Governor Charlie Crist of Florida has been painted as being too cozy with Democrats, and now he is seen as the underdog in his U.S. Senate campaign against fellow Republican Marco Rubio.
Two polls have Rubio up 18 percentage points ahead of Crist for the August primary. However, just last summer Rubio was trailing Crist 30 points.
According to the Wall Street Journal:
"The shifting fortunes underscore how profoundly President Barack Obama's slumping popularity is convulsing both parties. The rise of hard-line conservatives and Tea Party activists are eroding support for Democrats and moderate Republicans such as Mr. Crist, who was viewed as a possible vice-presidential candidate in 2008."
Marco Rubio, a 38 year-old lawyer from a Cuban middle-class family, has gained notoriety as a staunch conservative and an anti-establishment candidate. He says he has consistently pushed for tax cuts and limited government while Mr. Crist backs "reckless" federal spending.
Crist is famously remembered for hugging President Obama at a Florida rally last year in support of the federal stimulus plan. However, Crist calls himself a “common sense conservative,” and just last week on Fox News he stated in regards to his support of the federal stimulus plane that: “We're all Americans, and the people of my country and the people of my state expect us to work together.”
In a Newsmax article, former Governor Jeb Bush called Crist’s support of the federal stimulus plan “unforgivable.” With many Floridian Republicans now taking a closer look at Rubio, Crist has reason to be concerned until the August primary.