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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Rubio crushes Crist in Pasco straw poll



Marco Rubio got 73 votes to Charlie Crist's 9 in a straw poll last night conducted by the Republican Party of Pasco -- a sign of the governor's poor standing among some of his historically strongest supporters.

"I wanted to see how our Conservative base felt about the U.S. Senate Race," chairman Randy Maggard wrote in a letter to Rubio announcing the result.

Why should this concern Crist, who holds a commanding lead in statewide polls?

Pasco is just one county removed from his home in Pinellas, for one, and the Pasco REC also endorsed Crist early in his 2006 GOP primary against Tom Gallagher. At the 2005 Ronald Reagan Day Dinner in Pasco, Crist told boisterous supporters that he considered the county his back yard and invoked its crucial role in the 2004 election.

"(Pasco) won it for the president," Crist told the St. Petersburg Times. "It's hugely significant to me."

[Last modified: Thursday, September 9, 2010 3:48pm]


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