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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Crist notably quiet on straw poll



Many Republican activists in Florida are excited about the prospect of a presidential straw poll next year that would ensure they receive loads of attention from GOP presidential candidates. Count Jeb Bush among those who like the idea.

"It's great for Florida," said the governor, who actually helped lead the last nonbinding straw poll in Florida in 1996. "It's a great way to energize the base. For supporters that seldom get attention, this is a way to hold them up high and pay tribute to them."

But there could be a major obstacle: Charlie Crist. Though party officials have been working on the "Presidency IV" convention for months, Crist last week was noncommittal. "I haven't really thought about it," said Crist, who does support moving Florida's 2008 primary earlier in the calendar to increase the state's influence in the primary.

Crist discounted speculation that he's lukewarm to the straw poll idea because his buddy John McCain doesn't want one. He said neither McCain nor any other potential presidential candidate has contacted him about the matter.

-- Adam C. Smith

[Last modified: Wednesday, September 15, 2010 11:42am]


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