While I was busy yesterday highlighting the Rasmussen momentum for Colorado U.S. Senate candidate Ken Buck’s campaign, a truly earth-shattering survey came out from Florida’s Republican Senate primary: As Erick Erickson put it, a bomb went off:
Last night in Washington, close to one hundred leaders of the conservative movement gathered in a townhouse just down from the United States Capitol to hear Senator Jim DeMint and Florida Speaker Marco Rubio at a Senate Conservatives Fund fundraiser for Marco Rubio.
The people in the room for Rubio were the same people who blew up NY-23, helping Doug Hoffman and crushing the chances of a far left Republican, Dede Scozzafava.
Just prior to the start of the fundraiser, a bomb went off in Florida. According to Rasmussen, the Florida Senate primary is now tied between Rubio and Crist.
For perspective, only about six months ago, Rubio was in the single digits with Crist safely over 50%.
Jim DeMint told the crowd that Rubio is one of a handful of “new Republicans” running to take back our country. And the new poll shows it is working. [emphasis added]
That kind of freefalling (and now disappeared) lead is what Governor Crist gets for cozying up to the Obama administration on the stimulus package and showing little backbone on fiscal discipline. If you’re looking for an out-of-state candidate to support, you could do a lot worse than Marco Rubio.
It’s important to note that both Crist and Rubio poll well ahead of their likely Democratic challenger. In other words, supporting Rubio is about principles and electability.
Florida’s Senate primary has some key differences with what’s going on in Colorado — including the fact the NRSC shied away from actually endorsing anyone here. But there are some lessons to be absorbed by national and state party leaders about the enthusiasm of the fiscally conservative, pro-liberty grassroots Republicans who want their voice heard.