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Club for Growth: 'This is the high-water mark of the Crist campaign.'

I just chatted with Mike Connolly, spokesman for the Club for Growth, on Gov. Charlie Crist's (R-Fla.) expected decision to abandon the GOP and run for the Senate in Florida as an independent.

It was the club's early support for Marco Rubio that made him a serious, well-funded insurgent candidate -- and made it possible that Crist would eventually be forced from the GOP primary.

"I wouldn't say that anybody's winning today," said Connolly. "Nobody's gloating. But whatever the polls are today, that's as high as Charlie Crist will go. This isn't a situation like Sen. Arlen Specter's (D-Pa.) where he can go to the fundraising base of the left -- the unions and so on -- to make up what he's lost. This is the high-water mark of the Crist campaign. It's all downhill from here."

The club, Connolly said, would help attempts to get Crist donors' money refunded. It was notable, he said, that Crist was using what money he has now to buy TV time. After that, he predicted that the money would dry up.

"Marco Rubio will be the next senator from Florida," said Connolly.

By David Weigel  |  April 28, 2010; 4:58 PM ET
Categories:  2010 Election  
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