Who would have thought that the governor of Florida, Charlie Crist, who was very popular during the first two years of his term, and who then decided to go for the Senate seat rather than a campaign for reelection as Governor, would now be faced with a “dead heat” race with a young conservative, Marco Rubio, a Cuban American who was State House Speaker from 2006-2008?
This unlikely scenario has seen what was once a 35 point lead, and a sense that Rubio was wasting his time, to a situation where Crist is in deep trouble. Considered a moderate Republican, this seems like a warning sign to Republicans that if they dare, as Crist did, to cooperate with President Obama on anything, then they will pay the price with funding support for a more conservative opponent in the primary.
I have a feeling that Crist wishes he could change his mind and instead run for reelection as Governor, as a preferable choice to the likely nominee, Attorney General Bill McCollum, who has a tendency to lose statewide primaries for vaious offices but now has a “free ride!”
Interestingly, the same fate could come to Senator John McCain in Arizona, where a former conservative Republican Congressman J. D. Hayworth is contesting him in the upcoming 2010 Senate primary.
As stated many times before, this move to the far right seems insane if the GOP hopes to regain power, and in so doing, sacrifices moderates such as Charlie Crist and John McCain.