In a surge from far, far behind incumbent governor Charlie Crist, Florida House Speaker Marco Rubio has now tied Crist in polling for the 2010 Senate race:
Governor Charlie Crist and former state House Speaker Marco Rubio are now tied in the 2010 race for the Republican Senate nomination in Florida.
A new Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of likely GOP Primary voters finds Crist and Rubio each with 43% of the vote. Five percent (5%) prefer another candidate, and nine percent (9%) are undecided.
Crist’s support has fallen from 53% in August to 49% in October. Rasmussen Reports noted at the time, “The fact that Crist has fallen below 50% in a primary against a lesser known opponent suggests potential vulnerability.”
Rubio’s name recognition has grown in recent months and he is now viewed Very Favorably by 34% of Likely Primary Voters. That’s up from 18% in August. As his name recognition increased, Rubio’s support in the polls has jumped from 31% in August to 43% today.
While ot mentioned directly, President Screw-Up seems to be somewhat directly responsible for Charlie Crist’s woes in the polls:
Crist, well known throughout the state, has seen his ratings go in the opposite direction. Just 19% now have a Very Favorable opinion of him, a figure that represents a double digit decline since August. Crist angered many conservatives in the state when he embraced President Obama’s $787-billion economic stimulus plan. While the Republican establishment has endorsed Crist, many prominent GOP conservatives including Mike Huckabee, South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint and former Bush adviser Karl Rove are backing Rubio.
An interesting note to all the Tea Partiers at the end of the article:
However, if a Tea Party candidate is in the race, the picture changes dramatically. A separate, three-way Generic Ballot test finds that Democrats attract 36% of the vote, while the Tea Party candidate picks up 23% and Republicans finish third at 18%.
This suggests — strongly suggests — that Rubio has massive Tea Party support; and given Crist’s strong RINO inclinations, the Cubano-Americano Rubio looks better and better to real Conservatives.
Watch for Crist to get ugly after the first of the year.