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Tags: Charlie Crist

A Good Morning for Charlie Crist, Cory Gardner & Tom Cotton



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The good news for Democrats this morning:

A jump in support from independent likely voters in the Florida governor’s race leaves Democrat Charlie Crist with 43 percent, inches ahead of Republican incumbent Gov. Rick Scott with 40 percent, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today. Libertarian candidate Adrian Wyllie has 8 percent, with 9 percent undecided.

The good news for Republicans this morning:

With strong support from men, U.S. Rep. Cory Gardner, the Republican challenger in the Colorado U.S. Senate race, leads U.S. Sen. Mark Udall, the Democratic incumbent, 46 – 39 percent among likely voters, with 7 percent for independent candidate Steve Shogan, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today. Another 7 percent are undecided.

The other good news for Republicans this morning:

The 16th annual Arkansas Poll found an electorate more pessimistic about the direction of Arkansas and more optimistic about their personal future. Likely voters prefer Republican candidates, although a record significant gap divides male and female voters. Among very likely voters, Tom Cotton, the Republican candidate, maintains a significant lead over Democrat Mark Pryor, at 49 percent to 36 percent.

The ominous news for the country as a whole this morning:

The air strikes already ordered by President Barack Obama are supported by 76% of the public, a CNN/ORC International survey of 1,018 adults, conducted Oct. 24-26, found.

However, only 48% of those polled say the U.S. effort is going well — while 54% say they’re confident the strikes will degrade and destroy the military capability of ISIS. That figure is down from 61% last month. . . . Only 32% said they believe Obama has a clear plan for dealing with ISIS. Meanwhile, 59% said further acts of terrorism in the United States are likely over the next several weeks.

Tags: Charlie Crist , Cory Gardner , Tom Cotton

Florida Democrat on Early Voting So Far: ‘This Is Horrible.’



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This is not what Florida Democrats wanted to read after the first weekend of early voting:

South Florida in-person early voting turnout might have been relatively lighter than expected this weekend, but Democrats for the first time this election still topped Republicans in pre-Election Day ballot casting at the polls in the entire state.

But, thanks to strong vote-by-mail absentee ballot returns, Republicans still lead Democrats in overall early voting: 138,572 of the more than 1.8 million ballots cast as of this morning. In relative terms, the GOP is up 7.6 percentage points.

This is a slight improvement for Democrats over an earlier report that suggested it was time to panic:

Some Democrats are starting to panic. It’s an understandable feeling. Mid-term election turnout in the big three urban counties is historically abysmal, which is a major reason why Republicans hold every statewide elected office but one.

This is a warning sign for Democrat Charlie Crist.

“This is horrible,” one South Florida consultant told me.

We’ve heard a lot about Democrats’ various get-out-the-vote efforts. In 2012, they indisputably kicked Republicans’ tails up and down the block in terms of bringing their base voters out. But so far in quite a few states, the early-vote turnout for them ranges from barely okay to disastrous. We’re seeing it in places like Nevada, with no big statewide race, and in places like Florida, where you would figure a hard-fought, closely matched governor’s race would stir some interest, if not excitement. Then again, maybe this reflects a factor unique to the Sunshine State; perhaps Florida Democrats can’t get all that excited about voting for Charlie Crist, since they spent much of the past decade voting against him when he was a Republican.

Tags: Florida , Charlie Crist , Rick Scott

Florida GOP Spotlights Crist’s Answer on Strip-Club Owner Donations



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The Republican party of Florida is spotlighting this exchange between Charlie Crist and an interviewer, regarding $90,000 in contributions from strip-club owners — including contributions from owners of one that was the target of “a lengthy police investigation into allegations of prostitution and drug dealing.”

“Now that you’re aware of the source of the money, do you feel it’s appropriate to return it?”

“No, I don’t.”

Floridians may or may not disapprove of strip clubs. But it’s unlikely they feel particularly fond of strip-club owners.

