There have been plenty of people, including myself, that have asked for Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate, Kendrick Meek, to step down. While having Meek as our senator sounds good, having Marco Rubio as our senator would be extremely harmful to the State of Florida.
But is it now too late?
Recent reports are saying that Meek is considering dropping out of the race and supporting Charlie Crist for the general election. Yet Meek has come out and denied the reports, continuing to state that he is in the race until the end.
A few months ago, a Meek withdrawal might have made some sense. When Rubio started moving ahead in the polls and Meek couldn’t move past 20%, he should have considered the consequences of a Senator Rubio (R-FL) going to Washington. Instead, he just let Rubio increase his number and helped Crist’s numbers fall. Still, dropping out of the race months before Election Day doesn’t make sense, because anything could happen.
But even now, when the Crist campaign is in crisis, and a Rubio win is almost certain, a Meek departure from the race makes no sense. Why?
First, Rubio is either at 50% in the polls or darn close to 50% in the polls. In a three-way race, this is the magic number. If he is able to reach this threshold, then the likelihood of any one candidate, much less two, catching him up is nearly impossible. Therefore, Rubio has already won this thing.
Second, there will still be a number of absentee ballots that will have votes for Kendrick Meek. If Meek were to drop out, and Crist was able to make the race close, these absentee votes for Meek might just cost him the election. These people can’t have a “redo” on their vote.
Third, no matter if Meek has withdrawn or not, there will still be a decent amount of people who will vote for Meek even if he isn’t running anymore. In the Presidential primaries in 2008, I voted for John Edwards (which I regret now) after he had already dropped out. That is how strongly I felt toward him, and how strongly I felt against the other two choices (which I considered too moderate). A number of Democratic voters might do this in this race as well.
Another possibility is that ignorant voters who do not know that Meek has withdrawn might still vote for him because they usually vote straight ticket Democrat.
No matter how you slice it or dice it, Meek has waited too long do decide on withdrawing from this race. Granted, he shouldn’t have made this decision two months ago, as anything could have happened in the race. But anyone who thought that Meek, an unknown throughout most of the state, had a chance of winning against a well-known governor and an well-known Speaker of the Florida House is just outright crazy.
But if Meek does withdraw, this is what I see happening…Meek drops out, Crist still loses, Meek blames the Democrats for not supporting him, Willie Logan all over again.
While the Logan case is different from a possible Meek case, the results could be the same. We have someone who is a friend to the Democratic Party. And if we alienate him now, and continue to pressure him to withdraw, then we might have a future enemy.
I have called for Meek to withdraw from the race in recent weeks, now I retract those statements.