate. But, it’s not. The latest poll shows Crist is now losing in the GOP primary to Marco Rubio, who has the backing of the hard-core conservatives in the state:

For the first time, a new poll shows that Gov. Charlie Crist is losing to former Florida House Speaker Marco Rubio in Florida’s nationally watched Republican U.S. Senate race.

Rubio leads by just three percentage points — 47-44 — which is well within the error margin of the Quinnipiac University poll.

Crist has a large cash advantage over Rubio and ample time to catch up before the Aug. 24 primary. Yet the trend of Rubio’s rise and Crist’s fall is stark and troubling for the governor, who once looked like he would waltz into the Senate.

Last Tuesday night on CNN, while the pundits were awaiting the results of the Massachusetts Senate race, Eric Erickson, the Editor of the Red State (a right-wing blog) said:

We don’t know for sure, but, even if Scott Brown gets close, the fact that we’re taking seriously that a Republican in Massachusetts is running close to the Democrat establishment candidate, frankly if I were a Democrat or a Republican establishment guy, I would be a little bit sick tonight, because Scott Brown ran against the Republican establishment and he ran against the Democratic establishment.

Marco Rubio is running against the Republican establishment — and it’s working for him.

There are a couple other races where establishment GOPers are running in primaries against hard-core conservatives. Missouri is one. Long-serving Congressman Roy Blunt is being challenged by State Senator Chuck Purgason, a real, right-wing conservative. Blunt has deep ties to notorious lobbyist Jack Abramoff, as demonstrated in a new website, BluntAndAbramoff.com. And, Purgason isn’t afraid of saying “uncomfortable things” about Blunt. The primary in Missouri is August 3rd.

Both Florida and Missouri have August primaries. Primaries usually have low turnout. But, I suspect August primaries attract only the very hard-core voters. That doesn’t bode well for either Crist or Blunt. None of these Republicans will be good for us if they win. And, the GOPers are going to mover further and further to the extreme right to assuage the teabagging base.

We really need Obama and the Democrats on the Hill to get their act together ASAP.


On October 27, 2010, Joe was one of five bloggers who interviewed President Obama. Joe is a DC-based political consultant with over twenty-five years of experience at both the state and federal level. Joe has managed political operations and legislative efforts for both candidates and issues-based organizations. For seven years, he was the Director of State Legislation at Handgun Control, Inc. He served as that organization's first Political Director during the 2000 cycle. Joe is a graduate of the University of Maine School of Law. In addition, he has a Masters in Public Administration from Lehigh University and received his B.A. from the University of New Hampshire. Joe also has a fun dog, Petey, a worthy successor to Boomer, who got Joe through eight years of Bush and Cheney. Joe likes to think he is a world class athlete having finished the 2005 Chicago Marathon in the time of 4:10. He has completed six other marathons as well -- and is still determined to break the four hour mark.

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