Coral Gables, FL (AP) - Republican Marco Rubio defeated Gov.
Charlie Crist and U.S. Rep. Kendrick Meek to win Florida's open
Senate seat, keeping it with the GOP.
An Associated Press analysis of preliminary exit poll data
Tuesday shows that the tea party favorite beat Democratic nominee
Meek and Crist, who left the Republican Party earlier this year to
run as an independent when polls showed him trailing in a GOP
primary. Rubio will replace George LeMieux, who was appointed to
the seat by Crist last year after Mel Martinez resigned.
The victory culminates a dramatic rise for Rubio, a former
speaker of the Florida House who was given little chance to defeat
the once-popular Crist when he announced his candidacy last year.
Rubio built momentum through tea party rallies and consistent
attacks on President Barack Obama's policies.
(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)