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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Kendrick Meek sees two way race with no path for Charlie Crist



Kendrick Meek's campaign manager, Abe Dyk, has penned a campaign memo in the wake of Meek's convincing win last night. He views it as a race between Meek and Marco Rubio. Sorry, Charlie, "The math does not add up for Florida's elected Republican Governor."

Read the analysis below.

Kendrick being outspent seven-to-one once Jeff Greene got into the race could not match the grassroots engine that has fueled his campaign. The same people that went to work to put Kendrick on the ballot by petition -- unprecedented for a statewide candidate in Florida -- took him over the finish line in the primary.

Oftentimes after winning primaries, candidates need to shift their message and run a different campaign in the general election. However, Kendrick is not going to shift his message at all. In a three-way race, Kendrick is still the only Real Democrat, and the only candidate willing to fight for the middle class against the special interests.

In Florida, where Democratic registrations outpace Republicans by more than 600,000, and independents are likely to make up 18% of the electorate, this race will be won by turning out the same Democratic base that just entrusted Kendrick with the party's nomination.

President Obama remains extremely popular with Democrats -- 84% job approval in the latest Quinnipiac poll -- and Kendrick is the only candidate willing to stand with Obama to get Americans back to work, invest in future generations, and get Florida moving forward. President Obama has, in turn, committed to electing Kendrick as Florida's next U.S. Senator, as has President Bill Clinton.

Kendrick has the support of the state party apparatus, and unlike the Republican establishment that spent all of its funds bolstering Attorney General Bill McCollum's gubernatorial bid, the Democratic Party has the resources to compete statewide. Conversely, Crist has no party apparatus, having abandoned the Republican Party -- but not his conservative values -- for political gain.

Floridians -- especially Democrats in Florida- - know exactly what they are going to get by voting for Kendrick Meek for U.S. Senate.


The math does not add up for Florida's elected Republican Governor.

With universal name recognition, Charlie Crist abandoned his Republican primary fight against Marco Rubio. Only 39% of Democrats supported Crist at a time when Kendrick was completely unknown beyond his district, a number that will be a high-water mark for him running against a Real Democrat.

With Republicans coalescing around a Tea Party candidate, and Democrats with Kendrick, the math does not exist to elect Charlie Crist. With an expected turnout of 43% Democrats and 40% Republicans, Kendrick needs to win 75% of registered Democrats and just 17% of the registered Independent vote to secure 35% of the vote total. 35%-40% is all that is needed to win in a three-way race.

The apparent strength that Crist is currently registering in the polls will not last. Even with all the Independents, Crist cannot win without getting more than 30% of Democrats and Republicans, and it is unlikely either group will support him as he twists and turns his positions over the next 10 weeks. The Charlie Crist sideshow does not have enough of the electorate to result in a victory, and with no state party apparatus, it is only a matter of time before Crist's campaign begins limping towards the finish line. There are no runoffs in Florida elections, and for Charlie Crist, there may not be any more chances either.

He could not stand up against Rubio, and he will never be able to stand up for Floridians as a U.S. Senator.


Once Crist collapses, voters will have a choice between Kendrick Meek and Marco Rubio.

Kendrick is the only candidate who fought against privatizing Social Security and high credit card fees. He is the only candidate who supports a woman's right to choose and equal pay for equal work. He is the only candidate who will fight to cut taxes for the middle class and seek to repeal the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest 1% of Americans and corporate special interests.

Kendrick won the primary because he is the only candidate that will work for everyday people. He's done it his entire career. Floridians know they can count on Kendrick, and they are poised to elect another Democrat to the U.S. Senate.


[Last modified: Thursday, September 9, 2010 10:23am]


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