With the closing of the polls, it looks like the GOP has their candidate for this years midterm elections - tea party-backed Republican Marco Rubio. Rubio had walked out of the primary with 1,059,103 votes, or 84%, which is pretty impressive, but when compared to the total number of registered Republicans in the state of Florida, that number isn't all that impressive.
In 2008, there was 4,064,301 registered Republicans in Florida, meaning Rubio clinched the party's nomination with only 26% of registered voters going out to the polls to show their support. I find these numbers to be very interesting because they show us a couple things - the tremendous influence the right-wing media has in electioneering and the influence of the tea parties in the GOP.
Marco Rubio has been constantly promoted on Fox News and paraded around by the tea parties, and because of such face time with the media, nobody had heard of the other two candidates competing for the candidacy - William Escoffery III (this author's vote) and William Billy Kogut. Instead of hearing about the other two individuals, the media focused on Rubio and how he would fair against an independent Charlie Crist, who broke from the GOP earlier this year.
Despite the constant promotion on cable news, the poor turn out of registered voters shows that the boost Rubio had gotten most likely came from the tea parties - the Democrats had similar problems with voter apathy. With two less-then-stellar candidates on the ballot, the Democrats had less then one million total votes cast, and the disparity in votes wasn't as great as the GOP's.
In this author's opinion, the Democrats are going to face an uphill battle come November - they are going to have to overcome voter apathy and tea party zeal in order to walk away with some wins. In the race for governor, I believe the Democrats have the better candidate and now that the primaries are over, Alex Sink can focus on her opponent, but one big problem looms ahead - Rick Scott is a millionaire with plenty of personal funds at his disposal, in addition to the GOP and unrestricted corporate support. As for the senate, this author supports Governor Crist and believes the other two candidates will have a tough time appealing to moderates - Rubio more so then Meek, although not many voters are aware of Meek, which will cause some problems in the coming months.
Basically, Crist (and independents) have the easier job getting the votes while the Democrats are going to need to invigorate their base - the GOP has Fox News and people like Sarah Palin and Rush Limbaugh to get their voters to the poll...