Crist produces fundraising bombshell

Florida Gov. Charlie Crist (R) saw a significant downturn between second- and third-quarter fundraising, but he still raised a lot.

After pulling in an astounding $4.3 million in the second quarter, Crist's campaign announced Thursday that it raised $2.4 million in the third. The $2.4 million figure is still bigger than any number filed by a non-incumbent this cycle, and puts him on pace to dominate the airwaves in the looming primary and general election.

After just two quarters, Crist has more than $6 million in the bank — a number that trumps all but five Senate incumbents' second-quarter bankrolls.

Crist's receipts far surpass even former state House Speaker Marco Rubio's (R) solid $1 million third quarter, which observers viewed as a sign that Rubio is a serious contender from Crist's right.

On the Democratic side, front-running Rep. Kendrick Meek (Fla.) has routinely been raising more than $1 million for his campaign but has not announced third-quarter totals. Rep. Corrine Brown (D) is also weighing the race, and former Miami Mayor Maurice Ferre said Wednesday that he will run.