One of our contributors from Florida in the comment section has posited that he is experiencing regret regarding his early vote for Kendrick Meek. I have to concur. I’m not sure what would happen if Meek dropped out now anyway. Would the early votes for him just be for naught? Meek is falling ever more steadily behind second place Independent Crist and first place Republican (and Tea Party) candidate Rubio.
Rumour has it that former President Clinton strongly hinted at asking Meek to drop out and endorse Charlie Crist for Senate. The idea being that his supporters would push Crist to victory over Marco Rubio. This isn’t actually a bad idea. Rubio is a Tea Party nut job. Florida and the Senate would be better off without him. Crist is a well seasoned, well liked politician who genuinely seems to have Florida’s best interests at heart.
There is one factor that I think polls miss out on. It’s one thing to declare your intentions to a polster. It’s quite another thing to stand in an election booth, staring at those levers and knowing that you have to decide who is going to pilot this craft you are a passenger on, and pull a lever different from the one you told that pollster you were supporting. Sixth sense usually wins. People generally know what’s best most of the time.
Meek has been dropping in the polls and I suspect Floridians are coming to the same conclusion: better the devil you know than the one you don’t.
Only I don’t think they think Crist is el diablo. Rubio, however, is another matter.
On Thursday night on Countdown, Crist dropped the suggestion that Bill Clinton had asked Kendrick Meek drop out of the race and support his campaign. Both Meek and Clinton have denied this. It would appear that Crist is trying to motivate Democratic and moderate voters to switch their votes with a last ditch, hail Mary pass by suggesting that a vote for Meek is a vote for Rubio.
It’s likely true that Clinton never made such a suggestion to Meek. But by making the assertion that he did, Crist has driven the narrative in an attempt to pilfer voters at the last minute. There are a lot of Clinton supporters in Florida. If they even suspect that he might want Meek to bail, they might change their votes to Charlie Crist; essentially bullying them with the fear of Marco Rubio as the alternative.
This is a blatant act of desperation on Charlie Crist’s part. Sadly, it just might work. It’s a win at all costs strategy, though. Because if it fails, Crist is politically finished. He already has the reputation of an opportunist by defecting from the Republican party and making nice with Democrats by alluding to caucusing with them. Floridians prefer politicians who actually stand for something, hence Rubio’s popularity. Crist must believe this last minute ploy will work. My guess is Floridians will see through it and by muddying the waters he all but guarantees a win for Rubio.
And Florida, once again, sends a bad politician to Washington. And that’s pretty scary.