Charlie Crist, as you all know by now, jumped. This blog's particular Crist-related obsession has been the possible effect of Gov. Crist (I-FL) on Crist-appointed lame duck Senator George LeMieux (R-FL). Of course, from Crist's incredibly bland announcement today it's hard to get any specific issue content, but we'll see what happens, right?
For what it's worth, LeMieux is currently the 16th most liberal Republican Senator (between Corker and Wicker). So we'll see where he ends up by election day. I guess I'll make a minor prediction: LeMieux will vacate his current spot as a regular-to-moderate conservative, and either move to the left, approaching the two Maine Senators, or to the right, where Vitter and Thune are. If he wants to work for Republicans in the future, he'll have to let Crist go in some visible way -- but if he wants to work for Crist, he'll have to let the GOP go.
Other strings-cutters of note, as long as I'm looking at Simon Jackman's rankings...Bob Bennett is a bit to LeMieux's left, at #11, between Gregg and Hatch (could Hatch now be too liberal for the GOP? Yikes!). The one Democrat whose strings may be cut is Arlen Specter, who was the 3rd-most-liberal Republican, but who immediately changed his voting pattern and is now a mainstream Democrat, the 30th most conservative in that party. If Specter loses his primary and becomes a lame duck, perhaps he'll decide to vote his conscience for the rest of the year -- except I'd expect it to take several months for him to locate that particular long-lost organ. Not that I'm against ambitious pols; far from it. I'm not much of a fan, however, of sanctimonious pols, and to my ear Specter is only topped by one other current Senator on that score.