Florida Senate Race Might Not Be That Close, After All

Marco Rubio's surging in the polls, while Gov. Charlie Crist fights to remain relevant.

By Jamilah King Sep 21, 2010

So much for that epic battle over Florida’s coveted US Senate seat. Republican candidate Marco Rubio is surging again. Recent polls have Rubio with as a nearly 10 point lead over Independent Gov. Charlie Crist. As Talking Points Memo points out:

It wasn’t supposed to be this way. The Republican nominee for Senate was supposed to be locked in an epic struggle with independent candidate Charlie Crist and Democratic nominee Kendrick Meek. It was to be the Octagon of politics this year — three men enter, one man leaves! — the moment that Crist’s political savvy and Meek’s ability to excite the Democratic base gave Rubio a run for his considerable political fortunes.

The race is far from over. Rubio, the conservative Cuban American candidate who was once a Tea Party darling, faced an unexpected resurgence from Crist over the summer. When the governor’s deep pockets and Florida’s unpredictable electorate are taken into account, it could happen again.

Meanwhile, Meek is working hard to make Crist irrelevant. The governor, a former Republican, changed his party affiliation during the primary once he realized Rubio was a formidable threat. Since the change, he’s changed his mind on a host of hot ticket issues and recently come out in favor of civil unions and adoption for same sex couples.