The Campaign Spot

How Joe Lieberman Differs From Charlie Crist

This morning, David Axelrod is insisting that Crist’s departure proves that Republicans no longer have a big tent, and that the Florida governor was “run out” of the GOP.

Two words, sir: Parker Griffith.

Someone asked how Crist’s departure from his party compared to Lieberman’s in 2006. My first thought is that while there are similarities, Lieberman had a stronger case that the state as a whole liked him even if a slim majority of the primary voters didn’t; Joe-mentum won 48 percent in the primary and then went on to win 49.7 percent in a three-way race.

By contrast, Floridians are not clamoring for Charlie Crist to be their next senator, no matter how you slice the salami. Crist is averaging 28.9 percent in the GOP primary and 27.8 percent in a three-way race.

Another key difference: As far as I can tell, Joe Lieberman never pledged to not run as an independent, as Charlie Crist did a month ago on Fox News Sunday.

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