BACKGROUND: RUBIO’S STRAW POLL RECORD (23-0)
-Pasco County REC: 73-9 (June 2009)
-Lee County REC: 60-11 (July 2009)
-Highlands County REC: 75-1 (July 2009)
-Bay County REC: 23-2 (August 2009)
-Jefferson County REC: 87 Percent (August 2009)
-Florida Federation of College Republicans: 19-6 (August 2009)
-Republican Women’s Club of Duval Federated: 65-4 (September 2009)
-Gilchrist County REC: 11-1 (September 2009)
-Hernando County REC: 46-0 (September 2009)
-Northwest Orange Republican Women Federation: 49-3 (September 2009)
-Marion County REC: 40-8 (September 2009)
-Palm Beach County REC: 90-17 (October 2009)
-Okaloosa County REC: 86-4 (November 2009)
-Republican Club of South Sarasota County: 70-17 Percent (November 2009)
-Orange County Republican Party Hob Nob: 211-27 (November 2009)
-Pinellas County REC: 106-54 (January 2010)
-Okeechobee County REC: 10-0 (January 2010)
-Florida Federation of College Republicans: 71 percent (January 2010)
-Republican Business Council of North Central Florida: 141-12 (January 2010)
-Capital Conservatives: 40-0 (February 2010)
-Capital City Republican Club: 71-15 (February 2010)
-Brevard County GOP: 321-45 (February 2010)
-Orlando Tea Party: 277-17 (February 2010)
Charlie Crist gets to set the course for the GOP after all. (Whether it’s where Republicans want to be led -- that’s another question.)Looking at the results from the straw polls we see a Florida Republican Party that is united, statewide, behind Marco Rubio. In the excerpt above from Rick Klein’s article in The Note you would think that Rubio is the “Tea Party” candidate and that Crist is the “mainstream” guy. Not exactly the reality of the situation. And while it may be true that the national Republican Party has been in disarray, our state GOP is quite cohesive, particularly since we’ve been rid of Crist crony, former state chairman Jim Greer. Further, Klein’s article assumes two scenarios in the event of a three way race:
Since we know that he’s listening and all -- what he’s hearing back is some mixed sounds, of varying volumes.
A party switch for Gov. Crist, R-Fla., may be his only remaining path to becoming a United States senator.
But it’s a path fraught with peril for the Republican Party -- and the possibility of Democrat Kendrick Meek winning in a three-way race would only be the GOP’s most immediate concern.
The storyline of Republican disarray was just about put to bed, or at least was on track to come to an end with this year’s primary season. Under the preferred (conservative) Republican scenario, Marcio Rubio defeats Charlie Crist, the Tea Party gets to drink deeply in victory, and there’s no Dede Scozzafava to worry about.
But if Crist runs as an independent, he writes a new chapter in a divisive story for the GOP, one that we’ll still be reading in November.
First, Rubio captures the far Right, Meek captures the far Left and Crist wins that wide swath in the middle.
Second, Rubio captures the far Right and Meek and Crist split everything else with Crist taking just enough to become Florida's next senator.
More likely, if Crist launches an Independent bid, Crist and Meek will split the Left while Rubio will take the Center and Right and Rubio will be our Senator. As it stands now, Crist can't even take Pinellas County.
2008 not withstanding, Florida is a Center Right to Right state. Neither Meek nor Crist stand a chance of winning in November. Crist's best hope is 2012, but only if he uses the next two years to reinvent himself, ala John McCain, as a Conservative. If Crist really is a pragmatist, now would be a good time for him to show it.
Cross posted at Carol's Closet