Tags: Charlie Crist , Florida

The Great Big Polling Roundup for Thursday



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Also in today’s Jolt, a quick update on some key midterm races . . . 

At least the polls are coming rapidly now, instead of the one-a-month schedule we endured this summer.

A slew of polls hit the public late Wednesday.

Kansas: A bit of relief for Republicans: A Fox News poll finds incumbent Senator Pat Roberts at 40 percent, and “Independent”-who’s-really-a-Democrat Greg Orman at 38 percent. As a couple of analysts have noted, it’s Kansas, and while Roberts survived a brutal primary, Kansas voters are not in the habit of tossing out Republicans in favor of options to the left. Republicans ought to keep this one on the radar screen, but a decent get-out-the-vote effort from the Kansas GOP should keep this one safe. Check back in early October.

Louisiana: Fox News puts Landrieu at 31 percent in the open primary, 38 percent when head-to-head with Republican Bill Cassidy. This is the worst poll for Landrieu in a while, but it’s not that much worse; she’s consistently been on course for a runoff and then trailed the head-to-head matchups for a runoff. Of course, national Democrats will spend every last dime they have to save her in a runoff.

Colorado Senate: Right after NRO posts my lengthy piece on how Cory Gardner still has a shot for a narrow win in this state, USA Today/Suffolk drops a poll showing Gardner ahead by 1. The guy needs money, he needs the outside conservative groups to come in and blast the airwaves, he needs to keep targeting those casual voters who are sour on Obama and the direction of the country, and he needs to chip a few percentage points off incumbent Democrat Mark Udall’s numbers among rural Democratic voters.

Of course, this morning Quinnipiac blew up the conventional wisdom on this race by showing a big Gardner lead.

Regarding the Gardner/Tillis strategy, one reader responded, “This mining for votes is a timid strategy that Karl Rove used to eke out two extremely narrow victories for a dismally poor politician. . . . Try to win big, try to win over large swaths of voters to your side. Talk about Obamacare, the IRS scandal, Benghazi. Call your opponents out on these issues. Make them answer for their pro-abortion extremism rather than cowering in fear lest you have to talk about the issue at all.”

I’d really like to live in a world where a Republican candidate can win big in a state like Colorado by talking about “Obamacare, the IRS scandal, Benghazi, and pro-abortion extremism.” But I’m about 99 percent convinced we don’t live in that world. The Coloradans who care about Obamacare, the IRS scandal, Benghazi and pro-abortion extremism are already voting for Gardner. We have yet to find a surefire way to get the low-information and low-interest voters to care about these sorts of issues; it’s not merely a matter of getting conservatives and GOP candidates to talk about these issues more.

Colorado Governor: Take your pick. Either incumbent Democrat John Hickenlooper is ahead by 2, or he’s trailing Republican Bob Beauprez by 10. For what it’s worth, the poll with Beauprez ahead big has a much bigger sample. Either way, Hickenlooper’s got good reason to work like he’s trailing.

Wisconsin Governor: Rasmussen puts Scott Walker up 2, Marquette puts him up 3. As ominous as that sounds, remember that this is a state Walker won 52–46 in 2010. Ron Johnson won the Senate race that year with 51.9 percent. A Republican candidate is going to have a hard ceiling of about 5253 percent here. Yes, Walker won the recall election by a bigger margin, but he enjoyed the benefit of some voters who opposed the concept of the recall election and voted “no” on that basis — a factor not around in this routine election year.

Florida Governor: Survey USA puts incumbent Republican Rick Scott ahead of Charlie Crist, 44 percent to 39 percent. I feel like the national coverage of that race hasn’t really noted how consistently Scott has been ahead — usually by a small margin, but ahead nonetheless:

Tags: Pat Roberts , Greg Orman , Rick Scott , Charlie Crist , 2014 Midterms

A Bad Trend for Charlie Crist in Florida



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A Florida polling result some might find surprising:

PPP’s newest Florida poll shows that the race is a toss up. Despite having an approval rating of only 39 percent with 48 percent disapproval, incumbent Governor Rick Scott is tied with possible Democratic candidate and former Republican governor Charlie Crist at 42 percent apiece. Helping Scott is the fact that Crist is also underwater with a 32 percent favorable rating and 48 percent unfavorable.

