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AP, CNN and Fox call Senate race for Rubio

by George Bennett | November 2nd, 2010

As soon as the polls closed at 8 p.m. eastern time, CNN, FoxNews and The Associated Press declared Republican Marco Rubio the victor in Florida’s three-way Senate race against Democrat Kendrick Meek and independent Charlie Crist.

In Palm Beach County, with very, very early returns, Rubio had 41 percent of the votes, Crist 38 percent and Meek 20 percent.

Statewide with 11 percent of precincts reporting, results have Rubio with 942,032 votes, 50 percent; Crist with 536,881, 29 percent; and Meek with 372,826 votes, 20 percent.

An Associated Press analysis of preliminary exit poll data showed that Rubio, the tea party favorite, beat Democratic nominee Meek and Crist, who left the Republican Party earlier this year to run as an independent when polls showed him trailing in a GOP primary.

With 20 percent of precincts reporting, Rubio had 50 percent of the vote, Crist had 29 and Meek 19.

The victory culminates a dramatic rise for Rubio, a former speaker of the Florida House who was given little chance to defeat Crist when he announced his candidacy last year. Rubio will replace George LeMieux, who was appointed to the seat last year after Mel Martinez resigned.

Rubio built momentum through tea party rallies, driving around the state on a tight budget and often without staff to talk to any conservative group that would listen. His message was consistent: President Barack Obama’s domestic spending and health care policies are a disaster and the nation will spiral downward if spending isn’t controlled.
Party leaders in Tallahassee and Washington tried to force him out of the race so then-Republican Crist could walk to the nomination. But Rubio believed Crist wasn’t a principled conservative and used the image of the governor hugging Obama at a rally to push for the $787 billion stimulus package to whittle away at Crist’s support.

For months, Crist acted as if he were the only candidate in the race as he raised millions of dollars. Then Rubio’s fundraising and poll numbers increased to the point that Crist was the underdog.

Crist immediately went negative, mocking Rubio’s use of a party-issued American Express card for personal expenses, accusing him of steering money to a Miami university and hospital and later taking jobs with each. He said Rubio stuffed pork in state budgets and wasn’t really a fiscal conservative.

Nothing worked. Meanwhile, Meek struggled to gain traction as the media focused on the intense battle for the Republican nomination.
The race took a new twist just before the April deadline to qualify for the ballot. With polls showing Rubio leading Crist by about 20 percentage points in the GOP primary, Crist announced he would run as an independent and later changed his voter registration to no party affiliation.

Crist’s move to the middle helped him siphon away Democratic votes from Meek, but Republican voters who supported Crist in the past abandoned him in droves. The split Democratic vote only helped Rubio. Meek, meanwhile, desperately tried to convince Democrats that Crist was still the conservative he claimed to be just months earlier.
“Once Crist changed his party because he knew he could not beat Rubio, well, Crist will never get my vote again. And Meek, well I never heard any meat and potatoes,” said Bob Noah, 59, of Pembroke Pines, an independent who voted for Rubio.

But Chris Dowling, 59, of Orlando is a Democrat whom Crist won over.

“I liked him as governor. I think he’s centrist,” Dowling said.

Associated Press contributed to this story.

15 Responses to “AP, CNN and Fox call Senate race for Rubio”

  1. JOEL GOODMAN Says:

    JUST ONE OF THE FIRST OF THE PB PRAVDA’S SELECTIONS TO END UP ON THE GARBAGE DUMP. HEY CHARLIE, HOW’S THE VIEW FROM THE TOP OF THE HEAP?-GARBAGE HEAP THAT IS……DON’T SWEAT, YOU’LL HAVE LOTS OF DUMBOCRAPS JOINING YOU SHORTLY………

  2. Lory Says:

    Not to worry, Pamela … Rubio will have a short time to show his colors. If he is not a representative for the good State of Florida, he’ll be gone … THE PEOPLE are serious!

  3. wes Says:

    Democrats do not blame Mr. Rubio, blame Mr Meek. Sometimes a man needs to know his limitations and unfortunately he did not know his.

  4. john Says:

    Meeks the Moron. Good Job.

  5. Angie Says:

    Too bad Meek didn’t drop out when it was evident he wouldn’t win. I think Crist would have gotten those votes. Now we have a radical right wing tea bag in office.

  6. Pamela Says:

    To John, Lory & Wes, you all are correct! MEEKS is a ROYAL AZZ!!! When you know your AZZ cannot win, with 18% what the HELL was he thinking? I guess he wasn’t thinking…what an AZZ, what an AZZ and a WASTE of a SPERM!!!! To Lory you correct again…if RUBIO breath hard his azz will be oust!!!

  7. Pamela Says:

    To Angie, it is sad that MEEKS did not concede!!! Meeks is an AZZ, AZZHOLE, CLOWN AZZ and all other AZZESS!!! Crist could have gotten those 18 or 20% that AZZHOLE MEEKS is PROUD of!!! When the handwriting is on the WALL, MEEKS should have got the HELL out!!!! WOW what an AZZ!!!! I will NEVER vote for MEEKS even to wipe my AZZ!!!! Oh but RUBIO better not slip or trip or his AZZ will be oust!!!

  8. Riquin Says:

    Now.. Next.. RUBIO FOR PRESIDENT . Let us show the nation and have a Floridian fix this mess !!!

  9. BobinBoynton Says:

    This shows that Meek only cared about HIMSELF! If the Stupid Bast**d cared about Florida he would have conceded. He is OVER in the Political Business. This stupid Bast**d deserves to lose! Boy won’t his Mommy be proud!

  10. Tim Says:

    Our first order of business should be to start planning ahead to block this mans political career from going any further. WE should insist on a recount, and make declarations of tea bagger voter fraud. WE need to block any and all legislation AND TAKE OUR COUNTRY BACK.

  11. Joe Friday Says:

    Thanks Kendrick. Staying in the race only accomplished 2 things: A nutjob is now senator, and your career is over. You should have swallowed your pride and quit weeks ago.

  12. Pamela Says:

    To Bobin & Joe you are sooooo correct!!! MEETS can forget about EVER running for ANY office…his AZZ is GRASS!!! Dumb & Stupid AZZ!!!! What an Idiot!!! MEEKS you are a First Class Self-Centered AZZHOLE!!!!

  13. Me Says:

    If Rubio ends up winning this, it proves Floridians are the stupidest people in the country. Wise up, Florida.

  14. Musings Says:

    Welcome to the American Inquisition.

  15. Lee Says:

    You are so right, ME! what are! or should I say what were they thinking? It’s apparent they were not thinking.
    Get a CLUE Florida!Let me be the first to say NEXT!!!

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