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Tags: Charlie Crist

Filtering for Likely Voters: Catch the Fever!



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Yesterday, CNN released a poll of registered voters in Florida and found Marco Rubio leading by 2.

Today, there’s a new poll out of likely voters, with a very different result:

Republican Marco Rubio, garnering surprising strength among independent voters, holds a double-digit lead over his two chief rivals in Florida’s U.S. Senate race, a new Sunshine State News Poll reports. The survey of likely voters shows Rubio with 43 percent, independent Charlie Crist with 29 percent, Democrat Kendrick Meek with 23 percent and the remaining 5 percent undecided.The Voter Survey Service poll surveyed 1,016 voters Sept. 1-5 and Sept. 7, and had a margin of error of 3 percent.

Knowing that we’re seeing such huge gaps . . . why are major media institutions still releasing polls that don’t filter for likely voters?

Tags: Charlie Crist , Marco Rubio

Perhaps He’s Afraid He’ll Lay an Egg



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Miami Herald: “Gov. Charlie Crist is not joining his rivals for the U.S. Senate, Republican Marco Rubio and Democrat Kendrick Meek, this Sunday on MSNBC’s ‘Meet the Press.’”

Cluck-cluck.

“The governor has long planned Labor Day events, when he’ll be out talking to working families,’’ said Crist spokesman Danny Kanner.

Of course. Those working families require the entire day; clearly, they wouldn’t understand if Crist took one half hour out of his morning to appear, via satellite if necessary, with the other candidates.

Oh, by the way, there’s nothing currently listed for Sunday on the Crist campaign web site events page.

Tags: Charlie Crist , Kendrick Meek , Marco Rubio

The NRA Will Still Be Heard This Cycle



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Over in the Corner, Kathryn notices the NRA’s non-endorsement of Harry Reid.

(Unfortunately, whatever I write on this subject is often attributed to one of my best buddies. So let me preface this by saying this analysis is based on much more than our conversations.)

The NRA believes they are best served by having friends on both sides of the aisle. They define themselves as a single-issue organization; while many of their members would identify themselves as conservatives and many are Republicans, the organization believes that any lawmaker who takes the right stances and votes should be supported by the organization, regardless of their views on non-gun issues. This is perhaps best illustrated by the NRA’s “A” rating for Howard Dean while he was governor of Vermont. 

This is not to say that Wayne LaPierre, Chris Cox, and the rest of the NRA’s leadership don’t have strong opinions about other issues; merely that they believe that the organization must always keep its eye on job one: protecting Americans’ Second Amendment rights. In their mind, considering a lawmaker’s overall governing philosophy or votes on other issues would mean the organization’s mission would get fuzzy and indistinct. (One rare exception to this is the group’s opposition to most campaign finance reform efforts; they feel that limiting gun owners’ right to support their preferred candidates is as abominable as limiting their Second Amendment rights.)

A moment of conservative resurgence like this one ought to be a great, triumphant moment for the NRA. But certain Democratic lawmakers have figured out that in order to get elected in non-inner-city parts of the country, they have to be resolutely, consistently, and loudly pro-gun. So in a few of the cycle’s most high-profile races, the organization has found itself contemplating an endorsement of a Democrat loathed by many of their Republican members.

On paper, the NRA doesn’t have a lot of reasons to be upset with Harry Reid, even if many of their Nevada members are irate at Reid about “the war is lost,” runaway spending, support for the Obama agenda, obnoxious comments, etc.

In Ohio, Ted Strickland has been precisely the kind of governor the NRA would like to see. John Kasich, by comparison, supported the Assault Weapons Ban back in 1994. He insists he’s learned from his mistake, but the NRA never forgets a bad vote, and endorsed Strickland.

In Florida, the NRA’s state officers have a long and happy working relationship with Charlie Crist, and he’s given the organization little reason to complain.

Many races this fall will feature what we’re used to seeing – a highly-rated pro-gun Republican against a poorly-rated anti-gun Democrat. It’s just the NRA’s luck that two of their longtime allies – Reid and Crist – are among the biggest targets of grassroots conservatives this cycle.

The NRA has stated they will not endorse in the Nevada Senate race. However, whether or not the NRA endorses in a particular race, they grade every candidate who answers their questions. Reid’s Sotomayor and Kagan votes will probably cost him an “A.” In the state legislature, Angle was pro-gun and it’s hard to imagine her suddenly embracing any gun control programs at this point. While she may not get endorsed, she may get graded higher than the incumbent.

