Charlie Crist Has Lost Statewide as a Republican, a Democrat, and an Independent

Democratic candidate for Florida governor Charlie Crist is interviewed as he campaigns at
AP Photo/Lynne Sladky

Defeated 2022 gubernatorial candidate Rep. Charlie Crist (D-FL) now holds a trifecta of statewide losses in the Sunshine State as a Republican, Democrat, and Independent.

In fact, he may be the only American politician in our nearly 250-year history to lose statewide as a Republican, Democrat, or Independent.

In 2010, Crist made the fatal error of choosing not to run for reelection as Florida’s governor. Instead, he went for the Republican nomination to become a U.S. Senator. Early on, as the state’s fairly popular sitting governor, he was the favorite to win. But 2010 was the year of the Tea Party, and Crist ran as a proud establishment candidate. He also ran a terrible campaign. Eventually, he was defeated by Republican Marco Rubio in the statewide GOP primary.

In a tiff, he immediately switched to be an Independent, hoping to defeat Rubio and Democrat  Kendrick Brett Meek in the general election. He lost to Rubio by more than a million votes: 29.7 percent to Rubio’s 49 percent.

Between 2011 and 2014, Crist’s fortunes appeared to reverse entirely when he joined a personal injury law firm and began doing TV commercials for the firm. There was Florida’s former governor doing personal injury ads. His political future appeared to be over.

In 2012, Crist decided he was a Democrat and endorsed Barack Obama’s reelection campaign. He felt Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney was too extreme.

Then in 2014, Crist decided he wanted to be governor again, so he ran as a Democrat, won the Democrat nomination, but lost in the general election to Rick Scott by less than a point.

And so, with that loss, he hit the trifecta of losing statewide as a Republican, Democrat, and Independent.

In 2016, he ran as a Democrat in Florida’s 13th congressional district and won. He then won two reelection campaigns.

Finally, in 2022, he again went for the governor’s seat as a Democrat, this time against incumbent Gov. Ron DeSantis. Although DeSantis won by only 30,000 votes in 2018, he trounced Crist by what looks like double digits as of this writing. With 81 percent of the statewide vote in, the race has been called for DeSantis. The incumbent leads Crist 58.3 percent to 41.1 percent. With 82 percent of the vote counted in Miami-Dade Country (a county Hillary Clinton won by 30 points six years ago), DeSantis is winning 55 to 44 percent over Crist.

Charlie Crist has not won a statewide race since 2006 and is now unemployed, having given up his congressional seat to lose the governor’s race.

Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC. Follow his Facebook Page here.


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