The Washington Post‘s Chris Cillizza does a good job of laying out how an independent Senate bid by Charlie Crist would be different from Joe Lieberman’s in ways that make Crist less likely than Lieberman to succeed. I’ve hit this theme before, but Cillizza adds two practical problems for Crist: bolting the Republican Party would likely cost him much of his campaign team and his fundraising base.
When Lieberman went the independent route, he had Michael Bloomberg’s proven campaign team right next door. He had his own national fundraising base with Jewish donors and people who had been attracted to his forays into national politics. Lieberman also saw the primary through, only lost it narrowly, had the tacit support of a Republican administration, and had no serious Republican opponent. That meant Lieberman could win an overwhelming majority of Republicans, a respectable majority of independents, and still hang on to about a third of Democrats. None of these situations will obtain for Charlie Crist.
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