Charlie Crist as an Independent: Florida Election Bets Prime

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Charlie Crist

As we approach the 2010 Elections, intends to offer betting on some of the most hotly contested races (see their website now).  None perhaps will be as interesting as the Florida Senate race.  That's because the state's popular Governor is considering running as an Independent.

Charlie Crist is, for now, a Republican.  But he's been under mounting pressure to leave the Senate race in Florida as the GOP (and Tea Party movement) get behind fellow Republican Marco Rubio.

The head of the party's senatorial re-election committee declared on Monday that Crist has "zero chance" to win.  That is if he chooses to run as a Republican.

As an Independent, Crist could muster up enough support from Democrats, Independents and quite a few Republicans.  After all, it was Crist who ran on the "Ronald Reagan Republican" platform to become Governor a few years back and he has been widely supportive of President Barack Obama. 

The AP began reporting on Crist's intention to possibly run as an Independent Monday evening, backing away from earlier flat refusals that he would not do so.

Speaking by telephone, Crist said  Monday that he wants to listen to Florida residents as he makes up his mind on whether to stay in the Republican primary against Rubio or run without party affiliation.

Crist says he wants to be "very, very thoughtful and deliberate."

A recent poll showed Crist is trailing Rubio badly in the GOP primary but could win a three-way race with him and likely Democratic nominee U.S. Rep. Kendrick Meek.  Last year, polls showed Crist ahead by more than 40 percent.  Today he is down 23 percent. 

Crist must decide by April 30 if he will remain in the Republican primary or take his chances in the general election without a party. He cannot switch after the primary.

For the moment, is only offering odds on the 2012 US Presidential race

Early odds had Sarah Palin as the +350 favorite to be named the Republican nominee, slightly ahead of Mitt Romney with +400 odds.

Payton O'Brien, Senior Editor

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