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Marco Rubio cash haul: $3.6m. Smashing Crist in cash, too?

From a Marco Rubio e-mail:

Tomorrow we will report that we raised over 3.6 million in the first three months of 2010. Some key stats:

  • Over 95% of money is for primary
  • Over 95% of my donors are not maxed out (that is they are donors that can give again)
  • We have close to 50,000 donors now
  • Over $1 million raised on-line
Thanks for everything you have done for me. — MARCO

Numbers like that show that Marco Rubio is heading into unbeatable territory (he's not there yet) in the Republican race against Gov. Charlie Crist for U.S. Senate. Yes, Crist was once the unbeatable one. But that was because he had all the money and the name I.D.. And no, we don't yet know how much Crist raised. But it's tough to figure that a lame duck governor who already tapped big-money donors early on will be able to match this (and next) quarter's fundraising numbers of Rubio, who opened a double-digit lead on the governor in recent weeks and shows no sign of stopping. Crist still leads in total cash. But for how long?

Expect Rubio's haul to fuel more speculation that Crist needs to run as an independent as the gov. distances himself from some party leaders (as with his veto yesterday of a Republican fundraising bill). Not only would it enable Crist to blunt the wrath of the angry right, it would buy him more time to make his pitch that the economy is improving and he's not to blame. Also, by running as an indy, Crist can start spending his general money (more than a quarter of his cash) now. The idea of Crist running as an indy once seemed absurd. But so did the idea of Rubio taking him to the woodshed.

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