Tags: Charlie Crist , Harry Reid , John Kasich , Sharron Angle , Ted Strickland

Rasmussen: Rubio 40, Crist 30, Meek 21



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Hey, remember when I kept pointing out that Marco Rubio hadn’t advertised on television in months? And the suggestion that once he started, he should start to see a bump in his poll numbers?

Yeah.

The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of Likely Voters in Florida shows Marco Rubio attracting 40% of the vote, while Charlie Crist picks up 30% in the race to become the state’s next U.S. senator. The new Democratic nominee Kendrick Meek earns 21% support.

This is the first poll of the race following Tuesday’s primary. Four percent (4%) prefer some other candidate, and five percent (5%) are undecided.

I figure this will spur Crist to start spending some of his stockpiled cash.

Tags: Charlie Crist , Kendrick Meek , Marco Rubio

Imagine How He’ll Poll Once He Actually Starts Running Commercials



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Marco Rubio’s expenditures on television advertising since May 1: $0.00.

UPDATE: Until now.

Tags: Charlie Crist , Kendrick Meek , Marco Rubio

It’s Rubio vs. Crist vs. Meek.



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CNN projects Kendrick Meek will win the Democratic Senate primary in Florida.

That is fantastic news for Marco Rubio, whose victory speech was interrupted by CNN breaking in to announce Meek’s win.

Jeff Greene spent $23 million of his own fortune to come in second.

Also among the early surprises of the night: Right now, Democrat Allen Boyd, congressman in the 2nd district, has only 51 percent in his party’s primary. He’ll probably build on this, but obviously there are a lot of Democrats who were underwhelmed with the incumbent’s performances and stances and were tempted by his primary rival, state senate minority leader Al Lawson.

He will, at this point, probably be facing Steve Southerland, who owns a chain of funeral homes. (Insert your own morbid metaphor here.)

Tags: Charlie Crist , Jeff Greene , Kendrick Meek , Marco Rubio

Will Negative Ads Prove Counter-productive in Florida This Year?



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One of my regulars offers an assessment from Florida . . .

Voters are EXHAUSTED with the negative ads. This might be something building down there. Anyone without a real message other than attacking their opponent may not get any traction with voters. Scott and Greene might both be in real trouble, unless their money bought a ton of early votes. Voters really turned against them after the subpoena for Scott and the reports of antics on Greene’s boat with Mike Tyson . . .

If they go down, that’s a stunning defeat for these two money bags throwing so much money into the races and at the end, could well lose by a very good margin.

That would shape up to be a race between Alex Sink, Bill McCollum, and Lawton Chiles III in the governor’s race and Kendrick Meek, Marco Rubio, Charlie Crist in the Senate race. As long as Meek is over 20 percent in the polls, I don’t see him dropping out . . . The greatest risk to Rubio in a M-R-C match-up is Meek dropping out the last minute (but not so late, because of early votings in Florida) and endorsing Crist . . . (maybe the other way around — Crist endorsing Meek last minute so he can beg for some job in the Obama administration!) . . . Bottom line, the voters are up in arms against the negative ads. They’ve had it. They want a good positive agenda . . . Rubio’s absence from the slugfest between the candidates and the money-bags may be a good thing. People are not looking for someone to blame and to whack the other guy, but rather someone to come in and fix the darn situation now . . .  A good analog is the boat is sinking, taking in water, and there is a big gusher in the boat . . . If all the voters see is three guys fighting each other and not fixing a darn thing, all three will get punished. 

Then there’s this late poll:

The Mason-Dixon poll commissioned by the Orlando Sentinel and other news organizations found McCollum with 45 percent support among likely voters compared to 36 percent support for the former health care executive, with Republican Mike McAlister drawing 4 percent.

The nine-point advantage among 500 GOP voters surveyed Tuesday through Thursday suggests undecided voters are breaking two-to-one for McCollum since the last Mason-Dixon poll a week earlier found him with a four-percentage point lead. The former Longwood congressman is now leading in every region of the state save for Scott’s home turf in southwest Florida.

