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Florida: Two CBC Members Gave to Brown’s Senate Effort

Before she announced last Friday that she would run for re-election in 2010, Federal Election Commission reports show that Rep. Corrine Brown (D) raised $182,000 for her Senate exploratory committee and earned donations from three of her fellow colleagues.

Those donations include a $1,000 check from the leadership political action committee of Rep. Donna Edwards (D-Md.) and $2,000 checks from the campaign committees of Reps. John Lewis (D-Ga.) and Grace Napolitano (D-Calif.).

Brown surprised many of her Democratic colleagues by announcing on May 30 that she was considering challenging fellow Rep. Kendrick Meek (D), who had jumped into the Senate contest early in the cycle. If Brown had run against Meek, it would have been the first time that two Members of the Congressional Black Caucus would have faced off in a statewide primary.

When she announced her exploratory effort, some CBC members privately wondered whether there was bad blood between the younger Meek and the nine-term Congresswoman and hinted that a primary between the two could expose a generational split that has been growing within the caucus as Civil Rights-era Members retire and younger black Members are elected.

Brown spent $50,000 on her exploratory effort, according to her report, and had $132,000 in cash on hand at the end of September, which she can transfer into her House campaign account.

New Poll Shows Rubio Cutting Into Crist Lead

Former Florida Speaker Marco Rubio is cutting into Gov. Charlie Crist’s lead in the Sunshine State’s Republican Senate primary, according to a new poll released Wednesday.

Crist led Rubio by 29 points in mid-August, but in the latest survey from Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, the popular governor was ahead of Rubio 50 percent to 35 percent. The poll of 396 Republican voters was in the field Oct. 12-18 and had a 5-point margin of error.

“Gov. Charlie Crist’s lead … has come back down to earth. His margin is still formidable, but obviously Marco Rubio’s focus on convincing Republican conservatives that he, not Crist, is their kind of guy is bearing fruit,— Quinnipiac University Polling Institute Assistant Director Peter Brown said in a news release Wednesday morning.

Forty-four percent of Republican voters said they have a favorable opinion of Rubio while just 3 percent have an unfavorable opinion and 52 percent said they haven’t heard enough about him. Meanwhile, 63 percent of Republican primary voters had a favorable opinion of Crist, 30 percent viewed him unfavorably and just 3 percent said they haven’t heard enough about him.

According to a larger sample of 1,078 likely Florida voters, Crist would win a general election matchup against presumed Democratic nominee Rep. Kendrick Meek (Fla.). Crist garnered 51 percent to Meek’s 31 percent, according to the survey. Rubio, however, trailed Meek in a hypothetical matchup, 36 percent to 33 percent. With the larger sample size, those questions had a 3-point margin of error.

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