Jim is right about why a Charlie Crist independent run would be a lot different from Joe Lieberman’s run in 2006, but it’s also worth emphasizing that at this point, Crist has put himself in such a bind, that running as an independent is the best of his bad options.
It’s too late for him to run for reelection as governor. And whatever remaining chance he had of winning the Republican primary has almost certainly evaporated now that he’s publicly entertained the idea that he might run as an independent.
Yet, while a Quinnipiac poll taken last week found that he trailed Marco Rubio by 23 points in the primary, it also found that in a general election, Crist leads Rubio by a narrow 32 percent to 30 percent margin, with Democrat Kendrick Meek at 24 percent.
So, yes, it is true that Crist’s independent run would encounter obstacles. But it’s at least plausible that he can win, whereas if he stays in the Republican primary or drops out of the race altogether, he’s virtually assured to be out of public office come January.