Not only is the state of Florida holding an election for US Senate this year, the seat in question is open. At one time, Florida governor Charlie Crist was thought to have the inside track for that seat, but a primary challenge has completely changed the picture. And in independent effort in the general election from Crist may change it again.
Polls show that the moderate Crist is running against a very conservative tide within his own party, and the beneficiary of that tide is Marco Rubio, who appears to be anywhere from 20% to 30% or more ahead of Crist heading into the primary.
However, according to political blog TPM, recent polls show Rubio with a scant lead in a three-way contest between himself, an independent Crist and likely Democratic candidate, US Rep. Kendrick Meek (D-FL). In that order, they pulled 32%, 30% and 24%.
Several sources note that Crist is not ruling out a run as an independent if as seems likely he loses the primary to Rubio.
RBR-TVBR observation: Florida is a big state, with a heaping helping of media markets. A lot of broadcasters would stand to benefit from a statewide battle featuring three well-heeled candidates.
Even though at the moment polling puts the Democratic candidate third in a three-way race, the prospects of a split Republican vote is all the reason national Democratic committees will need to spend heavily to try to drive their candidate all the way to Washington. And of course, the other two candidates’ backers likely will be every bit as active.