Crist Loses to Rubio in Straw Poll in His Hometown

Innnnnteresting, I say, and if I had a long, vaudevillian villain mustache I’d be twirling the end.

Among the many indignities Gov. Charlie Crist has faced over the last several rocky months, this one hit home.

Republican Party activists in his own county of Pinellas, many of whom have been campaigning alongside Crist for years, on Monday overwhelmingly declared that they prefer Marco Rubio for U.S. Senate. The 106-54 “straw poll” vote is officially meaningless, but it’s a symbolic blow for Crist.

Oh, it gets better:

Only a year ago it would have been unthinkable that Crist could be snubbed by his home county, and Monday night’s result underscored how vastly the political terrain has changed not only for Crist but Republicans everywhere as conservative activists have become increasingly vocal.

“It’s just a perfect storm in some ways, and certain people want to take advantage of the situation,” said Erwin Beck of Clearwater, a Crist supporter. “These tea party people don’t really grasp consensus politics.”

[…]

“It’s a group of people, they’re dissatisfied, they’re angry. They don’t know who to take it out on, so they’re taking it out on Charlie Crist,” she said. “When all is said and done, I think they’ll realize he has them in his heart.”

Really. This probably could have nothing to do with it:

“The nail in the coffin was when he was so kind to Mr. Obama,” said Fernando Gutierez of Clearwater, referring to Crist’s endorsement of the $789 billion stimulus package and who said the Rubio campaign called him to make sure he planned to vote. [my emphasis]

Maybe the fact that Crist is a GIANT RHINO, maybe that’s what has voters turned off. Look at the establishment trying to blame the grassroots for doing a better job of adhering to Republican principles than the actual Republicans.

The tea party people do grasp consensus politics; such irony that the statement would even be made in the context of this article, in the context of the old guard attempting to disregard and invalidate the voice of the people for the sake of political longevity.

Other people within the GOP are catching on

[Hat tip]