Coasting to victory, Republican Marco Rubio has won the three-way Senate contest in Florida. With 649 of 6,881 precincts reporting, CNN and Fox News have called the race against Gov. Charlie Crist (I) and Rep. Kendrick Meek (D). Rubio is a rising star in the GOP and his impressive win has revived talk of a potential run for president or vice president in 2012. Here's what pundits around the Web are saying:
- Expect Big Things from Rubio, writes Evan McMorris-Santoro at Talking Points Memo:
Rubio has now slayed the establishment pick, Crist, by forcing him out of the Republican primary and into, it seems, political oblivion But Rubio is arguably more popular among all facets of the Republican Party than Crist ever was. Rubio never really was a tea partier, though his willingness to challenge Crist from the right endeared him to that group and leaders of it like Sen. Jim DeMint. But Rubio leveraged the passion of the tea party into rhetoric that has, quite literally, led mainstream Republicans to consider him possibly headed for an Obama-esque career path. Make no mistake about it: Rubio is incredibly hot right now, and observers would be wise to see what he does next.
- He Could Be on the Presidential Ticket, writes Jennifer Rubin at Commentary: "He is the personification of the Tea Party candidate — an outsider and a conservative. He will instantly become a GOP superstar. He’s said he’s not running for anything else. We’ll see. VP? Not out of the question by any stretch of the imagination."