Don't You Forget About Meek

Our man in Florida, Arian Campos-Flores, recently noted with mock astonishment, that there's actually a Democrat in Florida's Senate race too. Who knew? The media has be so transfixed by the knock-down, drag-out battle between crispy, tanned Governor Crist and alleged back waxer Marco Rubio that Kendrick Meek, the only serious Dem in the race, has barely had a look-in. But as Arian pointed out, he's worth paying attention to. If Rubio wins, which is looking increasingly likely, he's probably too conservative for most Floridians. That gives Meek a decent shot, and this new poll shows that it wouldn't be too hard for him to close the gap. It has him trailing Rubio by just five points. As the pollsters note though, the large number of undecided Democrats (20 percent) means that come Election Day, that gap could disappear. It's pretty hard to imagine Democrats voting for Rubio in droves. It's less difficult to imagine them coming out to vote for Meek out of fear that the ultraconservative Rubio might actually win. Meek also leads among independents, a factor that could prove critical, especially in relatively moderate Florida.

A few folks have suggested that Crist should run as an independent. He publicly denies that he's considering such a move. And this poll indicates that ditching his party probably wouldn't help him. According to the pollsters, "an independent Charlie Crist bid for the U.S. Senate would work to Marco Rubio's advantage, because Crist would win more Democratic votes than Republican ones. In a hypothetical three-way contest Rubio leads with 34% to 27% for Crist and 25% for Kendrick Meek." Interesting stuff. The August 24 primary is still eons away in political news cycles, so I'm not making any predictions. That said, keep your eyes on Kendrick Meek.