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Marco Rubio - Charlie Crist Matchup a Fundraising Game

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.

After no-name candidate Marco Rubio raised about $300,000 in his first quarter for his primary campaign against Charlie Crist, he announced a cool $1 million pull for his third quarter. A day later, Crist boasted over twice that - but the trends are important, Crist spokesman Alex Burgos says.

"Charlie Crist announced his numbers and they're down significnalty from his second quarter total," said Burgos. "So we like the trends. Marco is trending up, and Crist tripped."

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But some wonder whether or not one million is even enough. It takes roughly $1.5 million to get "one message" out -- to cover one issue in all areas of Florida media, including Spanish stations. Right now, Crist can get more than three times the number of messages out than Rubio can in the same time period.

Rubio's impressive cash pull will need to get even better if he's to have a fighting chance because Crist still holds a commanding lead in name recognition.

Optimistically, Burgos thinks that Rubio's numbers will only go up. That's because the donors he's accumulated are small and consistant, the fundraising style that proved so useful to Barack Obama. Around 97 percent of those donors hadn't maxed out and could give again. He attributes that Rubio's reaching-out towards all sectors of Florida voters.

"A big part of our political attitude has been to address just about every Republican in the state...local Republican groups, different GOP women's groups, Young Republicans," he said.

A Florida political consultant familiar with the race said that it's too early to tell whether or not the numbers would pan out for Rubio in the long term.

"He won't have to do as much in Miami, which is nice because it's a really expensive market," said the consultant. "But he's definitely appealing to the conservatives. His numbers were definitely seen as a victory, but I'm not sure if it's a victory at the 5 yard line."

Jeb Bush's endorsement is still on the line as well. The popular fomer governor has criticized the National Republican Campaign Committee for taking a stance in Florida's primary business, but hasn't yet indicated whether or not he'll make a formal endorsement himself.

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