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April 15, 2010

Charlie Crist's Day So Far: Reads Poll Saying He's More Popular With Non Republican Voters, Vetoes Republican Sponsored Teacher Tenure Bill

I'm not saying there's a causal relationship but clearly these two things foretell something pretty obvious...Charlie Crist is likely to run for the Senate as an independent candidate.

First the poll.

Marco Rubio has opened up an elephant-sized 56 – 33 percent lead over Gov. Charlie Crist in Florida’s U.S. Senate Republican primary, but in a three-way general election with Rubio on the GOP line, Crist as an independent and Democratic U.S. Rep. Kendrick Meek, Crist has a razor-thin edge, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.

Gov. Crist leads Meek 48 – 34 percent in a general election matchup, while Rubio’s margin over the Democrat is just 42 – 38 percent, the independent Quinnipiac University survey finds.

If Crist were to file as an independent for the general election, he would get 32 percent of the vote, compared to Rubio’s 30 percent and Meek’s 24 percent.

Now the teacher bill.

Republican Gov. Charlie Crist announced shortly after noon he is vetoing the controversial bill that would end tenure for public school teachers and base future pay raises mostly on student test scores.

"This bill is contrary to my firmly held principle to act in the best interest of the people of Florida," Crist said. "It is the right thing to do."


Florida Senate Majority Leader Alex Diaz de la Portilla, R-Miami, said in a statement that Crist had joined the naysayers who "object, obfuscate and imperil our children's future."

He rejected Crist's claim that "the process" of crafting SB 6 was flawed.

"In fact, SB 6 included months of work with stakeholders, and at every step of the way, the Senate invited participation and public testimony, Diaz de la Portilla said. "Teachers, parents and students were all participants. Our colleagues in the Florida House had unprecedented deliberations that included days of public debate."

Crist has also fallen well behind Rubio in fundraising.

Crist is denying that he'll run as an independent but everyone who has switched teams, like Arlen Specter and Joe Lieberman say that right up until they do.

He can't stay Governor and he's not going to win the GOP nomination for Senate, so what else does Crist have to do? I can't wait for Crist's announcement and David Frum's explanation of how this is all our fault.

Heh: Early Crist backer and head of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, John Cornyn confirms that the Republicans will work against Crist if he runs as an independent. That's a relief.

"I would think that would be the end of his political career as a Republican," Cornyn, chairman of the NRSC, told POLITICO. "So I doubt that will happen. My hope is that this is all resolved in the Republican primary by Florida voters."

Cornyn said that Crist would be a "man without a party" if he decided to mount a three-way race against Rubio and Democratic Rep. Kendrick Meek, who is pursuing his party's nomination in the state.

"And I think he’s got other potential and aspirations, so I think from that standpoint, it would be a bad decision," Cornyn said.

Asked if that meant the NRSC would work to defeat Crist, Cornyn warned: "Our job is to elect Republicans so that’s what we’ll do – and I don’t care who it is."

I like Cornyn in general but the early endorsement of Crist was a mistake at the time and Rubio's success has only made it worse.

Heck of a job Senator, heck of a job!

More: Via Twitter "Bannon007" says Crist has until April 30th to decide on an independent bid. According to Florida law, Crist would have to bail on the Republican primary by then to run in November. It won't be like Lieberman who lost and then decided to run as an independent.

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posted by DrewM. at 01:29 PM

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