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Why Democrats might back Charlie Crist
Florida's Democrats are asking whether throwing their support behind Republican-turned-independent Crist — at the expense of their own Senate candidates — is the way to win
 
Might Democrats support Crist?
Might Democrats support Crist?
Getty

Florida's already controversial Senate race may be getting a new plot twist, reports USA Today. Rep. Kendrick Meek, "long the presumptive Democratic candidate" is facing a surprise primary challenge from Jeff Greene, a controversial billionaire who got rich when the housing market collapsed. If Meek loses the primary, many Democratic powerbrokers are openly considering backing Charlie Crist — who abandoned the Republican Party to run as an independent rather than lose the GOP primary to Tea Party hero Marco Rubio. Would that be wise? (Watch a Fox report about Crist's move left)

Supporting Crist is the best way to defeat Rubio and the GOP: Florida Democrats clearly dislike Greene, says Joy Reid at The Reid Report, but it might be a blessing in disguise if he wins the primary. Democrats are obligated to back party stalwart Meek, but he has little chance of winning in November. "With Marco Rubio trafficking in the kind of right wing extremism that makes lots of Floridians, Democrat and Republican, cringe," getting behind Crist might be the best option the Democrats have.
"Politico: A Jeff Greene win would be a victory for Charlie Crist"

Crist is tempting, but he'd be a disaster for Democrats: Charlie Crist is "energetic, charismatic, and handsome" — he seems like a natural ally for Democrats looking for ways to hold onto their "quickly eroding" Senate majority, says John Evans in The Faster Times. But Crist has transformed before voters' eyes from "tough-talking right-wing McCain anointer" to champion of "a variety of recently-altered and Dem-friendly positions." Backing such a chameleon will make it harder for Democrats to spell out for voters what the party really stands for.
"Florida Dems shouldn't put Charlie Crist over"

Losing is better than turning on your own candidate: "Abandoning the candidate who won the primary to back Florida's version of Arlen Specter, or sitting out the race entirely, makes no sense at all," says Ed Morrissey in Hot Air. The Democrats should be glad Jeff Greene is willing to spend his own millions to make the party more competitive. Besides, Democrats and Republicans alike owe it to their constituents to "deliver a credible candidate for a state-wide election" — when they fail, "it can damage their prospects for years, both at the ballot box and in fundraising."
"Dems set to back Crist in Florida?"

 

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