Florida Governor Charlie Crist has vetoed SB6, a controversial bill that would have linked teacher salaries and recertification to student performance on standardized tests. Although both Democrats and Republicans opposed the measure, support for the bill was strongest among Republicans.
Crist, a Republican, faces a tough primary challenge from conservative candidate Marco Rubio in the upcoming senate race. Rubio has run a campaign that links Crist to President Obama, which harms the governor among the conservative base in the Republican Party.
Although Crist trails Rubio substantially in most polls, a new Quinnipiac poll shows that Crist would narrowly win the general election contest if he ran as an Independent. Crist, who has defied conservatives on issues like the stimulus and healthcare reform, has stronger support among Democrats and Independents than Rubio.
My Take: Congratulations, Florida! Crist acted sensibly, and I hope he runs as an Independent. The veto suggests that Crist has in fact decided to abandon the Republican ticket, because his defiance on this issue will likely further erode his support among conservatives.
See also: Will Florida Governor Charlie Crist Veto Controversial Merit Pay Legislation?