While Charlie criss-crosses the state for John McCain and plotting his own run in the future, Florida Democrats should be thinking about 2010- and our chance to put the ultimate showman out of business.
In 2006, Charlie won the gubernatorial election in a year that was simply bad for democrats- and he did it winning 52% of the vote. He tied his Democratic challenger in Hispanic and female voters. Charlie also won in every single county through the I-4 corridor.
Charlie Crist is a pretty tough guy to go up against.
But, in the 2 years since Davis ran, the state has changed. Going into the 2008 general election, Democrats enjoy a 650,000 registered voter advantage than do Republicans in the state. An let me put this in perspective for you- Davis lost by 330,000 votes. Obama is even poised to win this state. Florida is changing, becoming younger- and increasingly Democratic- everyday.
Even though Charlie Crist enjoys consistently high favorability, voters also believe that he hasn’t made much movement on the issues that matter to them. He’s also spent some of his political capital- not too mention a lot of his time- courting John McCain all the while flip-flopping on important state issues -like offshore drilling. Crist is not a political centrist, he’s a political opportunist, a state cheerleader- with few accomplishments.
There are a lot of reasons why Charlie’s vulnerable in 2010, but we can’t let a high favorability scare away strong Democratic challengers.
Imagine Charlie Crist against a candidate like Alex Sink. A female who could surely carry more of the female vote than Davis, a statewide elected Democrat with a base in the I-4, a former bank executive who knows how to manage a state’s budget with out just making spending cuts, a mom with two kids who understand the issues facing Florida’s public schools.
She may not bring that certain je ne sais quoi- French for an orange glow- to ribbon cuttings and baseball games, but as governor, Alex Sink would be a strong advocate for Floridians.
And, she’s just the perfect candidate to take back the governor’s mansion.