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

Beijing Warns Hong Kong Protesters, Cracks Down at Home

In suppressing protest news, China reportedly has arrested more than 20 people on the mainland who acted in support of Hong Kong pro-democracy protesters More

Competing Goals Could Frustrate Efforts to Fight Islamic State

As alliances shift and countries re-define themselves, analysts say long-standing goals of some key players in Middle East may soon compete with Western goals More

Child Sexual Exploitation to Worsen in SE Asia

Southeast Asia’s planned economic integration is a key step for boosting the region’s productivity, but carries downsides as well 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.
The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plainsi
X
October 01, 2014 10:45 AM
It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plains

It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests Draw New Supporters on National Holiday

On the 65th anniversary of the founding of Communist China, Hong Kong protesters are hoping to stage the largest pro-democracy demonstration since the 1989 Tiananmen protests. VOA's Brian Padden visited one of the protest sites mid-day, when the atmosphere was calm and where the supporters were enthusiastic about joining what they are calling the umbrella revolution.
Video

Video India's PM Continues First US Visit

India's prime minister is on his first visit to Washington, to strengthen political and economic ties between the world's oldest and the world biggest democracies. He came to the U.S. capital from New York, the first stop on his five-day visit to the country that denied him an entry visa in the past. From Washington, Zlatica Hoke reports Modi seemed most focused on attracting foreign investment and trade to increase job opportunities for his people.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid