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The Crist Brigades

Teachers and trial lawyers and the NRA?

1:45 PM, Apr 21, 2010 • By JOHN MCCORMACK
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Charlie Crist has already lost long-time friends and supporters in Florida. He'll lose the support of most fundraisers and his stated senatorial role model John McCain if he runs as an independent. If his former campaign manager and chief of staff, Sen. Lemieux, has any interest in GOP politics, he'll dump Crist too.

So who's left standing with Charlie? The Wall Street Journal reports that "Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Alvarez and state Sen. Mike Fasano said they would stick with Mr. Crist, no matter which path he takes in the election."

Advisers say Mr. Crist is banking on a "ground army" emerging from the state's more than 150,000 teachers after his decision last week to veto the teacher bill that was opposed by the powerful teachers' union.

Evidence arose Tuesday that the teachers' group could swing to Mr. Crist. The union is launching a statewide "Thank you, Gov. Crist" television advertising campaign this week, featuring teachers, students and parents in two spots, said Andy Ford, the union's president.

Other potential backers, according to Crist advisers, would be trial lawyers—a traditionally Democratic constituency—and the National Rifle Association, the Republican-leaning gun rights group that has long awarded Mr. Crist high marks. An NRA spokesman said the group is still evaluating the race.

I highly doubt the NRA will oppose Rubio, one of the biggest rising stars of the Republican party.

Teachers may be grateful for Crist's veto of the Jeb Bush-backed education bill, but will they really support him over the Democrat in the race? Can Crist trust their word any more than voters can trust his?

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