Tags: Alex Sink , Bill McCollum , Charlie Crist , Jeff Greene , Kendrick Meek , Marco Rubio , Rick Scott

When Florida’s Public Opinion Zigs, Charlie Crist Zags



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Let’s face it; finding a Charlie Crist flip-flop is not exactly on par with the difficulty of finding Waldo. The ingredients for a good web video are abundant enough to make Florida sunshine look rare, and the technique is pretty clear:

  1. Take video of one Crist statement.
  2. Take video of subsequent contradictory Crist statement.
  3. Laugh. 

But this most recent one from Team Rubio spotlights how Charlie Crist is managing to flip-flop against the grain of public opinion:

Obama’s approval ratings five months ago were pretty unimpressive, but it seems clear that his numbers are lower now. Rarely do you find a lawmaker trying to attach himself to a politician whose popularity is sliding.

Tags: Charlie Crist , Marco Rubio

Jeff Greene Hits Meek Below the Waterline: His Taxpayer-Funded Car



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I get e-mails from the Senate campaign of Jeff Greene, Florida Democrat, several times a day, often reminding me how his primary rival, Kendrick Meek, is history’s greatest monster. After a while, these messages get easy to tune out, but I think he’s hit on something pretty eye-opening here:

MEEK’S $977 A MONTH LEASED CAR

Meek One of Only 100 Members to Lease Car. Out of 435 members, only about 100 members of the House lease a car at taxpayer expense. [Wall Street Journal, 5/30/09]

Meek Has Spent $78,897 of Taxpayer Money on His Car. Since he has been in office, Kenrick Meek has spent $78,897 on car leases. This does not include expenses. [Meek Congressional office disbursements, Jan. 2003 to present]

Meek’s Car Has Cost More Than Median Family Income in Florida. The 2008 median family income for Florida was $58,339. [www.census.gov]

Meek Has Taxpayer Lease His Car Because the Cars He Owns are in DC. “Rep. Kendrick Meek spent $977 a month to lease a ‘flexible-fuel’ GMC Yukon that runs on gas or a blend of gas and ethanol under a House rule requiring members to lease green vehicles. The monthly payment is high because representatives cannot use their allowances for down payments, and the lease is only for two years, coinciding with their term in office, said Meek’s spokesman, Adam Sharon. A Miami Democrat who is running for the U.S. Senate, Meek took his own cars along with his family to Washington after being elected, and needs to rent a vehicle in his district, Sharon said.” [Sun-Sentinel, 3/7/10]

Nearly $12,000 per year to lease a car? In what many voters would describe as Year Three of a Recession? To heck with that.

A lot of analysts think Rubio’s best shot is with Meek as the Democratic nominee; the thinking is that African-Americans will stick with Meek, Crist has a slice of the Democrats underwhelmed with Meek and some center-left types, and Rubio gets the biggest share.

I’m not quite so sure. If Jeff Greene wins the primary, he’ll probably immediately go to work tearing down Crist in an expensive ad campaign. It’s his lone shot: drive down Crist’s numbers and try to win head-to-head against Rubio.

Also keep in mind that Marco Rubio’s campaign hasn’t run a television ad since spring.

UPDATE: I remembered something about a car in Time’s profile of Meek that seemed way too optimistic about his chances. Upon a second glance, this part deserves better scrutiny:

He’s got a larger base — Democrats have a 750,000-voter advantage — though unlike Rubio, he hasn’t proven that he can nail it down.

Meek acknowledged that while driving my car from the restaurant to another condo event. (Ever the trooper, the first thing he did after squeezing into my driver’s seat was remove the old parking stubs from my dashboard; he explained that their reflection in the windshield could impair visibility.)

Thankfully, Meek wasn’t using his taxpayer-funded car for campaign work. But there’s something a bit odd here: Do political correspondents for Time magazine traditionally loan their cars to Democratic Senate candidates?

Tags: Charlie Crist , Jeff Greene , Kendrick Meek , Marco Rubio

Florida’s Poll Numbers, Stuck in a Holding Pattern



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Quinnipiac’s latest poll in Florida’s Senate race . . . looks a lot like the previous ones:

Florida Gov. Charlie Crist leads the three-way race for the U.S. Senate seat with 37 percent, followed by 32 percent for Republican Marco Rubio and 17 percent for Jeff Greene, the leading candidate for the Democratic nomination, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.  If U.S. Rep. Kendrick Meek wins the Democratic primary, Crist’s lead would be 39 percent to 33 percent for Rubio and 13 percent for Meek.

Raise your hand if you foresaw a Democrat getting 13 percent in a three-way race for Senate in Florida.

