When U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy announced his intention to run for the U.S. Senate, he set off an unusual chain of events among Florida Democrats. First, speculation flourished over a potential Democratic primary, with a number of leading contenders, such as former Gov. Charlie Crist, as well as U.S. Reps. Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Alan Grayson.
Since then, both Crist and Wasserman Schultz have bowed out. And the chatter is growing that Grayson will possibly enter the race to replace Marco Rubio, particularly if he chooses to mount a White House run.
Nevertheless, no matter how deep is the Democratic candidate bench, they just cannot match the Republicans for sheer strangeness.
Editorial cartoonist Bill Day casts a critical eye on two of the names tossed around by the GOP: Attorney General Pam Bondi and former U.S. Rep. Allen West, a Tea Party firebrand who lost to Murphy in 2012.
Public Policy Polling recently polled a variety of matchups involving Republicans Rubio, Bondi, West, and Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera, as well as Democrats Murphy and Grayson.
Pollsters found that Bondi would beat Murphy 45 to 41 percent. She would also beat Grayson 45 to 42 percent. Although he would lose to both Murphy and Grayson, West is the top choice of Republicans to be the GOP candidate next year. Thirty-eight percent of primary voters choose West; 25 percent want Bondi and only 8 percent are clamoring for Lopez-Cantera. West is the right-wing favorite – by 45 percent – particularly among “very conservative” voters.
Of course, everything would change if Rubio, the clear favorite, decides to seek re-election.
But having Rubio in the race wouldn’t provide Day with material nearly as exciting, or entertaining, than either Bondi or West.