Move Over, Limbaugh and Drudge, There's a New Head Wingnut

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Whether you like it or not, South Florida is home base for two of America's most influential conservatives. You've got the reclusive Matt Drudge, who takes time out of listening to Junior Vasquez records somewhere in Miami Beach to update the DrudgeReport, and you've got Rush Limbaugh, who takes time out of not having heart attacks to broadcast his daily dose of hot air in West Palm Beach.

But today the St. Pete Times profiles the latest force in right-wingery: the neatly named Erick Erickson of RedState.com. He makes his home in Georgia, but he's making his name with a race here in Florida -- the Marco Rubio-Charlie Crist Senate showdown.

Media analysts speculate Drudge's influence is waning, and Limbaugh has his own problems being taken seriously by party leaders, but apparently NRSC chief Sen. John Cornyn personally phoned Erickson and begged him to call off his attacks after Cornyn dared to endorse the then-popular Governor Crist over then-little-known Rubio in the Republican Senate primary.

See, Erickson isn't one of those guys who thinks the GOP needs to be more centrist to get more votes. He actually blames the party leadership

from straying too much from its conservative values.


banner campaign for 2010 is making sure Rubio wins Florida's

Senate seat. Not that he necessarily knows all the problems facing

Floridians, but because he sees it as the best chance for a

grassroots-fueled conservative to knock off a big-name moderate, who

he fears harbors presidential aspirations.

"When we're

confronted by a guy who is a Republican but not a conservative versus one

who is, I think we should support the conservative," he tells the St. Pete Times.

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