If Greene is the Democratic nominee, one factor working for Rubio is that billionaire Greene and Charlie Crist will be competing for the same voters, and Greene will probably finance millions upon millions of negative ads hammering Crist. One factor working against Rubio in that scenario is that Greene has enough money to run millions in negative ads hammering anybody, and if the race appeared to be coming down to Rubio and Greene . . . well, Jon Corzine’s career shows you how far a personal fortune spent on negative ads can take you. On the other hand, “real-estate mogul who made beaucoup bucks on the housing collapse and brought Heidi Fleiss to Passover” might seem just too weird, even for Florida.

A fan of Rubio offered some arguments to me, noting that over the past three months, Crist has had an enormous earned media advantage but that has so far failed to change the dynamics in the Senate race. Indeed, Rubio stopped advertising when he “won” the primary and is stockpiling his resources for a big autumn push, so trailing by a few points is not a terrible place to be.

This fan of Rubio points to Quinnipiac’s observation that if the Democrat gets into the mid to high 20’s, Crist’s chances of winning decrease substantially. Crist is also on the wrong side of public opinion on Obamacare . . . at least for today.

Tags: Charlie Crist , Jeff Greene , Kendrick Meek , Marco Rubio

Chamber of Commerce Prefers Rubio



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I’m not exactly surprised, but the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is endorsing Marco Rubio in Florida’s Senate race.

“We will endorse Marco Rubio because he has a record of standing up for the people of Florida during challenging economic times,” said Bill Miller, the U.S. Chamber’s senior vice president and political director who will attend the event with Rubio. “He is an invaluable leader who has a common sense approach to job creation and getting America back on the road to recovery.”

“On issues ranging from competition in the health care industry, to lowering taxes, to reducing energy costs, Florida’s businesses and workers will have a tireless advocate in Marco Rubio,” Miller said.

In total, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Federation of Independent Business, the Associated Builders & Contractors, the Associated Industries of Florida and the Club for Growth have all endorsed Rubio as the only candidate who will be a check-and-balance against the anti-jobs policies coming out of Washington and offer a clear alternative.

Tags: Charlie Crist , Marco Rubio

Charlie Crist vs. Harry Reid: Who Do We Believe? Must We Choose?



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Florida Senate candidate Charlie Crist says he’s talked to Senate majority leader Harry Reid about caucusing with the Democrats if Crist is elected as an independent. Harry Reid says flatly that they haven’t talked in months.

Based on what we know of the two men, I’d conclude they’re both lying.

Tags: Charlie Crist , Harry Reid

Ramesh Is Too Gloomy



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Over in the Corner, Ramesh thinks I’m too rosy about the chances for Marco Rubio in Florida’s Senate race and Rob Portman in Ohio’s Senate race.

Presume all the standard caveats: Don’t count your chickens before they hatch, don’t measure the drapes until you’ve won the office, anything can change in a New York minute, etc.

Rob Portman’s campaign led every poll from late September to mid-March; I can’t help but note that was during the peak of debate around the health-care bill. He’s currently sitting on $8.8 million in cash-on-hand; his Democratic opponent, Lee Fisher, has $1.2 million. Fisher has led polls in recent months, but never by more than 3 percentage points. Meanwhile, Obama’s job-approval numbers have been underwater in Ohio for quite some time. Fisher is on his third campaign manager this year; apparently it’s one of those jobs with a high turnover rate, like Spinal Tap drummer or number three in al-Qaeda.

It’s possible that the DSCC or the unions will dump enormous amounts of money into this race to help Fisher. But they’re probably going to be dealing with a lot of endangered Democrats across the country this fall.

Yes, Rubio has trailed by a few points lately. But he’s been off the airwaves for several months now. He’s sitting on a pile of cash and has enormous grassroots support, and Charlie Crist has the much more difficult balancing act, keeping enough of his old Republican supporters while winning over enough Democrats.

The reason Crist leads is because the Democrat is in the mid-teens in this race, and I have my doubts that either Kendrick Meek or Jeff Greene will remain at that abysmally low level through November. Once the Democrats have a nominee, one of two scenarios is likely to play out. One, Greene wins and spends millions upon millions trying to tear down Crist and win over wavering Democrats, eating away at Crist’s standing in the polls. Two, Meek wins, and does the same, but focuses on African-Americans. (Think Meek will be quiet if the DSCC fails to support the lone African-American Democratic Senate candidate this year*?) I suspect once Crist starts taking flak from both directions, you’ll see his Republican backers drift towards Rubio, and the Democrats shift back to Meek or Greene.

