Archive for January 2010
By Spartacus Thrace
(JANUARY 11, 2010 UPDATE) — It wasn’t even close. Marco Rubio has today defeated Charlie Crist 106-54 in a straw poll held in Pinellas County, home of Charlie Crist. The poll, conducted by the Pinellas County Republican Executive Committee among 177 of its members in attendance, was a test of Crist’s strength among the Republican base and among long-time Crist stalwarts. Crist’s overwhelming loss to Rubio is being delared by the media as a major symbolic blow to Crist’s efforts to secure the Republican nomination for Senate on August 24th. Conservatives are hailing the result as proof that Crist is seen as a RINO (Republican In Name Only) even in his home county and that Crist is an obstacle to reforming government in accordance with conservative principles. A video provided by the PCREC shows the reaction of the crowd as the results were read by PCREC Chairman JJ Beyrouti (hat-tip to PCREC):
(January 9, 2010) — On Monday, January 11, 2010, Governor Charlie Crist will be facing a straw poll among Republicans in his home county at the meeting of the Pinellas County Republican Executive Committee (PCREC). If Crist fails to achieve anything less than an overwhelming victory against his main challenger Marco Rubio it will be a failure for Crist. If Crist is resoundingly rejected by those very Republicans who nurtured his brilliant political career since its inception, it will could signal a political Waterloo on Florida’s August 24 Primary Day for a man who has set his sights as far as the White House.
Crist knows all of this, and his obvious concern about the straw poll was shown when he and (now-former) Chairman of the Republican Party of Florida Jim Greer crashed the PCREC meeting in October. Ominously, the crowd of about 200 Republicans attending that meeting was polite towards Crist and his friend, but not enthusiastic.
Local straw polls do not necessarily correlate to what the rest of the voters in that political party are thinking, nor do they indicate what voters outside that party will do on Election Day, but they are significant in other ways. If, for instance, one candidate consistently loses straw polls held by local executive committees across the state while another candidate for the same office consistently wins them, it is a fair indicator that the losing candidate will do poorly in a closed primary because the people who vote in these straw polls tend to be the most influential people in that party. That is the situation that Crist is in today, having lost handily to Rubio in straw polls all over the state, and it’s now time for Crist to rethink his Senate candidacy. Read the rest of this entry »
[UPDATED August 21, 2010]
The 2010 campaign season is already well underway and next fall’s state legislative elections in Florida’s Pinellas County are a microcosm of the political trends emerging nationally. One trend is that the more experienced and prepared candidates are tending to avoid head-on contests with incumbents and are instead trying to pick up seats of those who are barred by term limits from seeking re-election. Overall, the 2010 elections may result in rightward adjustments, but won’t effect anything approaching a revolution in government. Still, there are no certainties as to outcome at this point. There remains time for new candidates, issues and events to change the course of the elections, but that time is slipping away. Read the rest of this entry »