How Much Longer Does Crist Stay in GOP?
by Jonathan Singer, Tue Jan 26, 2010 at 12:17:26 PM EST
Former State House Speaker Marco Rubio has squeaked past Gov. Charlie Crist in the race for the Republican U.S. Senate nomination, leading 47 - 44 percent and topping Gov. Crist on trust, values and conservative credentials, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.
Seven months ago, Crist led Marco Rubio by a whopping 31 points. Today he trails him. Crist's saving grace? Fundraising -- but even that advantage is diminishing.
Florida Gov. Charlie Crist pulled in $2 million for the last three months of 2009 and has $7.5 million in cash on hand, with no outstanding debts. [...] Meanwhile Crist's opponent, conservative Marco Rubio, continues to keep pace with Crist, raking in $1.75 million in the same period with $2 million cash on hand. For all of 2009, the former speaker of the Florida House has raised $3.4 million for the entire year.
Considering that Crist is talking about the potential of appearing publicly with Barack Obama later this week to celebrate the awarding of high-speed rail dollars to his state, one really has to wonder whether his heart is really in it for a bruising Republican primary -- which is the only way he wins his party's nomination. And with polling suggesting that he would lead, though narrowly, in a three-way race against Rubio and Democrat Kendrick Meek, it's hard to see why wouldn't flee the GOP if he indeed wished to be a United States Senator.