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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

A campaign 1,300 miles away reverberates into Florida

31

October

Why, you may wonder, would Marco Rubio be closely watching a Congressional race in upstate New York, when his hands are more than full trying to beat Charlie Crist for the Republican U.S. Senate nomination? Because that special election 1,300 miles away has real implications for his underdog campaign.

The New York race was the latest Battle For the Soul of the GOP election. It featured a Democrat, a liberal Republican, and a third party candidate, Doug Hoffman, who became a hero of conservative activists  across the country.

"If you live in NY CD 23 vote 4 Hoffman," Rubio tweeted Friday night. "Send message to those who want GOP to "moderate" that we do not need 2 Democratic Parties."

This morning, the GOP establishment-backed Republican, Dede Scozzafava, suspended her campaign, citing fundraising problems. The demise of a stimulus package-supporting moderate Republican is sure to embolden conservative donors and key activist groups across the country. And Rubio is positioned to be the biggest beneficiary anywhere.

"America is a two party nation and instead of packing up and fleeing the GOP, we should launch a coup and take it back," Erick Erickson blogged on RedState today. "Consider NY-23 the first salvo in that coup, with the Florida Senate race right behind it."

One big difference, of course, is that Gov. Crist won’t suffer from anemic fundraising. Our governor was raising money in Las Vegas Thurdsday, Arizona Friday and Saturday at the California home of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

[Last modified: Thursday, September 9, 2010 3:25pm]

    

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