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Rubio Vs. Crist

October 12th, 2009 by Mike Vasilinda

Latest fund-raising reports suggest former House Speaker Marco Rubio is now a viable contender against Charlie Crist in the GOP primary for the US Senate. Rubio reports almost one million in the last three months. Crist raised 2.4 million. While a million pales in comparison to Crist’s numbers, the million dollar quarter has put Rubio on the map

The almost 1 million raised by former House Speaker Marco Rubio has made him something he hasn’t been until now…a contender. Rubio’s fund raising still trails Charlie Crist’s by at least a four to one margin, but the money makes Rubio viable, and most imporantly, able to raise even more cash.

Political scientist Lance DeHaven Smith says Crist should take note.

“I think he’s got to excite the base a little bit more than he’s done,” DeHaven Smith said.

Claude Kirk was the first governor allowed to seek a second term, and he did in 1970. Every other Governor all the way through Jeb Bush in 2002 has as well, except for our current governor.

Frank Smith and Julie Carter are registered Republicans from the Tampa area who we met touring the state capitol. Both know more about Crist than Rubio, but neither are ready to commit.

“I’m not going to automatically vote for Charlie, until I look at the opponent and what he’s done,” Smith said.

The 38-year old Rubio was featured on the cover of the conservative National Review, as a rising star of the right. DeHaven Smith says so what.

“Republicans have got to think though, that Charlie Crist would be a better candidate in the general election,” DeHaven Smith said. “So there’s going to be that concern, calculating voters, saying ‘gee, I like Rubio but can he win the general election.'”

Which makes Rubio’s road an uphill battle.

GOP party chair Jim Greer personally endorsed Crist. So has the National Senatorial Campaign. The state GOP refused to comment for this story.

Posted in Charlie Crist, Elections, Politics, State News, Voting | No Comments »

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