Is either race an absolute, 100 percent, take-it-to-the-bank lock? No, but for the Republicans to blow either one in what looks like a wave year for conservatives would be pretty surprising.

* Well, there is Alvin Greene in South Carolina, but it’s rather hard to imagine an all-out DSCC push on his behalf.

Tags: Charlie Crist , Lee Fisher , Marco Rubio , Rob Portman

Plugging the Leak Helps . . . Who?



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Our old friend Robert George offers this thought: “After Barack Obama, politician most ecstatic that oil spill has been capped? Marco Rubio. Charlie Crist? Not so much.”

On Obama, clearly it’s better for him that the oil stop leaking than that it continue leaking, as it is for everyone else. But I think the damage has been done, and in fact the likelihood of additional political damage to the president from the slow spill response was pretty minimal. The second month of this mess was when the public began concluding Obama wasn’t moving with much urgency or improving the situation; in the third month, disapproval of how Obama handles this issue increased by only four points. That’s about 1 percentage point for every eight days. For Obama’s approval rating, I suspect the issue of the spill is now baked in the cake.

If the cap holds, it’s not likely that voters will see Obama’s response as any quicker or more effective; most will continue to wonder why the federal government creaked and groaned and took so long to respond to Louisiana’s plans and requests and why skimmers sat in port for Coast Guard inspections. Obama ripped his predecessor’s response to Katrina and repeatedly promised a more effective, more efficient, more confident and active federal government. In the spill response, many Americans saw the same old, same old. Of course, the fact that the president seems to be on the golf course more frequently than Tiger doesn’t help.

The spill helped Crist look active, but it’s not exactly a shot of adrenaline to his Senate campaign; he’s still in the mid-30s in most polls. I’d contend his mild surge since departing the GOP has more to do with Rubio’s absence from the television airwaves during the summer months than the spill itself. Beyond that, Crist had generally praised the Obama administration’s response to the spill; after a while, as more oil washed ashore in Florida, that was likely to start working against him.

Tags: Barack Obama , Charlie Crist , Marco Rubio

Should Marco Rubio Be Keeping His Powder Dry?



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Longtime GOP consultant and Florida resident Roger Stone complains that Marco Rubio is taking an unnecessary risk by not putting campaign commercials up on the air yet:

Elections are always won by the candidate who dominates the dialog , frames the choice for the voters and defines the race. I expect Rubio to out-raise Crist in the quarter. Rubio has the money to communicate. This race has started yet Marco is strangely silent, letting Crist set the debate and dominate the race. Marco could further dry up Crists remaining moderate Republican votes by reminding voters of Crist broken property tax pledge and make Crist’s failed record as governor the reason to deny him a Senate seat.

It is midsummer and LeBron James just came to town. To the extent Floridians are paying attention to the news, it’s probably about the oil getting closer and closer to their coasts. Rubio is probably wise to keep his powder dry, build up a massive warchest for autumn, and dominate the airwaves for the final two months or six weeks or so. Charlie Crist has been cut off from most GOP donors.

Race-watchers made a similar charge against Joe Sestak earlier this year in the Pennsylvania primary. He was supposedly blowing a winnable primary challenge against Arlen Specter; he started putting up ads, and gained ground fast. It’s easy to picture a similar scenario against another former Republican running for Senate.

Tags: Charlie Crist , Marco Rubio

Marco Rubio’s Best Monday Ever: Sen. LeMieux’s Endorsement & Another $4.5 Million This Quarter



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When Mel Martinez suddenly retired, Florida governor Charlie Crist appointed George LeMieux to the U.S. Senate.

Today, LeMieux endorsed Marco Rubio in the Florida Senate race.

Some will cry, “betrayal!,” but it’s worth noting that Crist left the GOP; LeMieux isn’t obligated to leave with him.

In other Rubio news:

Demonstrating his growing grassroots momentum, U.S. Senate candidate Marco Rubio (R-FL) today announced that his campaign raised over $4.5 million during the second quarter of 2010, eclipsing Charlie Crist’s state fundraising record for a single quarter.  To date, over 75,000 donors have fueled the campaign with an average contribution of under $86.

In making this announcement, Rubio issued the following statement:

“With each supporter and idea, our campaign continues to prove that Floridians want their next U.S. senator to be a check and balance against Washington’s big spending agenda, while offering a clear, conservative alternative.  I continue to be humbled and energized by the outpouring of support we’re receiving from voters who recognize that I’m the only candidate in this race who will go to Washington, stand up to the big spenders in both parties and preserve the limited government principles that have made America exceptional.