In the RealClearPolitics polling average, Crist leads by 2 percentage points, his smallest lead of the year.

Tags: Charlie Crist , Rick Scott

Rick Scott Gaining Ground in Florida?



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Florida Republicans continue to emphasize that incumbent Gov. Rick Scott has no easy task before him in his reelection bid. But one poll, Survey USA, is starting to see some movement in the right direction for Scott:

Is it an early indicator of things to come? Or is it just statistical noise? For the first time, the WFLA-TV poll that is tracking the Florida Governor’s contest shows Republican Rick Scott in front — Scott at 42%, Democrat Charlie Crist at 40%, according to SurveyUSA data gathered as voters get ready for the Memorial Day weekend. Compared to an identical SurveyUSA poll 10 days ago, Scott is up 1 point, Crist is down 4 points, a 5-point shift to the right.

Here is where there is movement: in Central Florida, which includes 19 counties surrounding Orlando, Scott has gained ground in each of 4 tracking polls and today leads there 47% to 34%. You can see it here. Among moderates, Crist had a 25-point advantage 10 days ago, now a 12-point advantage. You can see it here. Among males, Crist has been steadily losing ground, and now trails by 14 points; the Gender Gap is today 26 points. Crist’s support is down among whites, down among blacks. Among Cubans, Scott now leads 2:1.

 

Tags: Rick Scott , Charlie Crist

Charlie Crist of 2014 Denounces Charlie Crist of 2010



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Charlie Crist, the Republican-turned-independent-turned-Democrat candidate for governor in Florida, declares the GOP is “anti-woman, anti-immigrant, anti-minority, anti-gay, anti-education, anti-environment.”

Does Crist’s effort to beat Marco Rubio in the 2010 Senate race count as “anti-minority”?

When he says, anti-immigrant, does he mean a position like this?

The first thing we need to realize about immigration reform is to make sure that we seal the border. Everything else is an academic conversation unless and until we do that. Second, we need to make sure that we’re enforcing the law. Laws on the books don’t mean anything if they’re not being enforced. And third, those who are already here shouldn’t be advantaged by the fact that they got here illegally.

That of course, is what Charlie Crist said on immigration back in 2010.

Charlie Crist is appalled by the past positions and party affiliation
of Charlie Crist.

Tags: Charlie Crist , Marco Rubio

Crist: I ‘Never Have’ Wanted to Tell a Woman What to Do With her Body



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From the Tuesday Morning Jolt:

Guy Who Spent His Early Career Insisting He’s Pro-Life Now Insists He’s Always Been Pro-Choice.

Seriously, Florida. Come on.

There are a lot of Florida Democrats who will probably tell you they care about abortion — er, “abortion rights” or “reproductive rights.” The vast majority of them will, this fall, vote for a man who, during his 2006 race for governor, told a priest in Pensacola that he would sign a bill outlawing abortions except when the mother’s life was at stake. But then he told an AP reporter that he would sign such a bill only if it included exceptions for rape and incest. Also during that race, Charlie Crist attacked his GOP rival for being pro-choice. And as recently as January 2010, “Crist’s Republican U.S. Senate campaign released a statement saying he would ‘fight for pro-life legislative efforts.’”

And now he can come along and say, “even though I am pro-life, which I mean, for life, doesn’t mean I want to tell a woman what to do with her body, and I never have,” and almost every self-proclaimed pro-choice Florida Democrat will nod approvingly.

Because they don’t give a [insert your colorful metaphor here] what the heck Charlie Crist did in the past. They only care that he has a “D” after his name.

Tags: Charlie Crist

New Poll Shows Rick Scott Ahead in Florida’s Gubernatorial Race



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Hmm. The conventional wisdom on Florida’s governor’s race is that incumbent Republican Rick Scott is in deep trouble.

