By Roger Stone

CRIST: Don't Count Me Out
Jubilant conservatives who cheered new polls that showed former Florida House Speaker and Conservative Marco Rubio pull even with Charlie Crist, would be cautioned not to pop the Champaign corks just yet. Rubio's stumbling interviews this week reflected poor preparation and lack of readiness for primetime as well as a lack of instinct to go for the jugular. Crist maintains a huge financial advantage and will be able to finance multiple tracks of TV advertising - both reinforcing his conservative credentials and attacking Rubio for a combination of flip-flops and worse. Rubio still remains largely unknown by Republican voters and existing impressions of him that do exist are new and thus soft. Crist has begun to tack back to the right. He has avoided debates that would just boost Rubio's stature and name ID, but avoiding them until September will be difficult. Given Marco's uneven performance this week, a Rubio victory in a debate with Crist is not assured. While Marco Rubio has come a long way, and Crist's arrogance and self-centered nature has turned the body politic against him, this race is a toss-up today with eight long months to go.