In addition to what might be a stunning upset of Sen. Lisa Murkowski in Alaska, Rick Scott's narrow victory in the Florida GOP primary for governor upsets the narrative that the establishment was striking back against Tea Party-style insurgents. Personally, I'm more surprised by Scott's win than by Joe Miller's performance because the polls seemed to be trending Bill McCollum's way.
And McCollum was different from a lot of establishment-backed Republican candidates in that he was actually a principled conservative with a proven track record. When McCollum visited the TAS offices this summer, he was smart, engaged, and willing to delve into the depth of policy issues -- often much to the obvious consternation of his aides. McCollum reminds me a bit of Jim Talent of Missouri. They were both conservative standouts in the House who have struggled in statewide races, in part because they lacked charisma, and seen uneven results.
As I noted in my column Monday, the Scott-McCollum primary got very heated and there was a lot of negative advertising by both campaigns. One of Scott's challenges will be to unite the party around his candidacy in order to win in November.
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