Then again, maybe not:

Scott leads [Republican-turned Democrat Charlie] Crist 45 percent to 44 percent, in a new Voter Survey Service poll, commissioned by Sunshine State News. While Scott’s lead is within the margin of error, the poll reveals the Republican holds an important 5 point lead over Crist among Floridians more likely to cast votes in the November election.

This is the first poll showing Scott ahead . . . so far this cycle.

Tags: Rick Scott , Charlie Crist , Florida

Charlie Crist Has the Most Amazing Friends!



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Today’s Miami Herald offers an unflattering portrait of former Republican governor Charlie Crist, now running for his old office as a Democrat:

For the first time since his billion-dollar-plus Ponzi scheme imploded four years ago, Scott Rothstein, 51, re-emerged Wednesday, testifying in federal court. And he unloaded on just about everyone — from Florida’s former governor to judges, bankers, police officers and gangsters.

The disbarred lawyer, now serving a 50-year prison sentence and cooperating with prosecutors, appeared eager to unburden himself . . . 

He detailed how he got around federal campaign finance laws, enlisting members of the firm to contribute hundreds of thousands of dollars to politicians, including former Gov. Charlie Crist. He claimed Crist appointed him to the Judicial Nominating Committee as part of a “quid pro quo” for helping to bankroll his campaign. Crist has said he returned Rothstein’s money after learning it was dirty.

The fact that Florida Democrats will shrug at this indicates that they are perfectly fine with a Republican governor trading appointments and favors for campaign cash, as long as that governor switches to the Democratic party later.

Good news for Bob McDonnell!

Tags: Charlie Crist

Is Rick Scott Quietly Assembling a Solid Governing Record?



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Today’s Morning Jolt was sent off to the editors a bit late, but hopefully worth the wait. A key section turns our eyes to the warmer climes of Florida . . . 

Great Scott! . . . or at Least Pretty Good Scott!

So this poll result, from the Democratic firm Public Policy Polling, sounds pretty ominous for Florida governor Rick Scott, a Republican, showing him trailing, 41 percent to former governor Charlie Crist’s 43 percent . . . until you recall the last PPP poll:

What was a 12 point lead for Charlie Crist over incumbent Rick Scott in September at 50/38 is now just a 2 point advantage at 43/41.

The movement since the fall has come largely as a result of Republican voters rallying around Scott and continuing to decline in their affection for Crist. Scott now leads by 66 points with the GOP base at 80/14, compared to only a 44 point advantage on previous poll at 65/21. That shift with Republicans accounts for almost the entire 10 point movement in Scott’s direction over the last few months.

Perhaps the late September was a bit of an outlier; that was the eve of the government shutdown that dragged down Republican polls across the country. (Ask Ken Cuccinelli if you doubt that a Washington shutdown can influence voter opinions about a governor’s race.) So is this a genuine comeback for Scott, or is the race settling in to what it was always likely to be — a close race between two flawed candidates?

It’s easy to understand a Floridian not loving Rick Scott. He initially supported the expansion of Medicaid under Obamacare, but the GOP-dominated state legislature strongly opposed the proposal, and now he’s kind of quiet about the idea. Sure, he’s not exactly a whirling dervish of raw political charisma. Sure, everybody says he looks like he should be cast as Lex Luthor in the Superman movie.

But these past four years haven’t been that bad for Florida. By some indicators, they’ve been pretty darn good. When Scott took office in January 2011, the unemployment rate was 12.4 percent; today it’s 6.4 percent. The state has gone from more than a million unemployed to just under 600,000. Several tort-reform bills are now signed into law. The growth in state spending has slowed dramatically, now in line with the rate of inflation and population growth. State-government employees now kick in more for their pension costs, and the state government workforce has been reduced by more than 7 percent, almost 10,000 positions. Scott signed several school-choice bills into law.

There are governors who would shut down a bridge access lane for a record like that, or hock a Rolex.

