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Crist Ducks Questions About Whether He'd Join Democrats or Republicans in the Senate

4 years ago
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Republican-turned-independent Charlie Crist Sunday ducked questions about whether he would line up with the Democrats or Republicans if he wins Florida's three-way Senate race against GOP nominee Marco Rubio and Democratic Rep. Kendrick Meek.

The question could potentially increase in importance if the Democrats lose significant ground in the midterm elections. An analysis by polling analyst Nate Silver of FiveThirtyEight.com says there are seven Democratic Senate seats that the party has better than a 50 percent chance of losing, and that there is a 20 percent overall probability the Democrats could lose 10 or more seats, costing them control of the Senate.

Pressed on CNN's State of the Union about which caucus he would choose, Crist said, "I caucus with the people of Florida ... This is a moot question unless I win. So I've got to work very hard to continue to achieve the trust and support of my fellow Floridians to continue to be a public servant for them."
Charlie Crist
When CNN newsman Ed Henry asked, "don't (Florida voters) have a right to know which way you are going to go if you're elected" since his choice could affect the balance of power in the Senate, Crist responded, "I think they know the way I'm going to go. I'm going to go the way that is best for them, and I sincerely mean that. And that's very important. I don't have to say I'm going to caucus with the Democrats or the Republicans."

A Public Policy Polling survey conducted Aug. 21-22 found Florida voters split at 41 percent each on which party Crist should side with, if he is elected. Nineteen percent were undecided.

But more of those surveyed said they would vote against him if he joined the Republicans than the Democrats. Fifty-seven percent said they wouldn't vote for Crist if he committed in advance to joining the Republicans while 23 percent said they would, with 20 percent undecided.

Forty-seven percent said they wouldn't vote for Crist if they knew he'd join the Democrats, while 37 percent said they would, with 17 percent undecided.

Crist needs significant Democratic support to go along with his backing from independents to win. In the PPP poll, he pulled in about half of the independent vote in hypothetical match-ups that included Meek or Greene as the Democrat, and he attracted 38 percent of Democrats against Meek and 48 percent against Greene.

Also appearing on CNN, Meek made clear he is going to push hard on the issue of Democratic credentials, saying, "I am the only Democratic candidate in this race. I am running against two career-long Republicans."

Ironically, Rubio is taking the opposite tack, depicting Crist as nothing more than just another Democrat.

"I'm running against two Democrats, but only one admits he's a Democrat," Rubio told the National Review." That's what this race has become, an effort by the liberal establishment across the country to hold onto a yes vote. . . . He's the Manchurian Democrat."

Meek said on CBS' Face the Nation that he's "pretty sure" that President Obama, who praised Meek during a fundraising stop in the state in mid-August, would campaign for him this Fall. He said he also expects former President Clinton, who did three rallies for Meek during the primary race, to be back for more.
Filed Under: Senate, 2010 Elections

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15 Comments

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mikehelton39

Want to know how he will vote as a dem or rep easy: WHICH EVER ONE CONTROLS THE SENATE, what would yould you expect from this guy

August 31 2010 at 10:23 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
DUEL

Sooner. rather than later, The term " (I'm voting for the man, not the party,) will become a real plus for the voters who really want to have a real choice and a real chance to elect the person who will better repersent their views. Voting for "Crist" would be a good way to speed up the this process.

August 30 2010 at 10:49 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
Bonbon

That guy seems a little phony to me.

August 30 2010 at 1:39 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
ajschrod

In Christ's case, it doesn't make any difference WHAT party he belongs to. His history as governor has shown him to be an astute poitician that proudly represented his state. If the people in Florida have any sense, they should elect him Senator.

August 29 2010 at 10:46 PM Report abuse -6 rate up rate down Reply
longanman

At first the Media tried to hijack the Tea Bag movement saying it was a Republican initiative a conservative statement. That was a lie, it is a protest against a corrupt Washington. A system that is controlled by a oligarchy of special interest and a foreign lobby. A government that does not represent the interest of the middle class but rather exploits them for the benefit of this oligarchy. Washington is corrupt and incompetent and no one there is ever held accountable. Our form of government is corrupt, unresponsive, and no one is ever held accountable it needs to be changed to a more transparent and representative form, one that truly represents the interest of the American people. Vote all the bums out.

August 29 2010 at 10:41 PM Report abuse +8 rate up rate down Reply
joe

All one has to do it to note how Christ has been hanging on to Obama's coat tails to get the answer to that question.

August 29 2010 at 10:19 PM Report abuse +9 rate up rate down Reply
jpg01

As a card carying democrat ...my concern is Rubio the fluke...Will find out who between Meek or Crist stand a chance...I will vote for the stronger one...I'm leaning to vote for Crist...

August 29 2010 at 9:31 PM Report abuse -11 rate up rate down Reply
suwun

In this year of disgust with our "professional" politicians, Crist wants to run as a "professional" politician. Whatever you're for, he is for and whatever you are against, he is against - until the next person comes along. That's real change you can believe in. Hopefully, Floridians will send Mr Crist packing. He is out for himself and no one or nothing else.

August 29 2010 at 9:23 PM Report abuse +13 rate up rate down Reply
goatcars2

What has happened to this guy....The last few months he seems confused and contradicts himself again and again. He should have conceded the nomination to Rubio like he promised he would, then run again for govenor. Instead he goes back on his promise, trashes his own party and looks to lose as an Independent....his career is OVER!!!!!!

August 29 2010 at 9:05 PM Report abuse +12 rate up rate down Reply
glennherger

he waffles like specter, no core, no honor, no class

August 29 2010 at 8:42 PM Report abuse +15 rate up rate down Reply

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