It may be too early to assume that Florida's tea party faithful will flock to the polls for Marco Rubio. As evidenced by questions that surfaced during Sunday night's debate on Fox News, it seems Rubio has taken that support for granted and that he'll now need to mend fences with the movement's activists.
The hottest article on Talking Points Memo is this article today about "Rubio's Tea Party Problem." The piece quotes Everett Wilkinson, a tea party leader whom you may remember from another dust-up last month.
Wilkinson, a Broward County resident, on Rubio:
"There's been a little bit of frustration that he's become more centrist," Wilkinson said. "He used to reach out to us, but now his staff won't get back.
"I know he has to budget his time," Wilkinson said, "but he's also got to take care of his base -- the tea party put him where he is in the first place."
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It appears that Rubio has avoided filling out surveys that tea party activists circulate to candidates testing them on their commitment to the movement's principles, like cutting the federal deficit.