(CNN) – When independent Senate candidate Charlie Crist railed on health care reform legislation in a debate held Tuesday night, he didn't call it health care reform, he called it "Obamacare."
"I think that Obamacare was off the charts, was wrong," Crist said in a debate between the Sunshine State's three Senate candidates held at Nova Southeast University in Fort Lauderdale. "It taxed too much, has mandates that are probably unconstitutional and it's not the way to go."
"And it was rammed through," Crist added for good measure.
Moments later, the Democratic candidate, Rep. Kendrick Meek, saw an opening.
(CNN) - It was the Republican candidate for Senate in Florida that received frontrunner treatment at a debate Wednesday night.
Republican Senate candidate Marco Rubio was attacked by the two other candidates running for Senate, Republican-turned-independent Gov. Charlie Crist and Democratic Rep. Kendrick Meek.
(CNN) - Rep. Kendrick Meek, the Florida Democratic Senate nominee, sounded defiant on Friday when he called his Republican-turned-Independent opponent, Gov. Charlie Crist, "sad," and his Republican opponent Marco Rubio, "extreme."
"What has to happen in the days forward is that we share with Floridians the extreme views of Marco Rubio," Meek said in an interview with CNN Situation Room Anchor Wolf Blitzer. "We're going to get down to the nitty gritty on who Marco Rubio is. Marco Rubio got his birth from a very extreme group of individuals."
(CNN) - Florida Rep. Kendrick Meek's latest ad requires no fact check.
That's because it's composed of seven video clips of Gov. Charlie Crist touting his conservative credentials and aligning himself with George W. Bush and Sarah Palin.
The Democratic gubernatorial nominee's ad features no narrator and no graphics. The words "How conservative is Charlie Crist?" dissolve on screen at the top of the ad, followed by clips of Crist speaking in television interviews, press conferences and debates.
(CNN) - A new poll out of Florida offers the state's three Senate candidates some feedback on the effectiveness of their campaigns–but none of it is good for Charlie Crist.
The state's Republican-turned-independent governor is trailing Republican Marco Rubio by a 40-28 point margin among likely voters, according to a Mason-Dixon poll released Saturday. Democratic Rep. Kendrick Meek has advanced five points in the last month to 23 percent.
Those five points have come at the expense of Crist, who has dropped five points since the same poll was conducted in August. Rubio has gained two points in the last 30 days.
(CNN) - A new poll out of Florida highlights a predicament facing the state's Democrats: will voting for their party's candidate ensure a victory for the Republican?
According to a new Reuters/Ipsos poll released Thursday, Republican former state House Speaker Marco Rubio holds a 40 to 26 percent lead among likely voters over Gov. Charlie Crist, who is running as an independent after abandoning his bid for the Republican Party's nomination earlier this year. Democratic Rep. Kendrick Meek trails behind with 21 points, while 13 percent remain undecided.
Among registered voters, the race is statistically tied - 32 percent for Rubio, 29 for Crist, with Meek trailing at 22 percent.
But when asked whom they'd choose if Meek were not in the race, likely voters were statistically deadlocked, with 46 percent choosing Rubio and 45 percent picking Crist. When registered voters were asked who they'd choose between the two frontrunners, the results swung heavily in Crist's favor - he lead Rubio 50 percent to 38 percent.
(CNN) - On a recent muggy evening in Miami Beach, members of the Miami-Dade County Democratic Party gathered in a drab room at the city's Botanical Gardens to phone bank for Rep. Kendrick Meek, their party's nominee for United State Senate.
A young organizer for the Meek campaign clutched a microphone and offered guidance to the activists, who sat around tables perusing call scripts and nibbling on store-bought cupcakes.
"How many of you are familiar who's on the Democratic ballot?," he asked, somewhat nervously. Of the roughly fifty people in the room, just four raised their hands.
The moment encapsulated a broader problem for Meek and his party in the unprecedented three-way race for Senate in Florida.
Democrats this year lack the kind of grassroots energy that drove huge turnout in 2008 when Barack Obama ran for president, an enthusiasm gap on display in the state's August 24 primary, when 1.25 million Republicans cast ballots in their gubernatorial primary compared with 900,000 Democrats who voted in their Senate primary.
Lake Buena Vista, Florida (CNN) – There was supposed to be a $50 million elephant in the room when Rick Scott addressed an audience of Florida Republican elites on Friday as the party's gubernatorial nominee.
That's the amount Scott, formerly the CEO of the country's largest private health-care chain, shelled out during his four-month primary battle against Bill McCollum.
The race quickly spiraled into negativity as both candidates traded charges, mostly via the state's expensive television air waves, about each other's character. McCollum, still stinging, has not yet endorsed Scott.
But at the Florida GOP's quarterly meeting, held at a pair of Disney World hotels on Friday and Saturday, there was little outward resentment toward Scott, a first-time candidate who never toiled in the party trenches like McCollum and his party allies.
"There's incredible enthusiasm with all our candidates," asserted Republican Party of Florida chairman John Thrasher, who feuded publicly with Scott during the primary over a television ad criticizing the state party. "Rick Scott and I have a great relationship."
(CNN) - It's been a long time since U.S. Rep. Kendrick Meek and former President Clinton met at the Suwanee Swifty store in Tallahassee, Florida.
Clinton, during his 1992 presidential bid, needed to make a stop for deodorant after landing at the airport. Meek, then a state trooper, was assigned to Clinton's detail and accompanied the Arkansas governor.
It's a visit both would remember for a long time - and something that would solidify a friendship lasting nearly two decades.
(CNN) - Two of Florida's three Senate candidates are out Tuesday with their first television ads of the general election.
Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, who was elected as a Republican but is running as an independent candidate, literally walks the line between Democrat and Republican in his 30-second spot entitled "Best of Both."
"As an independent, I will take the best ideas of Democrats and Republicans to get things done," Crist says, as he picks up red and blue block letters spelling out the names of the two parties and rearranges them to spell "Americans."
The National Republican Senatorial Committee responded Tuesday to Crist's ad, which they call "hypocritical."