Three-way Race in Florida
Clinton endorses in hot contest for U.S. Senate
Former President Bill Clinton delivered a half-time locker room pep talk to a crowd of more than 1,500 people at the University of Central Florida in Orlando this week. The purpose was to endorse Democrat Kendrick Meek in his run for the U.S. Senate.
This unusual three-party race includes Meek, a member of the U.S. House of Representatives; Marco Rubio, a former Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives and a Republican; and Charlie Crist, Florida’s Governor and an Independent.
Crist recently switched from the Republican to the Independent Party for this election.Which may be why Meek felt the need to bring out what is considered the biggest endorsement in any Democratic race: the popular former President.
Recent polls show Meek falling behind in popularity with likely voters. A three-way race is a tough one to win for any party, but the Democrat is considered the underdog in this contest.
Due to a decline in approval ratings for Democrats across the country, endorsements from big guns like Clinton and President Barack Obama can often help remind those sitting on the fence why they should vote. Republicans use the same strategy, which this year includes endorsements from former Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin and Republican strategist Karl Rove.
“These people like President Clinton come in here and they have experience,” said Frank Morris, a retiree who attended the Clinton rally for Meek. “We have an underdog coming in trying to take a position that is very important to the country. We need their experience.”
Another attendee, Dave Hoffman, agreed.
“I think some endorsements are important, while some don’t matter as much,” he said. He pointed out that former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani recently made a trip to Florida to endorse Rubio.
“People like that are the ones that will make a difference,” he said.
President Clinton and Representative Meek certainly hope so. For Meek to make the jump from the House to the Senate, he will need young voters like the ones Clinton addressed on the university campus to get come out on election and cast their ballots. He urged them to use social websites like facebook and YouTube to spread the word—about voting for Meek and just plain voting!
Check back for the results of that election, which happens on November 2!
PHOTO: Florida Democratic senate candidate Kendrick Meek (left) listens to former President Bill Clinton address supporters during a campaign rally for Meek Tuesday, Oct. 19, 2010 in St. Petersburg, Fla. (Photo: Steve Nesius/AP Images)