The Campaign Spot

Barack Obama Is Not Going to Save Kendrick Meek

Boy, I can’t understand why the newsweeklies are having circulation problems. Time’s Michael Grunwald:

How Florida’s Forgotten Democrat Could Win the Senate Race

. . . That’s the kind of thing you’d expect a Democrat to say when he’s buried in third place, consistently polling below 20%. But it also happens to be true. Though Meek may look hopeless today, it’s still strange to watch the pundits count out a Democrat running against divided Republican opposition in a Democratic-leaning state; an Obama supporter running against two Obama foes in a state that supported Obama; and a consistent offshore drilling opponent running against a drill-baby-drill guy and a petroleum flip-flopper in a state with lovely white-sand beaches now threatened by the spill in the Gulf.

Check the calendar. The Obama who won Florida, who was a blank slate who could simultaneously appeal to the political cultures of Vermont and North Carolina, of California and Indiana, has been gone since summer 2009. Take a look at his approval-disapproval split in the state these days:

Grunwald continues:

Rubio and Crist are gifted politicians, but I don’t understand why a Florida Democrat with a mainstream voting record and solid fund-raising would get crushed by a tea-party ideologue and an all-over-the-map opportunist unless he were a truly awful candidate. 

“Mainstream voting record”? Meek’s lifetime ACU rating is 8 out of 100. In the House, he represented a district so heavily Democratic that he has never faced a Republican opponent. On his fundraising, Meek has spent $2.3 million already and he’s below 20 percent; I’m not so sure the remaining $3.7 million will be exponentially more effective.

I’m reminded of Newsweek’s October 30, 2009 article, “Why Corzine Will Probably Win in New Jersey.


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