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Crist Confidant Leaks Too Late That He’d Caucus With Dems

The next Senator from Florida is almost certainly going to be Marco Rubio. Kendrick Meek and Charlie Crist split the center-left of the electorate and spent most of their time in the campaign beating each other up, while Rubio, unchallenged, coasted into the lead. It was always possible at the end that there would be late movement to either Crist or Meek, depending on who could make the best argument over being able to win if they consolidated the anti-Rubio vote. But the race has gotten so far out of hand now that I don’t think this matters anymore:

Florida Gov. Charlie Crist would caucus with Senate Democrats if he wins Florida’s three-way U.S. Senate contest on Tuesday, a close advisor told Washington Wire Friday.

That’s a big “if.” Mr. Crist is trailing Republican candidate Marco Rubio in most polls. But the declaration by Florida trial lawyer John Morgan sheds light on one of the many mysteries in the Bill Clinton-Charlie Crist-Kendrick Meek imbroglio.

“Crist is going to caucus with the Democrats,” Mr. Morgan said. “I don’t think there’s any ifs, ands or buts about it. It would be, in a very tight year, almost like a Democratic pickup in a solid Republican state.”

This comes on the heels of last night’s revelation, where Bill Clinton apparently had practically convinced Meek to drop out and endorse Crist. Combined, the two events could have an impact of driving strategic voters to Crist late in the game.

But it’s probably too late. Rubio has reached 45% in the latest poll. Crist would have to take ALL Meek voters in order to make it a race, and with Meek still running, I don’t see that happening.

This was the biggest question of the campaign, and Crist never bothered to answer it. As such, he drifted, Rubio capitalized, and this late rumor won’t make up for the mistake.

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David Dayen

David Dayen