News / USA

Florida Senate Race Splitting Three Ways

Early voting in Florida is underway as voters must choose between three major candidates for US Senate
Early voting in Florida is underway as voters must choose between three major candidates for US Senate

Multimedia

The rise of the Tea Party movement is injecting uncertainty in many US congressional races.  Normally, most races pit only two candidates against each other,  Republican versus Democrat. In Florida, voters are choosing between three major candidates for the US Senate: a Tea Party-backed Republican, a former Republican and a Democrat.

Early voting is underway in Florida, giving voters plenty of time to think about and cast their ballots. In the race for a US Senate seat, instead of the typical two-way contest between a Democrat and a Republican, voters have three main candidates to choose from.

VOTER ONE: "I've always thought more parties are better because you can have more people involved and more people having discourse about the issues."

VOTER TWO: "It's very confusing.  It puts you in a position where you don't know who to vote for."

The race is potentially confusing.  The three main candidates are Republican Marco Rubio, Democrat Kendrick Meek, and Governor Charlie Crist, who was elected as a Republican before he became an independent.

Christopher Mann is a political scientist at the University of Miami. He says Florida is not used to this kind of race.

"What's really remarkable about this three-way race is that it is not an outsider," noted Mann.  "It's a main player and the second place contender in the polls. The incumbent governor is the third-party guy."

Tea Party activists helped state legislator Marco Rubio capture the Republican nomination over Governor Crist.

Crist says Republican voters should be able to see that Rubio is wrong for the party and the country because he'll be a polarizing figure.

"If Marco Rubio goes to Washington, we're going to get six more years of gridlock and finger-pointing and arguing," said Crist.

At a recent debate, Rubio accused the governor of straddling both parties.

"He changes position on the issues because he wants to win the election," stated Rubio.

Across the country, Tea Party candidates are having an impact. Some are competing as third-party candidates. Others have seized the Republican nomination away from traditional party favorites, like Crist.

Many key Republicans, like former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, are standing behind Rubio.

Crist, a Republican until recently, is winning support from some key Democrats including Robert F. Kennedy Junior, whose uncle was President John F. Kennedy.    

"It's unusual and a little bit of a painful thing to do to come to Florida and endorse somebody who is not a member of the Democratic party but who I believe is the best candidate for the job and the only one who can win," said Kennedy.

Democratic activists in Palm Beach County north of Miami, reject Crist.  Party leaders say they stand behind their candidate, Democratic Congressman Meek.  They want Crist to drop out of the race.

"You have no idea what he's going to do when he gets to Washington, and as a result he is obscuring the real choices that are before the people," said Mark Alan Siegel who chairs Palm Beach County's Democratic Party.

The latest polls show Rubio leading the field. But experts say he would lose if he was competing against only Meek or Crist.

Christopher Mann says, in the end, Rubio could win without a majority of the votes or a clear mandate.

"It means he is a vulnerable politician," added Mann.  "He has six years to try to get a majority status. It doesn't mean he is an overwhelming leader, it means a majority of voters voted against him."

By November 2, Florida voters will have to sort out a confusing situation and decide who will win the Senate seat.

You May Like

EU Court Fines Poland for Hosting CIA 'Black Sites'

Ruling is first time a court has acknowledged suspects were held and tortured at the sites, under US program launched following the 9/11 terrorist attacks More

Migrant Issues Close to Home Spur Groups to Take Action

Groups placing water, food in the desert, or aiding detainees after release, have one common goal: no more deaths of migrants crossing illegally into the US More

Video At AIDS Conference, Prevention Pill Stirs Excitement

Truveda shows promise, spurring debate over access and other approaches More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debatei
X
Shelley Schlender
July 24, 2014 6:43 PM
In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Death Toll From Israel-Gaza Conflict Surpasses 700

Gaza officials say a shelling hit a compound housing a United Nations-run school in the Gaza Strip, killing more than a dozen people, during an Israeli offensive in the area. Heavy fighting between the Israeli military and Hamas militants continued on Thursday, pushing up the death toll. So far, more than 730 Palestinians and 35 Israelis have been killed in the conflict. VOA's Scott Bobb has the latest from Jerusalem.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnels

The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video Researchers Target Low-Cost Avatar Technology

Scientists at the University of Southern California Institute for Creative Technologies say 3-dimensional representations could revolutionize social media. Elizabeth Lee has more from Los Angeles.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.

AppleAndroid