But I can’t quite understand why any voter in Florida would be in love with Charlie Crist — partially because you’ll never love Charlie Crist the way Charlie Crist does. And I really can’t understand why any Florida Democrats would be itching to elect the guy whom they tried to beat in statewide races in 2000, 2002, and 2006, and in his “independent” bid for Senate in 2010. Is the ‘D’ after a candidate’s name really magic? Can it make you forget everything you couldn’t stand about the guy for the past decade?

Betsy Woodruff read Crist’s autobiography/campaign memoir so you wouldn’t have to:

A great anecdote in the middle of the book recounts his attendance at a Q&A session between governors and the president. After watching Obama get grilled by other Republican governors, Crist comes to the president’s defense:

“I’ve listened to my colleagues give you a bunch of garbage” — I kind of spat that word out — “about the stimulus. . . . It is not the way we ought to be treating you. We ought to be treating each other as we’re told in the Bible — ‘do unto others.’”

The scene in its entirety is much lengthier, but you get the idea. Charlie Crist is the guy at the panel who raises his hand to ask a question and then blabs into the mic for five minutes instead. And Valerie Jarrett, who listens to the exchange, is deeply moved:

“That’s exactly what he needed to hear,” she said. “That’s exactly what we all need to hear.” As Valerie spoke, I could see tears were running down her cheeks. “Thank you for saying that,” she said.

Yeah. I’m sure that’s exactly how it happened.

Charlie Crist does have a passionate, uncompromising belief and a deep-rooted principle. The problem is that his passionate, uncompromising belief is the a deep-rooted principle that he should be governor. Everything else is negotiable.

UPDATE: Some charts on the size of Florida’s state-government workforce, year by year:

If the print is too small, the overall state government workforce has shrunk from 168,654 in 2009 to 161,392 in 2013; a few categories, such as state’s attorneys and public defenders, have increased, while the career-service employees were reduced by about 6,000. The Florida state legislature employs about 150 fewer workers than in 2009.

Tags: Rick Scott , Charlie Crist

Florida Democrats, Having Doubts About Crist in 2014



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Perhaps Florida Democrats aren’t as enthusiastic about adopting Charlie Crist as one of their own as the initial coverage suggested:

Major Democratic financial backers,including trial lawyers and teachers, are gushing about Charlie Crist and his prospects for 2014.

Crist has not announced plans to run for governor again, but polls show him trouncing Republican Gov. Rick Scott by double digits.The lifelong Republican-turned-Democrat at this point looks like he could grab the Democratic nomination without even a serious challenge.

But oh-so-quietly, veteran Democratic fundraisers and strategists across Florida worry about another scenario: a Charlie Crist train wreck that would ensure a second term for one of America’s most vulnerable Republican governors. The wariness and even downright hostility to Crist’s candidacy are part of what’s fueling speculation about Sen. Bill Nelson entering the race.

Grassroots Florida Democrats did their best to defeat Crist in 2000 (in the race for Florida Education Commissioner), in 2002 (for attorney general), in 2006 (in the governor’s race) and in 2010 (as an independent candidate for Senate). After spending a decade telling voters that he’s the wrong choice, they may not be too eager to make him their new standard-bearer.

Sen. Bill Nelson, meanwhile, is a strangely low-profile three-term senator. PPP found that 38 percent approve of his performance, 40 percent disapprove, and 22 percent aren’t sure. This is after winning reelection handily, 55 percent to 42 percent, just a few months ago.

There’s some dispute as to just how bad Rick Scott’s approval rating is, with two pollsters showing extremely bad news and one showing not-so-bad:

PPP’s survey, released Tuesday, said only 33 percent of voters viewed Scott favorably, compared to 57 who did not. The Q Poll, released today, had that rating at 36-49.

But AIF, in an 800-voter survey that Associated Industries of Florida President Tom Feeney said shows “a clear contradiction [to] recently released polling data that has Governor Rick Scott’s approval rating in the low 30s,” said Scott’s approval rating is “holding strong” with 47 percent of Florida voters approving the job Scott is doing (though 49 percent don’t.)

