Top of the ballot: Does the GOP really want an Independent Crist?

There's more talk of an Independent run for Florida Gov. Charlie Crist (R) in that state's Senate race, the marching season is in full swing and Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-N.Y.) has a bad first quarter for a couple of reasons.

How to lose friends and alienate people?

Crist's veto of an education bill Thursday cost him the support of his campaign chairman but he still has reason to be optimistic about his chances of becoming a senator. A Quinnipiac University poll showed Crist would win in a three-way race between him, Republican Marco Rubio and Democrat Kendrick Meek. It wouldn't be a big victory, though. The survey had him getting 32 percent of the vote, compared to Rubio's 30 percent and Meek's 24 percent.

"Under state law, Crist could run as a no-party candidate for Senate and remain a registered Republican," according to the St. Petersburg Times. He has until noon April 30 to decide.

The marching season

The Tea Party held Tax Day rallies at state capitols around the country Thursday. Not to be outdone, labor unions are now planning their own demonstrations. Next Thursday the AFL-CIO will stage a 10,000-person march on Wall Street in New York. AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka will address the crowd, according to a release.

Rangel's money problem

Recently forced to give up his Ways and Means Committee chairmanship, Rangel subsequently posted some weak first quarter fundraising numbers. He raised only $108,327 from January through March, according to the New York Daily News. And he burned through $244,940, which leaves him with $600,000 cash on hand.

Rangel is being challenged in the primary by state Assemblyman Adam Clayton Powell and community banker Vincent Morgan. [An earlier version of this post stated incorrectly that Democrat Kevin Powell was challenging Rangel. In fact, he's running against Rep. Ed Towns (D-N.Y.).]

Other updates

A new poll shows Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (Nev.) can't count on vote splitting to defeat his likely GOP opponent. Reid trails Republican Sue Lowden 37-47 in the new Mason-Dixon poll for the Las Vegas Review-Journal, with the slate of third-party and nonpartisan candidates getting almost no backing.

Updated at 10:56 a.m.