So it's official: Charlie Crist, once heir-apparent to Florida's Senate seat, is taking the ball and leaving as the party faithful decide they'd like to give someone else a shot. 15 minutes ago, Charlie was the "true conservative" in this race. Now, with his embrace of Obama, blocking of education reform, and talk of tax-hiking, he's...the true Democrat in this race?
Oh, wait, we have one of those already. Rep. Kendrick Meek, who inherited his congressional seat from his mom, and has never run in a race against a Republican before. He was New Jersey Senator Bob Menendez's pick, as the Senate Democrats’ campaign chairman. Senator Menendez (D-illegal aliens) finds hope in Crist's independent run:
New Jersey Democratic Rep. Bob Menendez... said the Florida rift was the latest casualty of “a divided Republican Party cannibalizing itself.” The Democrat in the race, Rep. Kendrick Meek, will benefit from the divide, he said. “Kendrick has run a very strong campaign and will likely emerge as the candidate of choice for Democrats, independents and even moderate Republicans.”
Really? Let's look at the polls, shall we?
The latest Rasmussen Reports poll of Florida voters finds that 37% would vote for GOP frontrunner Marco Rubio, 30% for Crist and 22% for the likely Democratic nominee Kendrick Meek. That’s much closer than a month ago when Rubio had a 17-point advantage and Crist was in third place.
In a two-way race, both Rubio and Crist hold solid leads over Meek.
So Meek has been losing ground do Crist? Maybe Charlie should run as a Democrat...
More from PPP:
45% of Democratic voters have a favorable opinion of Crist while only 29% have a favorable opinion of Meek...
The level of support Crist starts out with from Republicans is likely to decline over the next six months. On our recent poll Crist had 18% of the GOP vote in a three way contest. 18% is the share of the Republican vote Arlen Specter got against Pat Toomey on a Quinnipiac poll immediately after his party shift. A year later he's now getting just 9% of the GOP vote. Crist seems likely to experience a similar erosion in his Republican support as the year progresses.
Looks like Crist is at his high-water mark right now, and whatever votes he does draw will be from Meek, not Rubio. Seems even more likely now that Meek will have to face trillionaire Jeff Greene in a Democratic primary.
So Menendez picked a weak horse who - assuming he makes it through what will now likely be an expensive, bruising primary - will have votes siphoned off by Crist in a three-way race.
Seems like a divided Democratic party is cannibalizing itself, Bob, and Republican Marco Rubio will benefit from the divide and emerge as the candidate of choice Democrats, independents and Republicans.
Seems like Chairman/Senator Bob may be out of a job if this debacle continues...that is, unless New Jersey voters recall his sorry ass first...