Former Gov. Charlie Crist, above, holding up his change-of-party membership form, which he filled out in the White House.

UPDATE:  A beautiful detail in that story: “Among those who says he encouraged Nelson to run? Crist’s boss and top cheerleader, John Morgan, the trial lawyer whose Morgan & Morgan TV ads blanket much of Florida. Morgan and Nelson discussed it over dinner at Luma in Winter Park in February, but Nelson was non-committal.”

In case you’ve missed Charlie Crist’s television commercial for that law firm:

Tags: Bill Nelson , Charlie Crist , Rick Scott

Akin: My Race Is Just Like Crist vs. Rubio!



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In Missouri, controversial GOP Senate candidate Todd Akin is now using the e-mail list from Newt Gingrich’s presidential campaign — this is pretty standard practice for presidential campaigns, by the way — to argue that he’s the Marco Rubio of this cycle:

Friend,

A few years ago, Party Bosses wanted Marco Rubio gone so that Charlie Crist could sail to the Republican Senate nomination in Florida.

A few days ago, Crist spoke at the Democratic National Convention — where attendees had just adopted a platform supporting taxpayer-funded abortion on demand into the third trimester of pregnancy.

If you missed Newt last week on Meet the Press addressing this point, it’s worth a minute of your time to watch:

Now, those very same party bosses that pushed political opportunist Charlie Crist want Todd Akin gone from the Missouri Senate race. The Party Bosses have turned their backs on Todd Akin, and are content to let liberal, pro-abortion Claire McCaskill win another term.

Actually, party bosses don’t want McCaskill to win; they want a Republican who is not a giant liability to be the party’s Senate candidate in that key state. Todd Akin refused to allow that to happen, so now he’s asking for $5 donations, hoping to raise $5,000.

As of July 18, McCaskill had $3.5 million cash on hand.

Congressman Akin, we know Marco Rubio. Marco Rubio’s a friend of ours. And you’re no Marco Rubio.

Tags: Charlie Crist , Claire McCaskill , Marco Rubio , Todd Akin

How Rubio’s Campaign Dominated the Online Fight



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As the 2012 cycle begins to warm up a bit, I hope candidates and their campaigns carefully study what worked and what didn’t last cycle.

This video, from the firm Targeted Victory, offers a quick-moving lesson on how the Marco Rubio campaign used the Internet – YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, special online fund-raising days, Facebook town halls – in his once-long-shot campaign for Senate in Florida this year.

The end result was a campaign that punched well above its weight in the online world. In a three-way race, Rubio accounted for 72 percent of all Facebook “likes”, 58 percent of all Twitter followers, 85 percent of all YouTube views, 55 percent of all web visits to candidate web sites, and 48.9 percent of the final vote. One in three of his e-mail subscribers were donors.

Tags: Charlie Crist , Kendrick Meek , Marco Rubio

In This Unlikely Scenario, the GOP Nominee Should Run With Rubio



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At the Florida political blog The Shark Tank, Javier Manjarres offers a wildly implausible but entertaining prediction:

In spite of assertions made to the contrary by Vice President Joe Biden, speculation continues to swirl around the possibility that President Obama will replace Biden on the 2012 Presidential ticket for someone with less of a propensity for gaffes as well as for a younger and more “moderate” candidate in order to appeal to the thousands of disenfranchised ‘Independents’ across the country.  If Obama really is intent on throwing Biden under the bus, I would not be surprised if he chooses none other than the tanned and ‘Independent’ one himself, Charlie Crist.

Quite a team: America’s first black president could pick the country’s first orange vice president.

Presuming Obama replaces Biden . . . why skip over a slew of lifelong Democrats to pick a recent party-flipper? Why pick a guy who just lost his own state by a wide margin? Why associate Obama, already known for making promises with expiration dates, with a guy who changed so many positions, so quickly, when he changed parties?

