I’ll be at January’s meeting of the PCREC to blog and tweet about the straw ballot showdown between Charlie Crist and Marco Rubio. My friends in Charlie’s camp, such as County Commissioner John Morroni, say the vote is going to be a squeaker, but that Charlie will prevail. My sources on Rubio’s side are predicting a blow-out for their guy.
Crist’s campaign has already begun to downplay expectations of Monday’s straw ballot and is not actively campaigning for votes among the PCREC. Another unfortunate turn for Crist’s prospects is the declining health of the venerable John Milford who, along with his wife Margie, had been leading the effort to whip votes for Crist.
I expect that about 160 members will actually show up to vote and many of those will be people who have been with Charlie Crist for a long time. If I was still a betting man, I’d give Charlie 6-to-5 odds he wins. But I wouldn’t bet on it.
One thoughtn I have is if Charlie will release his fundraising total for the 4Q, assuming its a strong number. Or does Crist save his press release for Tuesday in order to wash the bad taste out of his mouth (assuming a strong report and that he loses the straw ballot).
Update – 3:11 p.m.: Former Pinellas GOP chair Tony DiMatteo predicting a 3 to 1 victory for Rubio tonight.
Update – 2:05 p.m.: GOP operatives normally associated with Crist distributing mis-information about logistics about tonight’s vote.