Charlie Crist’s gambit is not paying off.
The latest FoxNews poll shows Republican Marco Rubio opening up a “16-point lead over” the outgoing Florida governor. Democrat Kendrick Meek trails Crist by a much smaller margin, only 6 points.
This continues a pattern begun in August, with Rubio surging, Crist tumbling and Meek languishing:
Last month, the Washington Examiner’s John McCormack charted Crist’s “Crist’s most plausible path to victory“:
The weekend before the the November 2 election, Crist is trailing Rubio by single digits, while Meek is trailing by double digits–say it’s Rubio 39 percent, Crist 34 percent, and Meek 25 percent. At that point, some Meek supporters logically start moving to Crist as the only one who can beat Rubio…
With Crist now trailing by double digits, that path seems less plausible. Let me offer an alternative. With some signs Florida Democrats are coming home to Meek, that Democrat should increase his share of the vote as Crist fades. Crist, seeing his fortunes diminish, could (perhaps with a wink and a nod from national Democrats) drop out at the last minute and endorse Meek, hoping to secure a cabinet (or ambassadorial) appointment from the president.
Still, that may not be enough to propel Meek to victory as the former Republican’s name would still be on the ballot.
If Crist continues his current trajectory, this race will no longer be a contest between Rubio and Crist, but between Rubio and Meek. And that does give the Democrats a slim chance of flipping the seat, but with a real Democrat and not an opportunistic ex-Republican.