Crist, who ran this year as a Democrat, won his first bid for governor in 2006 as a Republican. He left the GOP in 2010 in the midst of losing a Republican primary for U.S. Senate to Marco Rubio, running and losing in the general election as an independent.
A new poll shows Florida Republican governor Rick Scott behind his most likely opponent, Republican-turned-independent-turned-Democrat Charlie Crist, by 10 points. The Quinnipiac poll of registered voters found 48 percent support Crist while 38 percent support Scott. Scott's fortunes would improve if he ran against former Democratic state senator Nan Rich, who polls 36 percent to the Republican's 42 percent.
St. Petersburg, Fla. Tony DiMatteo, a state Republican party committeeman from Pinellas County, introduces to a packed house at the Tick Tock restaurant a number of local GOP activists here to support Newt Gingrich. Included are a few who worked early for Marco Rubio’s 2010 U.S. Senate campaign, back when, DiMatteo points out, Rubio “could not win.”
“Just like Newt could not win a couple of weeks ago,” he adds.
On two occasions over the past week, former president Bill Clinton attempted to persuade Democratic congressman Kendrick Meek to drop out of the Florida Senate race and endorse Republican-turned-Independent Florida governor Charlie Crist in the three-way contest. Clinton, who had campaigned for Meek twice in October, was acting with the knowledge – and presumably the blessing – of the Obama White House.
Another poll shows Marco Rubio sitting pretty with a double digit lead over Charlie Crist. As for the rumors that Meek might drop out and endorse Crist and turn this into a real race? Left-wing blogger Markos Moulitsas, who had been pushing for Meek to do just that, now says that Democrats "are actively boosting" Meek's "pretty much a hopeless candidacy" because Meek will help boost African-American turnout, and thereby help Democrats win the critical Florida's governor's race. Moulitsas's new line is a sign that Democrats don't think they have much of a shot of winning even if Meek endorsed Crist.