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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Politico: Crist's GOP campaign one of the worst of 2010

Politico says Charlie Crist's was one of the 10 worst campaigns for the year: Florida's governor was supposed to lock down outgoing Sen. Mel Martinez's seat for the GOP as soon as he declared his candidacy. Crist won the endorsement of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, raised an astonishing $4.4 million in the first reporting period of his campaign and led former state House Speaker Marco Rubio by more than 30 points in a June 2009 primary poll.
But like Specter, Crist had severe liabilities from the start -- and did even less than Specter to address them. His open support for the stimulus bill and literal hug of President Barack Obama enraged the GOP base -- not since Joe Lieberman embraced George W. Bush has one image so defined a Senate campaign. Crist's efforts to reconnect with the party faithful were either transparently political (announcing he'd oppose Sonia Sotomayor's confirmation) or inept (denying he'd offered full support for the Recovery Act, before conceding that he had). The fact that Crist is actually more viable running without a party is a testament to his disastrous performance as a GOP primary candidate.

[Last modified: Thursday, September 9, 2010 10:40am]


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