I'm on record as predicting Marco Rubio will prevail over Florida Gov. Charlie Crist in their state's Republican Senate primary. More quarters like this last one, and I'll have serious egg on my face.
Crist announced Thursday that in just 50 days he raised an eye-popping $4.3 million for his U.S. Senate campaign. That not only dwarfs the previous Florida U.S. Senate fundraising record set by Republican Mel Martinez -- $1.7-million in his first fundraising period in 2004 -- but it highlights the huge hurdles for Crist's Republican Senate rival Marco Rubio, who raised just $340,000 in the same period.
That Crist number is the largest I've seen of anyone, anywhere this quarter. Rubio will never match Crist, but $340K is pretty pathetic for someone who seems to be growing a legitimate grassroots movement.
You want to build credibility as a challenger to an establishment, candidate, this is how you do it:
U.S. Rep. Joe Sestak plans to report this week that he raised a little more than $1 million in the second quarter this year, giving him $4.2 million in the bank for an expected Democratic primary challenge to Sen. Arlen Specter, campaign officials said yesterday.
"We believe this means we will have more cash on hand than any Senate challenger," said Joe Langdon, spokesman for Sestak's campaign committee. "As you know, this was achieved without the institutional support of the Democratic establishment."
It's not too late for Rubio, with his primary still 13 months away. As for Sestak, we've got a real race on our hands assuming he decides to run. Sure, Specter has about $8M in the bank, but we can work with a 2-1 disadvantage. We've done it several times before -- the grassroots magnifier is better than 2-1. Unfortunately for Rubio, it's not going to overcome a 13-1 cash deficit.
By the way, isn't it perfect that Netroots Nation is in Pennsylvania this year? A bit of nostalgia trivia -- Sestak attended the very first YearlyKos in Las Vegas back in 2006, back when he was an underdog candidate for a tough House seat against an entrenched incumbent Republican. Here he is now, an underdog candidate for a tough Senate seat against an entrenched incumbent
Republican Democrat Republican who the heck knows.