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Crist Staying in Senate Race

January 12th, 2010 by Mike Vasilinda

Governor Charlie Crist says his straw poll loss to Marco Rubio in a Pinellas County Republican Party straw poll is meaningless. The 106 to 54 vote has no force being it, and as Mike Vasilinda tells us, the vote is unlikely to have much effect when Republicans vote in an August primary.

Charlie Crist took time to have his picture taken with veterans following Tuesday’s Cabinet meeting.  It is classic Crist, working a crowd. These veterans are likely voters in the August primary and they are not going to forget.

Prior to the meeting, Crist downplayed his 106 to 54 loss to Marco Rubio in his home county’s GOP executive committee.

“It’s such a small number compared to the electorate,” Crist said.

Political scientists agree. They say it would be a mistake to think Executive committee votes like this one mean Crist is in trouble.

“Remember who these folks are,” FSU political scientist Bob Crew said. “They are an unrepresentative sample of the voters. These are party activists.”

Still, there is perception.

In an effort to stem some of the criticism he’s been getting, Governor Charlie Crist sought advice from the only other man who has run for the Senate in recent years while still governor, and that’s Bob Graham.

And the persistent rumor that he would leave the Senate race for a safe re-election bid is nonsense he says.

“I’m being the best governor that I can and I’m laser-focused on it,” Crist said.

What about the idea of switching out of the senate race and continuing to be the best governor you can?

“No change,” he said.

And then there is money.  Political scientists say with millions more than his opponent, he’ll be tough to beat.

Governor Crist is yet to report how much money he raised in the last three months, but he is already leading challenger Marco Rubio by a 6 to 1 margin in cash.

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