CRIST URGES VOTERS TO REJECT ‘EXTREMIST’ ROAD…. In Florida’s U.S. Senate race, Gov. Charlie Crist (I) has seen his fortunes fade as Democratic voters “returned home” after the party’s primary, and Republicans rallied behind the state’s far-right former state House Speaker Marco Rubio (R). While polls showed Crist looking good in July, he now trails by double digits with less than a week to go.

He has an interesting closing argument, though. In this new clip, Crist tells Floridians, “On Tuesday, you’re going to choose a path for our state and nation. Down one road is extremism — where Roe v. Wade is overturned and being a moderate is a curse. That’s the road Sarah Palin, the Tea Party, and Marco Rubio want to take us down.

“It’s a dangerous road, and the polls say I’m the only one who can stop them. So if you’re sick of the extremism and the gridlock, then join our fight for common sense.”

You’ll notice that Crist makes no mention of Democratic nominee Kendrick Meek, and it’s not hard to understand why — Meek is a distant third literally in every poll. If Crist is going to have any shot at all, he’ll need Florida Democrats to think, “A vote for Meek is a vote for Rubio,” which as a practical matter, may very well be the case.

But it’s also noteworthy to acknowledge exactly what Crist believes will resonate with independents and Democrats in Florida: no to extremism, no to Palin, no to banning reproductive rights. It stands to reason the Crist campaign’s internal polling shows pretty solid numbers to bolster this case.

Will it work? I kind of doubt it, but if anecdotal evidence means anything to you (it almost certainly shouldn’t), just about every Democrat I know in the state is voting for Crist, in the hopes of beating Rubio.

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Steve Benen

Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.