Charlie Crist Would Caucus With Democrats If Elected, Advisors Say
If elected to the U.S. Senate when voters head to the polls in the Sunshine State next week, Florida Governor Charlie Crist would caucus with Democratic members of the chamber, the Wall Street Journal reports.
According to Florida trial lawyer John Morgan, an advisor to the Republican-turned-independent candidate's campaign, "Crist is going to caucus with the Democrats."
Earlier this year, Crist announced that he would drop his bid for Florida's GOP Senate nomination against party pick Marco Rubio to make an independent run. Following the abrupt party-switch -- which the Senate hopeful earlier denied he would ever considering making -- Crist has made an unmistakable shift leftward in the political spectrum on a host of policy issues.
"I don't think there's any ifs, ands or buts about it," explained Morgan of the hypothetical caucus decision. "It would be, in a very tight year, almost like a Democratic pickup in a solid Republican state."
The decision Crist would reportedly make should perhaps come as no surprise. Earlier in the election season, the St. Petersburg Times reported:
By bolting from the Republican Party, Gov. Charlie Crist has one place left to raise big money in his race for the U.S. Senate: Democrats.
A governor who once courted conservatives by calling himself a "Jeb Bush Republican" is getting help from liberal trial lawyers, union activists and even elected Democrats, who are shunning their party's Senate hopefuls, wealthy Palm Beach businessman Jeff Greene and U.S. Rep. Kendrick Meek of Miami.
Florida Republican Congressman Adam Putnam may have been right when he suggested during the state's primary campaign that Crist is "a more powerful draw for Democratic votes" than the party's own candidate U.S. Rep. Kendrick Meek. At the time he predicted, "Crist will definitely pull more Democratic votes than Republican votes."
In June, the New York Post reported:
Top Democratic strategists are abandoning their party's frontrunner in the Florida Senate race in favor of Independent Charlie Crist, who bolted the Republican party over the state party's rightward lurch toward the Tea Party.
SKDKnickerbocker, a leading Democratic political strategy and communications firm, has agreed to work on Crist's up-hill campaign as an independent for the U.S. Senate.
The decision will be widely viewed as a slap at Democratic frontrunner Rep. Kendrick Meek, who is trailing badly in the polls and many Democrats believe is hopeless for winning in November.
The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee came out and stated its unwavering support for Meek in the midterm political fight; however, when DSCC chair Sen. Bob Menendez was asked about the Crist factor over the summer, the New Jersey Democrat appeared to all but avoid addressing the matter.
With Florida's midterm election just days away, whether or not news of Crist's reported intention to align himself with Democrats could improve his chances at winning remains to be seen; however, the latest poll numbers out on the race show Rubio running ahead of the pack.