At the NRSC, they feel very good about Charlie Crist, who begins the primary as an overwhelming favorite, according to the polling available as of last month. He is an overwhelming frontrunner for the general election as well.
The Crist endorsement definitely seems premature, as John pointed out. But it’s also easy to see why the NRSC is so eager to do this. Crist plugs one of many holes that Senate Republicans have in their leaky boat this cycle — others include Ohio, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Louisiana, Missouri, Kentucky. And those are only the Democrats’ best potential pickup opportunities.
And Florida is a particularly expensive state, with seven or eight major media markets. In the event that he ends up with a real race on his hands, Crist is a proven fundraiser who won’t need a lot of help. With this single recruit, NRSC chairman John Cornyn immediately takes a lot of financial pressure off himself. has already taken a lot of money-pressure off of himself. What’s more, Florida primaries come late in the year. The NRSC would just as soon shut down Marco Rubio’s effort before he even gets started.
As demonstrated here and by their completely unnecessary (and not necessarily correct) dissing of Pat Toomey’s chances in Pennsylvania, the Senate establishment wants to pre-determine as many outcomes as possible.