So Charlie Crist has been thinking about ditching the Republican party and running as an independent in the Senate race. Maybe he fancies himself as the next Lieberman (without the incumbency)? He does have that one poll that shows him with barely a lead in a three way race.

I said it before and I’ll say it again, there is no way forward for Charlie Crist to actually win the senate seat. He can’t win the primary now and he won’t win in the general in any event. The best he could do is become a spoiler for Marco Rubio and throw the election to the Democrat. I don’t know why he would do that, it’s not like Crist was already in the race and Marco jumped in to unseat him. In fact, it’s just the opposite. Charlie got some bad advice from the NRSC.

Which brings me to the newest 3-way poll in the race. Rasmussen just released it this morning:

The latest Rasmussen Reports poll of Florida voters finds that 37% would vote for GOP frontrunner Marco Rubio, 30% for Crist and 22% for the likely Democratic nominee Kendrick Meek.

That is an improvement for Crist, but it’s not so much different from the previous Rasmussen poll (42/25/22 Rubio/Meeks/Crist) to actually believe that he has a shot at winning. Voters are much smarter than they are given credit for. For instance, up in Connecticut back in 2006, most of the Republicans voted for Lieberman because he had a good shot at winning while the Republican didn’t. That won’t be the case here in Florida. Marco will lock up almost all the Republican voters should Crist become an Independent.  He may pull some moderates away from Marco, but my guess is that he would capture most of the Democrat leaning independents, and always be fighting with Meeks for second place.

If Crist leaves the party, he’s done. He should know this. If he were to bow out and support Marco, he would still have a future in Florida politics. He would be good to take on Senator Nelson in 2012 (incumbency is a powerful thing), but he must extricate himself with grace in order for that to happen. If he tries to burn bridges, he’s going to be the one left out. If it’s a three way race, I would bet that Marco clears at least 40% and Meeks seems to have a floor around 25% – leaving the best that Crist can do at 35% and the title of first loser.

I’m sorry that the NRSC was stupid this year, Governor. We’re trying to clean it up. We really could use you in 2012 to take on Senator Nelson.