Still trailing in polls (CNN says by 23 points) behind conservative darling Marco Rubio in the final days Florida's GOP Senate primary, Gov. Charlie Crist is precariously fence-sitting between running as a Republican or as an Independent.  The same polls suggest an indy Crist might be able to pull out a win against Rubio in this fall's general election.

Pundits in Florida predicted that if Gov. Crist vetoed a Republican-backed education measure heavily favored by former Gov. Jeb Bush, it would be a strong sign he would withdraw from the GOP.  Today brought word that Crist has vetoed the measure

More than ever, Crist is likely to bolt from the GOP to go independent, leaving Marco Rubio with the secure GOP nomination and a serious uphill battle for victory in November.  Crist's campaign chair, former Sen. Connie Mack, is using the veto as cover as she darts away from the campaign--likely signalling a big announcement is coming from the Crist camp.

Will Charlie Crist forsake the Republicans and take on an independent candidacy to try to secure victory for himself at whatever the cost?

Update: In related news, if Crist dumps the GOP, RedState suggests the GOP should dump Rob Jesmer, the NRSC's Chief Strategist. 

Update II: Also in related news, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney has announced his endorsement of Rubio



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