Conservatives Pushing Back: Illinois, Florida and California

This will be a good year for not just Republican gains, but for conservative gains. Consider Marco Rubio in Florida:

Marco Rubio, who began last year as a total unknown, has pulled ahead of Florida Gov. Charlie Crist in the Florida Senate Republican primary for the first time, in a new Quinnipiac poll released today.

The poll shows Rubio leading Crist by three points, 47 to 44 percent — a lead within the poll’s 3.8 percent margin of error. In last June’s Quinnipiac survey, the little-known Rubio trailed Crist by 31 points.

Crist still is viewed favorably in Florida, though his approval ratings are on the decline. A bare 50 percent majority approved of his performance in office — down from 59 percent last October — with 38 percent disapproving.

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And then, there’s the Illinois race where Mark Kirk is trying to portray himself as conservative–while he voted for Cap-N-Trade. Patrick Hughes is the obvious choice here, too. Over at Furthermore:

The simple mention of Kirk’s name has consistently drawn louder boos at IL Tea Parties than the names of Dick Durbin and Roland Burris. For the record, Kirk voted YES on Cap and Tax, NO on the Surge and he is NO friend of gun owners. Kirk also was against the partial birth abortion ban!

But, we are down to seven days. That’s 7! I sure hope the Tea Parties can act together in time to help! Conservatives across the country are seriously considering a last minute ‘air drop’ of support into Illinois for Pat Hughes. Please help.

A money bomb today over at Hugh’s site.

And then there’s California where Carly Fiorina speaks Democrat lingo:

Former Hewlett-Packard CEO and Republican Senate candidate Carly Fiorina found herself in political hot water Friday after speaking warmly of Jesse Jackson and saying democracy won’t be “truly representative” until “at least” half of elected officials are women.

In a speech that became public Friday, Fiorina fondly recalled the Rev. Jesse Jackson – a controversial figure across the political spectrum but anathema to many on the right – “very graciously” visiting her at HP years ago, when the two worked together to boost diversity among Silicon Valley’s work force.

“I like to remind people that women are not a constituency – women are a majority,” Fiorina said during her Wednesday night speech in Sacramento, hosted by California Women Lead, a nonpartisan group that encourages women to seek public office. “Women are the majority of voters and we will never have a truly representative democracy unless women make up half, at least, of our elected representatives.”

At a time Fiorina is seeking to appeal to conservatives, the most reliable voters in Republican primaries, her remarks could prove costly. Critics on the right, including one of her opponents in the GOP Senate primary, argued that her speech smacked of identity politics and bristled at her ties to Jackson.

And Chuck De Vore has been there, from the beginning, laying the groundwork for a conservative to capture Barbara Boxer’s seat.

The wonderful thing about these hardcore primary challenges is that establishment, bloated-government Republicans are having to answer for betraying the Republican brand (whatever that is).

Ultimately a new slew of “Reagan conservatives” will remake the party into a more fiscally restrained, responsive party.

The general election will also be bruising and rigorous. Good. Both Democrats and Republicans have been way too self-satisfied and unresponsive to their voters–they give the impression that the only way to have influence is to buy it.

Maybe a serious threat to their seat will wake politicians recognize their role as a representative, not an imperious leader.

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