Thursday, September 16, 2010

Florida Three-Way

Charlie Crist is now running ads on TV here that touts his independence from both parties, but he’s making more moves to the center and even dipping into liberal territory by suggesting that the state may drop its defense of the ban on gay adoption in Florida and is now in favor of civil unions. He defended the move as “evolution” (another liberal leaning):

The governor, who now needs to attract more Democratic and independent voters, called his changing views “an appropriate evolution.”

“The older you get the more tolerant you become, the less judgmental you are, and that’s called wisdom,” Crist said. “Maybe I was more rigid earlier, but I don’t feel that way. And I know who’s supposed to be judging people, and it’s not me.”

That’s nice, but it’s not just about becoming more tolerant as he gets older. It’s because he’s trying to scoop up the votes from Kendrick Meek, although I have a hard time believing that hard-core Democrats would flip for Crist just because he’s not sounding like a right-winger. But even if they do, it may be for naught. TPM takes a look at the Senate race in Florida and basically calls it for Marco Rubio.

The day after the Florida Senate primary on August 24th, our Eric Kleefeld suggested that Kendrick Meek’s victory over mogul-Democrat Jeff Greene might be very bad news for Charlie Crist, who to that point, running as an independent, had been in a consistent lead over Republican nominee Marco Rubio. Indeed, Crist had virtually supplanted Meek as the de facto Democrat in the race.

But Eric was prescient. Meek’s victory over Greene has turned out to be a devastating reverse for Crist.


The reality is that both Crist and Meek are running in effect as Democrats, albeit of rather different flavors. And if they split the vote, neither can win. So the current deadlock, albeit with Crist significantly ahead of Meek, will likely guarantee the Republicans that seat.

You can’t say you didn’t see that coming.