Monday, April 19, 2010 at 4:54 p.m.
Will Charlie Crist buck the two-party system and run as an independent in the face of declining poll numbers against Marco Rubio? Everyone seems to think so. Speculation is so rampant that President Obama's press secretary, Robert Gibbs, was questioned about it this morning. (He said he wasn't aware of any conversation the president has had with Crist about the governor's political future.)
Of course, there are still tea leaves to be read that indicate Crist is considering making some sort of major shift in the race. He pulled televised Rubio attack ads
in Orlando and Tampa Bay, which might be a hint Crist is saving money to run as a independent or dropping out altogether.
Meanwhile, HotlineOncall reports
GOPers in D.C. think it's "a virtual certainty" Crist will make an indie bid. Though it also reports Crist would lose almost all of his Republican support and endorsements and might see an exodus of top staffers more loyal to the party than to Crist. It also points to the fact that Crist would lose the backing of the GOP's powerful get-out-the-vote machine. Salon theorizes
Crist could get the endorsement of teachers' unions thanks to his veto of SB6 but ultimately thinks he's just going to drop out.
The buzz isn't surprising; however, it's somewhat odd there's very little chatter that Crist could be thinking about a full-fledged switch to the Democratic Party or pulling a Jay Leno to Bill McCollum's Conan by reverting back to the governors' race. Then again, with McCollum's falling poll numbers
and unpopular campaign to sue the federal government over health-care reform, it wouldn't be that crazy.