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History does repeat from time to time.

Lawton Chiles retired from the United States Senate and from politics entirely in 1989.

However, supporters convinced him to run for Governor of Florida in 1990 against the unpopular incumbent Bob Martinez.


Florida currently has a more unpopular incumbent in Rick Scott.  While many observers are putting their money on the reincarnated Democrate Charlie Crist to perhaps run in 2014, whispers are getting louder about the possibility that Sen. Bill Nelson might ride to the rescue of his beloved state of Florida.

From a popular political bloggeryesterday:

Is U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson the real savior of the Florida Democratic Party? Some folks think that Nelson should run for governor.

So with that in mind, a few questions:

Would newly minted Democrat Charlie Crist run against Nelson in a Democratic primary?

Could Crist defeat Nelson?

Would Nelson be able to raise the money?

Would Crist stay out of the raise if Nelson got in?

Is there anybody else in the Democratic Party who could give Crist a serious run for the nomination?

These questions are being asked in Democratic circles - the answers will say a lot about the future of the Florida Democratic Party.

Blogger Brian Crowley then mentioned a recent article in the Palm Beach Post:
“Right now Sen. Nelson cannot envision a circumstance under which he would run for governor. But he remains very concerned about the state’s future,” Nelson communications director Dan McLaughlin said.
Polling released this week showed Scott to be in serious trouble against Crist and other potential candidates, including 2010 rival Alex Sink:
A new Public Policy Polling survey set for release today finds that Governor Rick Scott still suffers from a low approval rating and trails a handful of potential Democratic opponents.

PPP puts Scott’s approval at 33 percent, compared with 57 percent disapproval.

Up against Charlie Crist, Scott is down 12 points, 52-40; against former Tampa Mayor Pam Iorio, Scott is down 7 points, 44-37; in a rematch with 2010 Alex Sink, he’s down 5 points, 45-40. Scott leads against former state Senate Minority Leader Nan Rich, 42-36.

Based on the rumors about Nelson, I'd say we'll be seeing some polling in the near future that includes Florida's senior Senator.  I'm not a fan of Charlie Crist, arguably a better choice than Rick Scott in the Statehouse, but I prefer my Dems to have a bit more of a Dem history.  I'm not sure Alex Sink excites the electorate, although her name recognition would be improved since 2010.  Sink suddenly lost her husband Bill McBride to a heart attack several months ago.  

A Nelson run would create a strongly recognized Dem who could win again statewide, as well as appoint his own successor to the US Senate.  I'm glad that it's at least a conversation at this point in time.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    annecros, Lujane, OleHippieChick

    I am quite sure now that often, very often, in matters concerning religion and politics a man's reasoning powers are not above the monkey's. - Mark Twain

    by route66 on Fri Mar 22, 2013 at 08:31:23 AM PDT

  •  Incidentally (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    route66, Lujane, OleHippieChick

    When Chiles ran for governor in 1990, guess who he defeated in the primary? Bill Nelson. I wonder if that might have something to do with Nelson's reluctance to try it again.

    Certaines personnes disent qu'il y a une femme à blâmer, Mais je sais que c'est ma faute sacrément.

    by RamblinDave on Fri Mar 22, 2013 at 08:39:59 AM PDT

  •  Better idea (5+ / 0-)

    Nelson just won re-election. His seat is safe for six years. Crist has already served one term as governer and will only have four years in office. It makes more sense for Crist to run for Gov and in 2018, for Nelson to run for Gov and Crist to run for Senate. That would keep both seats blue for a long time and prevent our only solid candidates from taking each other on.

  •  not gonna happen. Give away a pretty safe (3+ / 0-)

    senate seat? talk about making Fl and the US more unsafe.
    Crist isn't the best Dem. but he can probably win and in Fl that's a good thing.

    Macca's Meatless Monday

    by VL Baker on Fri Mar 22, 2013 at 08:59:28 AM PDT

    •  mentioned above (0+ / 0-)

      As the new governor, Nelson would be able to appoint his replacement; that person would serve until the next statewide general election, in 2016.

      the governor makes an appointment to fill a U.S. Senate vacancy, and the appointee serves until the next regularly-scheduled, statewide general election.  The person elected at that next regularly-held general election serves for the remainder of the unexpired term, if any.  If the term was set to expire at that general election, the person elected serves a full six-year term.

      Why settle for someone who isn't the best Dem?

      I am quite sure now that often, very often, in matters concerning religion and politics a man's reasoning powers are not above the monkey's. - Mark Twain

      by route66 on Fri Mar 22, 2013 at 09:04:28 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Imagine the PR bonanza for us, too (3+ / 0-)

      "The Republicans ran Crist out of the party, so he ran as a Dem and won"...wouldn't that be something going into 2016!

      Certaines personnes disent qu'il y a une femme à blâmer, Mais je sais que c'est ma faute sacrément.

      by RamblinDave on Fri Mar 22, 2013 at 09:05:06 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  No (4+ / 0-)

    Bill Nelson can do more good by staying in the Senate.  His recent re-election to his Senate seat showed that Floridians supported him as a Senator. Why would Nelson run for governor just after he was re-elected Senator?

    "Growing up is for those who don't have the guts not to. Grow wise, grow loving, grow compassionate, but why grow up?" - Fiddlegirl

    by gulfgal98 on Fri Mar 22, 2013 at 09:05:48 AM PDT

  •  As a former Republican myself (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lujane, OleHippieChick, PHScott

    Can tell you Crist is best Democrat candidate as he knows what evil the GOP is up to.  Former Republicans would also be less likely to deal with Republicans.

  •  Nelson and Crist (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    are almost certainly on the same page now.

    If Nelson runs for Governor it is because Crist will run for Senator.

  •  I think at this point Charlie Crist would win (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    the Floorduh goobship. He did the right thing in 2008 for the election. Alex Sink is forgettable and forgetful. She misnamed three times the college she spoke at during her last campaign. Aggravating and ditsy.
    I don't care how tired you are, you KNOW where you're speaking. There were groans of pain from the audience every time she blew the name. Jayz. Little things like that stick in ppl's minds.

    "He went to Harvard, not Hogwarts." ~Wanda Sykes
    No representation without taxation. Rich and don't pay? Shut up.
    Blessinz of teh Ceiling Cat be apwn yu, srsly.

    by OleHippieChick on Fri Mar 22, 2013 at 10:18:52 AM PDT

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