“A year ago, many were convinced that a principled campaign against the big spending Obama-Pelosi-Crist-Meek agenda stood no chance in the face of better-funded and more popular opponents.  A year later, I’m thankful that our supporters have always understood what the stakes are in this election and have rallied behind us to create this movement.  Today’s announcement marks another important grassroots milestone on our way to ensuring our message is heard loud and clear throughout Florida this fall.”

BY THE NUMBERS: RUBIO’S RECORD FUNDRAISING

Total donors to date: Over 75,000

Donors not maxed out: 99 percent

Average contribution in Q2: $85.20

Average contribution to date: $85.94

Raised online to date: $1.3 million

Raised in Q2: Over $4.5 million 

Total raised to date: Over $11 million

Tags: Charlie Crist , Marco Rubio

So Florida’s Local Television Stations Are Unimpressed, Huh?



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I’d like to give the Rubio campaign credit for this web video, but I suppose Charlie Crist deserves more credit for providing them with all of the raw material:

Tags: Charlie Crist , Marco Rubio

A Photo-Op After the Session? The Session Is the Photo-Op.



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“A special legislative session to constitutionally ban offshore oil drilling.” Some days, I wonder if Charlie Crist gets his political strategy directly from a focus group.

Marco Rubio today issued the following statement regarding Crist’s call for a special legislative session to constitutionally ban offshore oil drilling, something already prohibited by Florida law:

The Obama/Crist response to the oil spill has been a total failure and Florida families and businesses are suffering because of it. This special session is nothing more than a political sideshow that will do nothing to help Panhandle businesses, keep oil off our beaches, or prevent future spills. In fact, Charlie Crist seeks to ban something that is already illegal under state law.  We don’t need more photo ops and finger pointing. We need leadership.  

Every available clean-up skimmer in the world should be along our Gulf coast right now. After two months, there is no reason we don’t have containment boom and barriers protecting every vulnerable beach. We need strong leadership that will challenge government to do more before it’s too late.  Instead, Charlie Crist seems more focused on releasing birds than releasing skimmers.  

We all agree that the Gulf oil spill is a tremendous tragedy that must never be repeated. But drilling is going to happen off our coast whether it’s done by America, China and Cuba, which just last week announced plans to drill 60 miles off the Florida Keys.  We still need safer and smarter offshore energy exploration to end our addiction to foreign oil.

Tags: Charlie Crist , Marco Rubio

Rasmussen Puts Rubio Back in Front Again



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The Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza, July 1: “Has Marco Rubio peaked too early?”

Rasmussen, today: Rubio 36, Crist 34, Meek 15.

As as I noted earlier this week, Rubio’s campaign been off the air for more than two months.

Tags: Charlie Crist , Kendrick Meek , Marco Rubio

Look Closer at the Florida Airwaves



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Charlie Crist will probably try to remain mum on whether, if elected Florida’s next senator, he would vote to make Harry Reid (or Chuck Schumer or Dick Durbin) or Mitch McConnell the majority leader.

But that doesn’t mean he won’t be defined by this choice in the interim:

How many Republicans will stay on the Crist bandwagon if they know a vote for him is a vote for Democratic control of the Senate?

Before the holiday break, Chris Cillizza asked whether Marco Rubio had peaked too early in the Florida Senate race.

I would note that when Crist left the GOP primary at the end of April, Team Rubio stopped running television ads, as the GOP primary was now effectively over. The Rubio campaign has been off the airwaves for all of May, June, and so far in July. And you can see that Rubio leveled off right around then:

Also notice we’ve seen only three polls in this state since June 1, and the most recent one was three weeks ago. The oil spill probably created a bit of a “rally around the flag” effect for Crist, but in the weeks since, Rubio’s been hammering Crist for his praise of the federal response so far. Meanwhile, Democrat Kendrick Meek continues to appear on the side of milk cartons, under the words “HAVE YOU SEEN ME?” How important is television advertising in Florida statewide races? Elsewhere on NRO, Neal Freeman notes that $4 million in television ads — not even particularly good or persuasive television ads! — has Jeff Greene now competitive in the Democratic Senate primary.

We’ll know more about how each candidate has done in fundraising shortly, but Rubio was proving a fundraising powerhouse, and should have substantial resources to take to the airwaves this fall — once voters are tuning in to the race more closely.

Tags: Charlie Crist , Jeff Greene , Kendrick Meek , Marco Rubio

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