Duopolist Bias and the Creeping One-Party State: the Example of the US Senate Race in the Sunshine State

The inability of the establishmentarian political observer to conceive the very possibility of a politics that is not constrained by the logic of duopoly ideology is revealed in a recent article on the Florida race for US Senate by Eric Kleefield at Talking Points Memo. With polls placing Democrat Kendrick Meek far behind independent Charlie Crist and Republican Marco Rubio, Kleefield inexplicably construes the independent as the "defacto Democrat." He writes:
In the two months since Gov. Charlie Crist began building up to and ultimately did switch from Republican to independent, he appears to have overtaken Rep. Kendrick Meek as the de-facto Democratic candidate in the race against Republican Marco Rubio, according to the polls.
In reality, of course, Crist is not a "defacto Democrat" but rather a Republican-turned-Independent, whose political maneuvering has basically displaced what would have been a Republican primary contest, which Crist most certainly would have lost to Rubio, to the general election, which Crist may well win. In this way, the actual Democrat in the race has been almost wholly eclipsed by his Independent and Republican rivals, trailing both by double digits. From a recent Miami Herald poll:
Of the registered voters surveyed, 30 percent were for Crist, 27 percent for Republican Marco Rubio and 15 percent for Democratic front-runner Kendrick Meek.

1 comment:

Shawn said...

While I agree that Crist is not the 'de-facto Democrat,' I disagree that Crist augers well for true third-party politics.

Crist is a self-serving hack who took the money he was given by his former party to finance his current campaign. His presence in the race is directly related to the stupidity of RSNC strategist Jespers (who got him into this race, and has bungled a number of other campaigns this season).

I think Florida would be a good state for a third party right-of-center alternative to a GOP establishment horribly out of touch with its base.

But Crist isn't that. Crist is an Establishment Republican who's been tossed out by the groundswell of the populace. If anything, supporting Crist as a third party alternative is, to my mind, antithetical to our long-term goals, since he's not a committed independent/third party candidate. He's a committed Establishmentarian, who's trying to pull a Bloomberg to be in office.