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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

What does GOP butt-kicking* mean for Crist v. Rubio?



Didn't take long for the talking heads on CNN to draw comparisons between Republican victories in Virginia and New Jersey and the Charlie Crist-Marco Rubio primary. Early results indicate independent voters played a big role, exhibiting a more conservative mindset.

So expect Rubio to continue to play up Crist's connections to President Obama and Crist to polish his conservative resume.

The race is starting to draw more national attention. Tomorrow, the Wall Street Journal will carry an article on the matchup: "Taking down Mr. Crist in Florida, who only last year was considered a potential running mate for Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain, would be an achievement for the conservative movement. Mr. Crist, who enjoys substantial advantages in money and voter recognition, appears to be responding by stressing in new radio ads his conservative positions on government spending and taxes."

* One downside for the GOP is the hard-fought Upstate New York Congressional seat. About midnight, the race went to Democrat Bill Owens, a stunning defeat for Sarah Palin et al. That could serve as a warning to conservatives trying to purge more moderate members of the Republican Party.

[Last modified: Thursday, September 9, 2010 2:26pm]


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