Rubio Keeps Gaining in Fla. Senate Race

Friday, 09 Apr 2010 08:25 AM

By Joseph Weber

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink
Marco Rubio downplays polls showing him surging ahead of Florida Gov. Charlie Crist in the Republican Senate primary.

But dismissing his front-runner status likely will become more difficult after this week, because he posted impressive fundraising totals and won a prominent GOP endorsement amid speculation that Mr. Crist may leave the party.

Mr. Rubio, a former Florida House speaker with strong conservative support, said he raised more than $3.6 million in the first quarter of 2010, with most of the money designated for the primary race that ends in August.

"I continue to be humbled and energized by the outpouring of support," he said. "Above all, we're encouraged by the strength of our limited-government message and its ability to rally people around our cause."

Mr. Crist has yet to release his first-quarter numbers. He likely holds a substantial overall funding advantage over Mr. Rubio considering he had $7.5 million at the end of 2009 compared with Mr. Rubio's $2 million.

However, Mr. Crist's fundraising numbers consistently have fallen over the three previous quarters - $4.4 million, $2.5 million, then $2.1 million.

"We still have a long way to go," said Rubio strategist Alex Burgos, who did not address the question of whether the campaign will change to address Mr. Rubio's apparent front-runner position. Mr. Burgos instead focused on Mr. Rubio's steady ride to the top.

"We've stuck to the message," he said, adding that dozens of straw polls - including ones early in the race and in Mr. Crist's home county of Pinellas - showed the relatively unknown Mr. Rubio could win the Senate seat.

A new Rasmussen Reports statewide telephone survey of likely Republican Primary voters taken last month shows Mr. Rubio with a 56 percent to 34 percent lead over Mr. Crist. In December, the two candidates were tied.

Rasmussen shows that both Mr. Rubio, 38, and Mr. Crist, 53, with double-digit leads over presumptive Democratic nominee Kendrick Meek, 43.

The poll numbers and Mr. Rubio's fundraising figures - described by some observers as "jaw-dropping" and a "bombshell" - have resulted in speculations that Mr. Crist will quit the primary race and run as an independent in the November general election.

Mr. Crist recently showed signs of breaking from Republicans by vetoing an election bill and hinting that he might veto a teacher-tenure bill.

Crist campaign manager Eric Eikenberg adamantly denies such a break with the GOP.

"To put these rumors to rest once and for all, as we have said countless times before, Gov. Crist is running for the United States Senate as a Republican," he said. "[Crist] will not run as an independent or as a no-party affiliation."

On Monday, Mr. Rubio received the endorsement of former New York Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani.

"We need a senator who understand how to stand up for the individual, low taxes and less government spending," Mr. Giuliani said. "And Marco is the only candidate in this race who has a record of doing that."

Mr. Giuliani did not receive Mr. Crist's endorsement when he campaigned to be the 2008 Republican presidential nominee. Mr. Crist endorsed Arizona Sen. John McCain.

© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Country
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
 
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

Activist Suing Over NYC Refusal to Put Anti-Jihad Ad on Buses

Sunday, 21 Sep 2014 20:00 PM

Activist Pamela Gellar is suing the New York City transit agency for refusing to place her anti-Jihadist ad on the city . . .

Panetta: Obama Wrong on Iraq Pullout, Failure to Arm Syrians

Sunday, 21 Sep 2014 19:36 PM

Former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta says his old boss, President Barack Obama, erred when he failed to leave a residua . . .

Kerry Meets Iran's Zarif on Nuclear Issues

Sunday, 21 Sep 2014 18:46 PM

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry emerged from talks Sunday with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohamad Javad Zarif, saying W . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, NewsmaxWorld, NewsmaxHealth, are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved