Running in general election different than primary

I really don’t think the U.S. Senate race in Florida is an “anyone can win” threeway race. Everything “was” nice and cozy for both Kendrick Meek and Marco Rubio as long as Charlie Crist stayed in the Republican Party.

Rubio had the upper hand and short of some disastrous revelation would have coasted into the November elections. Independents were up for grabs.

True, Rubio has the American Express debacle potentially hanging over his head. But I don’t think it will have much of an impact. Contributors to the Republican Party of Florida are more interested in having their man elected to office than they are about a ruckus over improper spending of political contributions.

Meek currently has total control over the Democratic primary. He has a few opponents but they are underfunded and have the same problem as Meek, but to a far less extent. They basically are unknown north of Palm Beach County.

The entry of Jeff Greene, a billionaire from Palm Beach County into the Democratic race can cause a primary race problem for Meek inasmuch as Greene plans on dumping millions of his own dollars into the race. Not being beholden to any power structure or lobbying groups will appeal to a number of voters.

Gov. Crist’s long anticipated move out of the Republican Party, becoming an Independent, or as he calls it a “NPA” No Party Affiliation, is creating financial problems for Crist as many of the dollars he has in his campaign war chest will be going back to contributors angered by his move.

Crist’s move will take votes away from Meek as a number of registered Democrats are concerned that Meek will not fair well in North Florida. In the general election, they may turn to Crist, who is more of a Democrat than many elected Democrats sitting in Washington, DC.

For the life of me I can’t understand the Republican position on the stimulus package embraced by Crist a year ago when President Obama visited our state and received a warm welcome from the the governor. It is a good political move by Rubio, but in my opinion rings hollow because the Republican-controlled Legislature in Tallahassee not only embraced Obama’s stimulus money, but proudly used it to balance the state’s budget.

Simply said, without the stimulus dollars some $800 billion in all, we would be seeing many more cuts in services in next year’s budget. There just isn’t enough revenue to cover all of Florida’s needs. Without Obama’s stimulus dollars, the Republican Party would have had a tough time explaining even deeper cuts in services without any increases in taxes.

It would appear that if Crist can quickly reassemble a statewide team of supporters and can cover the dollars he will loose to the far right Republicans then he should be our next senator from Florida.

Crist doesn’t have to face the difficult task of moving his campaign to the middle of the political spectrum come the general elections. Republicans must appear to be to the right of the Tea Party to win their primary. Democrats must be to the left of the old Labor Party to win their primary. Once the primary races are settled, the winning candidates must pull to the middle of the political road to win the general election. Crist is lucky. He already is there.

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The opinions expressed in this column are not necessarily those of this newspaper, its editors or publisher.

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About the Author

Kenneth Bluh
Kenneth has been writing a column for Community Newspapers since 1989 when he first wrote about the incorporation movement in UMSA (Unincorporated Municipal Services Area). His columns cover the political scene in Miami-Dade and Tallahassee. Educated at the Wharton School in Philadelphia, Kenneth has been a member of the banking/mortgage lending profession in Florida since 1962. Contact him at or 786-247-0547 where he manages American Bancshares Mortgage LLC’s Reverse Mortgage Department.

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