By Carole on Aug 11, 2010
As a wave of anti-establishment sentiment spreads and a stronger wave of opposition to the Obama agenda grows, it looks like Florida voters are not going to be left out of the real hope and change this November. According to the latest poll of likely voters, former state House Speaker Marco Rubio (R) has a 5 point lead over non-party affiliated Governor Charlie Crist (38% - 33%). Either Democrat they'll face in the general election will most likely be a non-factor in the race with approximately 20% of the vote. (source)
Governor Crist's profile went way up after he realized he couldn't beat Mr. Rubio in the Republican primary and decided to make an independent bid. The mainstream media salivated over a former Republican who literally and politically embraced President Barack Obama's $800+ billion non-stimulating stimulus bill. Teachers' unions rejoiced when the governor vetoed a bill that would have linked teacher pay to performance and eliminated tenure for new hires. (source) But while these strong moves to the left from the politically desperate Mr. Crist may have paid off in the short term with glowing profiles of centrist acclaim and praise from large blocks of Democratic voters, that was then and this is campaign season.
With the excitement of a party defection long dead and the Florida Education Association offering only a lukewarm Senate endorsement split between Mr. Crist and US Representative Kendrick Meek (D-Florida), the rewards of the governor's leftward movement seem to have been fleeting. While according to most experts the Senate race is still officially a toss-up between the conservative Mr. Rubio and the whatever-it-takes-to-keep-my-political-aspirations-alive Mr. Crist, the momentum seems to be with the conservative.
Today Mr. Rubio met with the Florida Medical Association and renewed his call for the repeal of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (also known as Obamacare) saying it should be replaced with simpler measures. (source) He is also taking a strong stand with regard to small businesses and their role in the economic recovery saying the Obama administration has suffocated entrepreneurs into a world of uncertainty by not extending a tax code that is set to expire, passing that health care plan with unpredictable costs and creating federal regulations that stymie growth. (source)
To a state (and nation) suffering with high unemployment and a federal government that keeps spending on pet projects for special interest groups and passing job-killing legislation, Mr. Rubio's message is making way more sense than whatever it is Mr. Crist is trying to say.
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