Charlie Crist's Path to Victory
Not necessarily likely, but plausible.
11:55 AM, Aug 31, 2010 • By JOHN MCCORMACK
Steve Schale, the state director of Obama's 2008 campaign in Florida, writes that Charlie Crist can't win. Schale is a supporter of Democrat Kendrick Meek, but he makes a pretty persuasive case:
I think Schale is right that in a three-way race, Charlie Crist can't win. But Schale does not consider Crist's most plausible path to victory. It goes something like this: The weekend before the the November 2 election, Crist is trailing Rubio by single digits, while Meek is trailing by double digits--say it's Rubio 39 percent, Crist 34 percent, and Meek 25 percent. At that point, some Meek supporters logically start moving to Crist as the only one who can beat Rubio.
As Rasmussen's latest poll showed, a lot of Meek supporters say they would consider voting for Crist:
Perhaps Crist would get a big boost from endorsements by big-name national Democrats in the 11th-hour. But the real wild card in this scenario is Meek himself. It's possible that, under pressure from party leadership, Meek would endorse Crist and turn the election into a two-way race.
Think that's never going to happen? Remember NY-23. Liberal Republican Dede Scozzafava, who had fallen back into third place, endorsed Democrat Bill Owens. That endorsement was probably enough to help Owens surge past Conservative party candidate Doug Hoffman on election day.
Yes, there are big differences between NY-23 and the Florida Senate race: Rubio is a much more impressive candidate than Doug Hoffman. Rubio might be able to pull off a win even if Meek endorses Crist at the end of the campaign.
For Crist to keep Meek polling down in the 20s, he's going to have to throw everything he's got at Meek. That could spoil his hopes of winning a Meek endorsement and/or Meek supporters.
And Crist could easily be the one to fall far back into third place, as his Democratic supporters get to know and then decide to support the official Democrat in the race, Meek. So this is not to say that Crist's path to victory is likely, but it is plausible.