Tags: Barack Obama , Charlie Crist

No Labels: No Specifics, No Coherence, No Point.



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If I didn’t know better, I would think the whole “No Labels” movement was a giant, self-parodying prank.

I tuned in to the webcast of the group’s kickoff to hear a woman saying, “You just have to look to Arizona to see extremists who are trying to divide us.” I guess I know how the group feels about the Arizona immigration enforcement law. Of course, I thought the point of the group was to stop labeling people; but I guess it’s okay to label the overwhelming majority of Arizonans “extremists.”

Bruce Braley, D-Iowa, introduced himself  “a proud Democrat… who is also proud that he grew up in a no-labels house in a proud no-labels town.” He continued to sing the joys of the label-free lifestyle in a manner that probably should make his constituents look to their shoes in shame: “The most important place I go every day is the House gym. Because there are no labels in the House gym.”

I can’t help but notice that the Republicans involved all lost primaries or fled the party: Bob Inglis, Mike Castle, Charlie Crist, Michael Bloomberg.

Tags: Charlie Crist , Mike Bloomberg , Mike Castle

Guess Which Party Charlie Crist Ended Up Dividing?



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Hey, remember when the Charlie Crist–Marco Rubio fight was going to tear apart the Florida Republican party?

Right storyline, wrong party.

After more than an hour of heated discussion, the Palm Beach County Democratic Executive Committee voted to send a “brisk” letter of disapproval to Democrats (from left) Aaronson, Sachs and Vana for endorsing Republican-turned-independent Charlie Crist in the U.S. Senate race.

Carole Pollack was inducted as a Palm Beach County Democratic precinct captain Thursday night. Less than two hours later, after listening to party members shout each other down and seeing several walk out in protest, Pollack herself was storming out of a Democratic Executive Committee meeting in West Delray saying she might never return.

Pollack witnessed an intramural Democratic bloodbath over whether the party should take action against Democratic County Commissioners Burt Aaronson and Shelley Vana and state Sen. Maria Sachs for bucking the party and endorsing Republican-turned-independent Charlie Crist in the Nov. 2 U.S. Senate race.

Committee members who stayed to the bitter end rejected a motion to censure the elected officials but voted to authorize a committee to send a “brisk” letter telling them of their disapproval.

Hey, Florida Democrats, we don’t want to see you go away from this election cycle mad. We just want to see you go away.

See, now conservatives have a good reason to like Charlie Crist.

Tags: Charlie Crist , Kendrick Meek , Marco Rubio

Mason-Dixon: ‘The Math Isn’t There’ for Anything But a Rubio Victory



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This is beautiful poll analysis.

The poll — which comes on the heels of revelations that former President Bill Clinton last week reportedly urged DemocratKendrick Meek to get out of the race — shows the Republican Rubio leading the field with 45 percent, followed by Gov. Charlie Crist at 28 percent and Meek at 21 percent. Only 6 percent of voters in the Mason-Dixon Polling & Research Inc. poll said they were undecided.

“There is simply no mathematical formula by which Crist or Meek can approach Rubio’s 45 percent support level,” said Mason-Dixon managing director Brad Coker.

Even if Meek were to bow out now, Coker said, the math isn’t there. Early votes have already been cast and Meek’s name would remain on the ballot.

“It was a pipe dream to begin with and if they were doing it, it should have been done a month ago,” Coker said. “In three days how do you convince every Democrat who was going to vote for Meek that Crist is the guy?”

And just think how this race looked back in September 2009 . . .

Yes, he can, and he is right on the verge.

Tags: Charlie Crist , Kendrick Meek , Marco Rubio

Crist and Clinton Pushed Meek Hard to Drop Out



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This is an interesting 11th-hour story going on in Florida, but we’ve reached a point where I simply don’t trust something coming from the Crist camp.

And as for Bill Clinton . . . well, I don’t think this is a source of unimpeachable credibility.

