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Thursday, October 7, 2010

Scary Rumor: Democrat To Drop Out And Endorse Crist In Florida Senate Race

With more than three weeks left before election day there is still plenty of time for bad things to happen and there is a pretty solid rumor going on in Florida that something bad may indeed happen. According to some reports the Democratic candidate for Senator, Kendrick Meek may soon drop out of the race and throw his weight behind former Republican Independent Charlie Crist.

As of now Republican Marco Rubio has a 15% lead according to the latest Mason-Dixon poll with 42% of the vote, compared with 27% for Crist, and 21% for Meek, and 10% undecided. But according to some reports all of this may be about to change.

Republican leaders in the Sunshine State are fretting that a deal may be in the works to get Democratic nominee Kendrick Meek out of the Florida Senate race in order to boost Charlie Crist's flagging chances of beating Republican Marco Rubio.
This possibility has been discussed often over the past few weeks. And as Meek continued to sink in the polls the rumblings have gotten louder.  There is no way Meek will win, he will probably place third. If Crist could convince Meek to drop out, the supporters of the Democrat would likely move to Crist another liberal, rather than switch to Rubio.
Across the state, groups such as Palm Beach Democrats for Crist and Tampa Democrats for Crist are emerging. Republican fears are further stoked by the almost universal acknowledgment that Mr. Meek has almost no chance to win. Statewide polling has his support in the teens and falling. His money coffers are all but dry. Democrats had hoped that when Mr. Crist abandoned the GOP for an independent run, it would split the Republican vote and propel Mr. Meek into the winner's circle. With four weeks to go, no one believes that now. Mr. Meek, who is African-American, polls strongly only with black voters.
Meanwhile, Mr. Crist is striving to assemble a center-left coalition by winning over Democratic voters. His latest mailing throughout the state was titled "Ten Reasons Democrats Should Vote for Charlie Crist." On issues from health care to taxes, Mr. Crist has moved dramatically to the left.
Crist, the former Republican, has hinted if he won he would be a friend to the Democratic party.

Mr. Crist has also refused to say which party he would caucus with if he wins. His latest nonanswer: "I will caucus with the people." But Mr. Crist has met privately with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, adding to GOP paranoia that Democrats may be getting ready to throw the sure loser Mr. Meek over the side. One Republican Party leader tells me he wouldn't be surprised to hear suddenly that "Meek was offered an ambassadorship from Barack Obama." In late September, under pressure from black leaders in Florida, Vice President Biden was sent to stump for the four-term House member, but local Democrats have long doubted the depth of the White House's commitment to the party's candidate.

Now the murmur among Democrats in favor of switching to Mr. Crist is rising again. We'll find out soon, as one GOP county chairman told me, whether Dems finally prefer "to win with Charlie than lose with Meeks."
There are many arguments against this rumor coming into fruition. First of all its much too late to take Meek off the ballot. Early voting in Florida starts 15 days before the election which is ten days from now, so if this was going to happen it would have to occur before then.

Honestly this is still just a rumor, one that really doesn't make sense even if Meek has no chance to win.  A major party candidate for US Senator does not drop out of a campaign less than a month before an election just before he is losing. On the other hand, this has been a very strange campaign season and everything could happen.  Lets hope this is one rumor that fades away unfulfilled.

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