Like it or not all of the political talk these days centers around Tea Party activism and what the real ramifications are for the Republican Party. Yes I have to admit that I am getting some enjoyment from all that infighting, but lets take a bit of a longer view and try to track “Tea Party” candidates that have won Republican primaries by looking at how they are doing in their individual races. So that we are all on the same page let us define who they are. Lets look at Rand Paul in KY, Joe Miller in Alaska, Marco Rubio in FLA, Christine O’Donnell in Delaware, Sharron Angle in Nevada, and Carl Paladino in NY. If you think I omitted any please let me know.
Today we start with Marco Rubio in FLA. Rubio first drove Governor Charlie Crist from the Republican Party, and is now locked in a three man race with Crist as an independent and Kendrick Meek as the Democrat. Crist has polled well, leading in some surveys, but he appears to be fading some, as Republicans coalesce around Rubio. Rasmussen has Rubio opening an 11 point lead on Crist. Those numbers are Rubio 41%, Crist 30%, and Meek 23%. With the center- left fractured (Crist has dropped strong hints that he would caucus with the Democrats if elected) Rubio is in a position to win with less than 45%. And with Crist being pounded by third party ads highlighting his “penchant”for changing positions rapidly it will be difficult (in my opinion) for Crist to close this gap. Meek may as well go home now. As much as the Republican establishment has been critical of those supporting O’Donnell in Delaware the Democrats appear to have given up a sure win seat for themselves here. No Meek in the race and Crist would have a much better chance of victory. Crist has $8 million to spend coming down the stretch, but I agree with Chris Cillizza over at the Washington Post. This race is now “lean Republican”. Here is the “Club for Growth” ad hammering Governor Charlie Crist.