The Hill: Florida GOPers look to Specter for inspiration

The Hill:

The parallels are striking, both because Crist and Specter were among so few major Republicans to support the stimulus and because both are set to wage big-time Senate campaigns in which they face primary challengers.

There isn’t yet a chorus of anti-Crist voices in the Florida Republican Party – in fact, polling has him remaining very popular among his base – but Crist’s detractors say they can change that. And now they have their change instrument, in former state House Speaker Marco Rubio.

Rubio’s announcement Tuesday that he will run for retiring Sen. Mel Martinez’s (R-Fla.) seat ensures Crist won’t have a free ride in the GOP primary – and increasingly, it looks like it may not be an easy ride, either.

“We are seeing the same array of forces in this potential race that we saw last week with Specter and Toomey, and much of the same rhetoric being used,” said Atlanta-based GOP consultant David Johnson.

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