After leaving the Republican Party during the United States Senate GOP primary in Florida when his support collapsed in favor of upstart Tea Party favorite Marco Rubio, Crist went on to lose the general election running as an independent by 19 points. Many thought his political career was over. Not so fast.
Since leaving office in January and taking a job at a personal injury law firm, Crist has done events with a number of prominent Democrats, including Alex Sink, who was her party's nominee to replace Crist; former Sen. Bob Graham, who has also served as governor; and U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor. He's donated money to Democrat Patrick Murphy, who hopes to challenge Republican Congressman Allen West, a South Florida freshman who is a national tea party favorite. And on top of all that, his wife, Carole, recently registered as a Democrat.
It's led to speculation that Crist will seek to return to public office with the only party that will welcome him — Democrats.
The speculation is that Crist will not make another run at the United States Senate, but will instead try to win back the governorship - as a Democrat.
"I have no doubt Crist could match up well against Rick Scott as a Democrat. The question is could he get past a primary?" said Steve Schale, a Democratic strategist who worker for Sink last year and led President Barack Obama's Florida operation when he carried the state in 2008. "The biggest challenge Crist has is convincing skeptical Democrats, and there aren't just a handful of them, that he's the real deal, that he's someone that they can trust and someone that's going to stick with them."
Schale said there isn't a Democratic gathering he attends without the subject of Crist coming up, with half of those he talks to thinking it would be great to see Crist run for office as a Democrat and the other half opposed to supporting a man they fought for years as a Republican.