Bill Clinton sought to persuade Rep. Kendrick Meek to drop out of the race for Senate during a trip to Florida last week — and nearly succeeded. Meek agreed — twice — to drop out and endorse Gov. Charlie Crist’s independent bid in a last-ditch effort to stop Marco Rubio, the Republican nominee who stands on the cusp of national stardom. Meek, a staunch Clinton ally from Miami, has failed to broaden his appeal around the state and is mired in third place in most public polls, with a survey today showing him with just 15 percent of the vote. His withdrawal, polls suggest, would throw core Democratic voters to the moderate governor, rocking a complicated three-way contest and likely throwing the election to Crist. The former president’s top aide, Doug Band, initially served as the intermediary between Meek and Crist, and Clinton became involved only when Meek signaled that he would seriously consider the option, Clinton spokesman Matt McKenna confirmed to POLITICO. “The argument was: ‘You can be a hero here. You can stop him, you can change this race in one swoop,’” said another Democrat familiar with the conversations, who said Clinton had bluntly told Meek that he couldn’t win the race.

Crist also confirmed the planned scenario Thursday night, telling MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann: “I had numerous phone calls with people very close to President Clinton.”

Meek conceded in an interview on CNN that he and Clinton had discussed his leaving the race, but denied that the conversation was serious. “We talk politics all the time. He said, ‘I heard this thing about you getting out.’ I said, ‘I’m not getting out.’ I said Charlie Crist needs to get out of the race. And that was that,” Meek said. “This whole thing, I don’t know where it came from. I know the discussions I had with the president wasn’t about some sort of wrapped deal with me getting out of the race. I’m not getting out of the race.”

Team Rubio responds:

Tonight, Rubio Senior Strategist Todd Harris issued the following statement on today’s Politico story:”Charlie Crist truly will say and do anything to get elected and hold on to power. Secret deals to trade away principles for power is already the problem in Washington, it’s not the solution. This is simply politics as usual which is exactly what voters across the country are emphatically rejecting this election.”

Facts Of Note:

As of today, more than 1.7 million Floridians have already voted — approximately 1/3 of all likely voters (4.8 million Floridians voted in 2006, the last midterm election).

There is not a single public poll which shows Crist leading Rubio in a hypothetical two-way race.

As of yesterday, our internal tracking showed Crist and Meek in a statistical dead heat.

Among those who have already voted, our internal polling actually shows Meek beating Crist 28% to 24%.

Tags: Charlie Crist , Kendrick Meek , Marco Rubio

Quinnipiac’s Last Poll in Florida Seems . . . Just Plain Weird.



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We will know whether this poll is on the mark in a matter of days, but Quinnipiac’s latest results in Florida seem a little odd to me:

In the Florida U.S. Senate race, Republican Marco Rubio leads Gov. Charlie Crist, who is running as an independent, 42 – 35 percent among likely voters, while Democratic U.S. Rep. Kendrick Meek gets 15 percent, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.

In the hotly-contested governor’s race, State Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink, the Democrat, has 45 percent to 41 percent for Republican Rick Scott, the independent Quinnipiac University survey, conducted by live interviewers, finds.  Another 11 percent are undecided and 9 percent of those who name a candidate say they might change their mind in this final week before Election Day. 

Today’s results compare with Quinnipiac University’s October 13 survey showing Rubio with 44 percent, followed by Crist with 30 percent and Meek with 22 percent. 

An October 12 poll of the governor’s race showed Scott with 45 percent and Sink with 44 percent.

I suppose that in the Senate race, this could be the traditional late coalescing of support around the top two candidates in a three-way race. But is the Democratic nominee in a hard-fought Senate race really going to be held to 15 percent? Are we to believe that Kendrick Meek will finish with a lower share of the vote than Alvin Greene (usually around 20 percent)?

As for the governor’s race . . . perhaps Floridians are confident that Alex Sink can handle the tough questions, as long as her makeup woman is never far away.

Tags: Alex Sink , Charlie Crist , Kendrick Meek , Marco Rubio , Rick Scott

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