Conservatives fought to get Marco Rubio the Republican nomination for Florida Senate. Now that he has it, mainly because his challenger Charlie Crist decided to run as a non-affiliated candidate once he realized he wasn’t going to win the primary, people are wondering if Rubio peaked too early.
While Crist has dealt with the Gulf oil spill in between changing his mind on every position he held a few months ago, Rubio’s been quiet. It’s natural to take a step back when you no longer have a challenger…save money, save resources, get ready for the big push in September. But without Charlie Crist to kick around in a primary, there’s some concern his campaign has gotten, for lack of more eloquent verbiage, blah.
Rubio’s camp ain’t hearing none of it…
Rubio’s camp brushed aside the impact of the recent developments on the logic of his candidacy. A campaign official acknowledged that the campaign has shifted to a somewhat more “below-the-radar” mode, but pointed to Rubio’s active schedule and insisted that the current investment of time and resources will pay off in November.
National Republicans also remain confident that Rubio is a strong candidate with unique appeal in the state. National Republican Senatorial Committee spokeswoman Amber Marchand insisted that the “contentious” primary fight between Meek and Greene coupled with Crist’s “complete lack of principles” makes GOP strategists more than comfortable with their nominee’s current positioning in the race.
Still, it’s clear that Rubio’s foil in this campaign was Crist and, without the governor to kick around anymore, the fast-rising Republican doesn’t appear to be so fast rising anymore.
It’ll be curious to see how the campaign’s look once the 2Q fundraising numbers are announced. If Rubio is still raising ridonkulous money, I think everyone just needs to take a deep breath.