Erick Erickson of Redstate.com has called for a boycott of the NRSC after that body endorsed Gov. Charlie Crist for Mel Martinez's seat over Marco Rubio.
Crist's popularity makes him as close to a sure thing as the Republican Party can find for an empty seat in the election - but Rubio is much more appealing to the base. Rubio's youth, Cuban ethnicity and Catholicism are also a breath of fresh air in a party whose national figures (McConnell, Boehner, McCain, Romney et. al.) are short on all three of those characteristics.
Rubio might do better do stay in Florida and run for Governor - a successful term in the Governor's office would make him 2016 Presidential timber. But he hasn't stepped aside, which would lead to a primary race that would be a microcosm of the broader fight between Republican moderates and right-wingers over the direction the Party should go in.
I like Rubio. His ethnic and religious background, as well as his outsider status, are both welcome breaths of fresh air in a party that hasn't really produced any new figures that are taken seriously outside the party's base. He'd also be a very competitive candidate in a battleground state, and if he won he'd be a valuable asset to the Republican candidate in 2016. Despite this, I think he should stand down in favor of Crist - he's as close to a sure thing as can be found for Republicans this election cycle. He'd free up money and other resources to help Republicans on shakier ground, like Mark Kirk in Illinois. And his already-high national profile would only be increased by a successful Senate campaign. Coming form what has been the quintessential battleground state in the last three elections, he would be a highly visible spokesman for the Republican platform in D.C.
The NRSC is not backing down on the endorsement of Crist over Rubio, specifically attacking the "30 senators" stance made famous by Jim DeMint. With Rubio not ceding to the will of the party, things could get ugly in Florida. Who do you think will win? Who should win? And will the donnybrook in the primaries give the Democrats a shot at the seat?