Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Might Charlie Crist show some independence?

It wouldn't be as easy as you might think:
Crist has staked out some centrist stances lately, strongly defending his support for the stimulus package, suggesting that the health care bill need not be entirely scrapped, and saying that he does not call for overturning Roe vs. Wade. "We ought to instead of change laws, change hearts,'' Crist said after a Christian Family Coalition gathering in Miami on Saturday.

Most political strategists, however, doubt the potential of any independent candidate in Florida. No independent candidate has won a major statewide race here.

"Even if he didn't have to give a dime back to Republicans demanding refunds, it would be the last dime he would raise,'' said Republican consultant Rick Wilson. "There would be no more D.C. money, no more major donor money."

Democratic pollster Dave Beattie noted that Florida partisan allegiances tend to be quite strong and that any Democrat or Republican starts out with at least 40 percent of the vote.

"If Crist did run as an independent, it would help Meek more than it would help Rubio, because independents are mad at Democrats right now and defaulting to Republicans," Beattie said.

Republican consultant Brett Doster said that while Crist faces serious trouble in the primary it would be riskier for him to run as an independent.

"If I were on the Charlie Crist team, I would take my chances on all my money being spent in the Republican primary,'' he said. "The known scary is always better than the unknown scary."

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