On Tuesday, Florida Democrats will pick a Senate candidate to face off against Republican challenger Marco Rubio and former governor and recently-independent Charlie Crist in November's general election. The closely observed primary pits the self-proclaimed "only real Democrat" Kendrick Meek against the wealthy entrepreneur Jeff Greene. The race had been tightly contested and fraught with bizarre scandal allegations, but Meek has pulled away in the latest polls heading into election day. Here's what pundits are noticing on the eve of the decision:
- Greene is Pushing Hard for Jewish Votes finds Ben Smith at Politico."[Greene's] spokesman sends over a statement lashing Meek anti-Israel for his standard-issue pro-Israel Democrat stands, in comparison to Greene's hitherto obscure, but now passionate, hawkish stand on the Jewish State."
- Meek's Lead Has Solidified reports Jeremy P. Jacobs at The Hotline. He cautions that, "nearly 3 in 10 Dem voters - 28% - are undecided" but points toward Meek's much higher favorability rating (42% view favorably versus 22% view unfavorably) as evidence that he is in the best shape to emerge from the race as the Democratic nominee.
- Money May Not Buy Greene a Victory notes Evan McMorris-Santoro at Talking Points Memo. When Jeff Greene first entered the race, Meek was a political afterthought. He writes: "Greene bought millions of dollars of TV ads that blasted Meek as a corrupt insider...Greene led one poll by double-digits as he ran his ads unanswered by Meek." That all changed when the media scrutinized the wealthy candidate for the apparently numerous skeletons in his closet. "It wasn't long before Greene was hit with stories about what a terrible boss he is and NSFW slideshows of life aboard his now-infamous yacht."
- A Public Policy Poll Has Meek Ahead By 24 Percent which is much more than the latest Quinnipiac University poll which has the candidate leading Greene by 10 percentage points, writes Bruce Drake at Politics Daily. "PPP has Meek ahead of Greene by 51 percent to 27 percent, with 9 percent preferring other choices and 13 percent undecided. The margin of error is 5.4 points."
- Greene Mounted a Real Challenge "but the race has settled down," observes Neal Stevens at RedState: "Democrats seem to have consolidated around Meek, as Meek leads by 7, 12, and 24 in the last three polls. I don’t think his lead is growing exponentially, but that trend is hard to ignore."
- Troubling Signs for Meek? While Republican candidate Mark Rubio has been largely unsuccessful at wooing campaign contributors away from the independent Charlie Crist, this development could spell trouble for Democrat Kendrick Meek, reports Sean J. Miller at The Hill. He cites a recent finding by the Orlando Sentinel: "Crist and [Meek] shared 97 contributors to their campaigns as of June 30, their most recent Federal Election Commission report."