Tea Party ‘warriors’ take aim at Florida Senate race

February 2, 2010

TEA PARTYConservative Tea Party activists had loads of fun in Boston last month helping Scott Brown chuck Teddy Kennedy’s forever-Democratic Senate seat into Republican waters.

Now the painted warriors hope to stage a reenactment of Florida’s Dade Massacre, with Republican Gov. Charlie Crist playing the ill-fated Maj. Dade.

A new Rasmussen Reports poll shows Crist 12 percentage points behind former state House Speaker and Tea Party favorite Marco Rubio in Florida’s Republican primary contest for the U.S. Senate. Rubio leads Crist 49 percent to 37 percent.

Rubio’s lead is only just outside the poll’s 5 percentage point margin of error, and 11 percent of USA/the 449 people surveyed say they’re undecided. But the numbers suggest a fundamental change in voter sentiment since August, when Crist’s support stood at 53 percent. Rubio and Crist both hold a double-digit lead over likely Democratic nominee, U.S. Rep. Kendrick Meek, in the general election campaign to replace retiring Republican Sen. Mel Martinez.

Rubio’s fortunes present an important test of the Tea Party movement’s ability to draw votes. But there may be more than that at stake. Pundits say the Tea Party movement needs national leadership to become a true force in American politics. A Senate victory for Rubio could help give them that in time for the 2012 presidential election campaign.   ARMEY

But is the Tea Party movement really without leaders? An article in The New Yorker magazine points out the involvement of former House Majority Leader Dick Armey. It also notes that some well-heeled lobby groups and think tanks, including Americans for Tax Reform, the Club for Growth, Campaign for Liberty and the Ayn Rand Center for Individual Rights, sponsored the Tea Party march in Washington last September.

Photo Credits: Reuters/Brian Snyder (Boston Tea Party Reenactment); Reuters/Mark Wallheiser (Charlie Crist); Reuters/Larry Downing (Dick Armey)

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5 comments

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The RATTS (Republicans Tried and True) against the RINOs-should be better then the Bronx Zoo.

Posted by scruffy1 | Report as abusive

It’s an election year and the tea party movement is a threat to the progressives in power. As always, if it weren’t true, no one would pay any attention to them.

It only empowers them when they are given attention. But go ahead and try to destroy them. It didn’t work very well last year…

Just my humble opinion…

Posted by TyC | Report as abusive

So Charlie Crist is a progressive? That’s how radicalized your average Teabagger is– when they start calling Republicans from southern states (Florida no less) progressive. The fight between Charlie Crist and Marco Rubio is typical of the the larger conflict within the GOP. The radical right-wing element of the Republican Party has every intention of crushing Crist to send a message to other GOP candidates who may stray from the path that Dick Armey, Americans for Tax Reform, the Club for Growth, Campaign for Liberty and the Ayn Rand Center for Individual Rights have set out for them. March in lock-step with us, or else.

Posted by getplaning | Report as abusive

Ow! True that, Getplanning. Gov. Crist is progressive?!! When pigs fly!

Posted by cybergrace | Report as abusive

Americans should support any movement that will bring back our constitutional rights that have been allowed to degenerate due to both the Republican and Democratic parties. If the tea parties will do this than more power to them. Perhaps it will even bring about a third party that will be middle of the road with independents which will blunt the influence of both liberals and conservatives.

Posted by crbob | Report as abusive