In Florida, Republican leaders were elated when popular Florida Gov. Charlie Crist agreed to run for the Senate. He has adopted policies such as an aggressive approach to global warming that appeal even to Democrats. Those very policies infuriated conservatives, as did Mr. Crist's decision to campaign with President Barack Obama on behalf of the president's $787 billion stimulus package.
"He was Judas to the Republican Party in the state of Florida and across the country," says Robin Stublen, 53, of Punta Gorda, co-state coordinator for the Tea Party Patriots, a loose national coalition. "He sold us out for 13 pieces of gold."
A spokesman for Mr. Crist said the governor made sure stimulus dollars went to items important to Florida voters.
Mr. Crist has drawn a primary challenge from Marco Rubio, a former Florida House speaker, who is aggressively seeking tea-party members' support. #