Crist Could Be Key as Veep Pick

Governor's strength in Fla. an important asset
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 16, 2008 12:59 PM CDT
Potential McCain picks could include (clockwise from top left) Mitt Romney, Charlie Crist, Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine, Sen. Sam Brownback of Kansas and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Florida’s importance in the general election can hardly be overstated, and his presumed ability to deliver it for the Republicans is at the heart of the case for popular governor Charlie Crist in the veepstakes, writes Chris Cillizza for the Washington Post. McCain may select a VP with more conservative bona fides, assuming he’ll take Florida with or without Crist, but that could be a mistake.

Conventional wisdom points to a solid Republican victory in 2004, and high numbers of Clinton supporters who may be unenthusiastic about Obama. But Democratic voter registration in the state has beat Republican efforts sevenfold this year, and Obama will use his financial advantage to flood Florida airwaves. With Crist securing the state, McCain could use that TV money in other battleground states.