Crist cries and Rubio smiles: Meek wins FL Dem primary

Posted on August 24, 2010

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Kendrick Meek won the Democratic primary for Florida’s Senate seat today, beating out billionaire Jeff Greene for the right to represent the Dems in November. So why is “independent” Charlie Crist crying and GOP candidate Marco Rubio grinning over the election result?

Simple, really. The win by Meek, a candidate with stronger support among the base than Greene, means more Democrats will rally around him rather than waffle between Crist and Greene as they would have done otherwise, leaving Rubio with the lion’s share of the vote in a three-way race.

It’s borne out by Public Policy Polling’s recent find that in the current shape of the race, Rubio gets 40%, Crist gets 32%, and Meek gets 17%. If Greene had won, Rubio gets 37%, Crist gets 36%, and Greene receives 13% of the general electorate’s support. It’s important to note that in the best case scenario, Democrats have 72% of voters casting ballots against them.

That’s why Charlie Crist is none too pleased with tonight’s result. After a cowardly exit from the Republican party after he was getting killed by Rubio in the primary, his only path to victory would be to peel off enough Democratic votes to squeak out a win in a three-way race. In the current shape-up, Democrats and Republicans will come home to their respective candidates, leaving Crist without a substantial base of support outside of the home tanning industry.

I can’t feel too bad for Crist. For the life of me I can’t understand why anyone would take him seriously as a politician after so clearly reversing himself loudly and publicly for purely selfish electoral advantage. On rare occasions jumping ship makes sense for personal and political reasons, but in the cases of both Crist and Arlen Specter, it was done not out of principle but out of electoral survival at the expense of their professed policy beliefs.

Specter already got his walking papers for it. I’m more inclined to think that Crist will be getting his soon enough, and who knows, maybe he can get a gig on Celebrity Apprentice just like another recent former governor. Hmmm …

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Posted in: Politics