How Do We Know Florida Is in Play?
Who says Florida is in play? Polls say we're in play (Sen. McCain's camp can't be happy with that trend line).
The almighty Larry Sabato says we're in play, noting that McCain's margins here are "weak to nonexistent" (and if you don't know who Larry Sabato and his crystal ball are, I suggest your scroll down the list of helpful links to the right until you find them).
More importantly, we know that Florida is in play by the campaigns' actions.
Sen. Obama has been aggressively establishing field offices and hiring staff in Florida and also advertising in our very pricey media markets.
McCain has also been advertising in Florida - including some Spanish language ads to shore up his tanking support among our Cubano voters.
To my mind, though, the biggest "tell" around is the fact that Gov. Charlie Crist appears to be in the running.
Crist's flip flop on drilling was a shameful lack of spine - even for a man whose bedrock principles are about as deep as the cheap beige carpeting in my first apartment after college.
And let's face it - getting engaged was the wrong move for the tan man. Instead of reassuring conservative voters, it simply served as a reminder that for years we've basically assumed that, yeah, he's gay. I don't know that he's gay. I have no first hand knowledge. But, c'mon... don't we all just sort of assume that he is?
Chris Cilliza of The Fix (another must read with a handy link to the right) wrote a whole column laying out the case against Crist (which handles the question of sexual orientation with far greater delicacy than I have). I should also note that he also wrote out a "case for Crist" as well.
So why consider the tan man at all?
Well, there can be only one reason McCain would even consider tapping Crist to join his ticket - he is afraid of losing Florida.