The plight of Florida's Charlie Crist -- a Republican governor who apparently can't win his own party's Senate primary -- underscores the divisions dogging an otherwise emboldened national GOP. Races in all corners of the country raise the question of whether moderate candidates have a future in a party imposing ideological purity, and whether the GOP can attract moderate voters.
One hot August day, George LeMieux was a little-known 40-year-old political consultant. The next afternoon, he was appointed to represent 18 million Floridians in the United States Senate by Gov. Charlie Crist, his former boss. I d describe myself as a Charlie Crist Republican, LeMieux said then.
Ignoring pressure from Washington, Florida Gov. Charlie Crist says he's considering running for Senate as an independent candidate. Crist told The Associated Press in a phone interview Monday that he wants to listen to Florida residents as he makes up his mind on whether to stay in the Republican primary against Marco Rubio or run without party affiliation. Crist says he wants to be "very, very thoughtful and deliberate."