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Rubio tops Crist 47-44 in latest Quinnipiac poll; “Who would have thunk it?” says pollster

by George Bennett | January 26th, 2010

UPDATE: Crist shrugged off the poll results this morning, telling reporters that his main responsibility was to govern and “fight for the people.” Rubio’s campaign sent out a press release announcing the results, but did not offer a reaction.

Marco Rubio, who once trailed Gov. Charlie Crist by 31 points in polling on the 2010 Republican Senate primary, now has a narrow lead in the race, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released this morning.

The poll shows former Florida House speaker Rubio with 47 percent to Crist’s 44 percent among Republicans, a lead within the poll’s margin of error.

The poll also finds Florida voters disapprove of President Obama’s job performance by a 49-to-45 percent margin.

In hypothetical general election matchups, Rubio tops Democratic Senate front-runner Kendrick Meek by a 44-35 margin while Crist tops Meek 48-36.

Meek, a Miami congressman, remains largely unknown, with 72 percent of all voters and 60 percent of Democrats saying they don’t know enough about him to form an opinion.

Obama, scheduled to visit the Tampa area Thursday with Vice President Joe Biden, had a 64-23 percent favorable-unfavorable rating last February in a poll taken shortly after he and Crist appeared at a Fort Myers rally to promote the Democratic stimulus plan.

In Obama’s latest numbers, 51 percent of the state’s independent voters disapprove of his job performance and 44 percent approve.

Rubio’s lead over Crist, while narrow, is “not a fluke,” says Quinnipiac’s Peter Brown. When Republican voters were asked who is more “consistently conservative,” they picked Rubio by a 48-to-34 percent margin. Rubio also leads 45-40 when Republicans were asked which candidate “shares your values.”

Brown marveled at Rubio’s surge over the past seven months.

“Who would have thunk it? A former state lawmaker virtually unknown outside of his South Florida home whose challenge to an exceedingly popular sitting governor for a U.S. Senate nomination had many insiders scratching their heads. He enters the race 31 points behind and seven months later sneaks into the lead,” said Brown, who is assistant director of Quinnipiac’s Polling Institute.

The statewide poll of 1,618 voters has a 2.4 percent margin of error. The Republican sample of 678 voters has a 3.8 percent margin of error.

Crist had a 54-to-23 percent lead over Rubio in a Quinnipiac poll last June. Crist led by 29 points in August and 15 points in Quinnipiac’s last Florida Senate poll in October.

A December Rasmussen poll showed the race tied.

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15 Responses to “Rubio tops Crist 47-44 in latest Quinnipiac poll; “Who would have thunk it?” says pollster”

  1. Gordon Solie Says:

    Rubio would get crushed in the general election. He doesn’t have the moderate appeal like Crist does. Scott Brown he is not.

  2. Alison Says:

    Rubio would win because the Democrats have no guts to pick someone that would actually have a chance or that would actually be a Democrat. Also I heard the Crist is making a deal AGAIN with Wexler to go back to his old seat as Governor, give an order to seat for Deutch’s seat to get Sachs in (because of the money) its not her talent or brains.

    The Democrats are their own enemy while the Republicans are everyone else’s worst enemy.

  3. Pete Says:

    Too bad there’s a dearth of intelligent comment on these blogs. Gordon, did you read that part of the column that says “Rubio tops Democratic Senate front-runner Kendrick Meek by a 44-35 margin..”

    And Alison, did you bother to self-proof what you wrote? You make no sense at all.

    I’m contemplating a switch to NPA because of Dems like you and Obama.

  4. Saint Petersblog Says:

    Just a few of the articles outlining why Charlie Crist is now losing to Marco Rubio.

    http://bit.ly/5YX4uq

  5. V Says:

    This doesn’t surprise me, considering the mental capacity of most Florida voters.

  6. Ed Fulop Says:

    Like that old tuna commercial used to say . . . . “Sorry, Charlie”.

    http://www.southflorida912.org

  7. ted Says:

    As pople become a little more politically engaged, they will see what a charade,liar,charlatan, crooked mouth slime ball Crist is. He is more of a daytime soap opera character than a politician who actually cares just a smidgen for the public after taking care of himself. As Ed said “Sorry, Charlie”

  8. ted Says:

    people… not pople, excuse me.

  9. Everett Wilkinson Says:

    Crist & Obama go down in the polls while the tea party goes from unknown to widely popular.

    Join the tea party
    http://www.SouthFloridaTeaParty.org

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  12. Good Riddance, Charlie. Says:

    Crist is a goner, deservedly so.

    Rubio will win, and Charlie will move to Hollywood and make movies or write a book.

    Bye Bye Charlie!!!!!

  13. John H. Garner Says:

    I guess I qualify as a Rubio supporter but from a different perspective. I am violently anti-Crist. I have been trying 3 years to get some satisfaction for what I call my Christmas Nightmare when at Christmastime 2006 I was “Bakerized” and taken by police in handcuffs to Jacksonville’s Mental Health Resource Center and Shands Hospital and released by Shands as it was all a ‘mistake”. Shands refused me use of a telephone, use of a toilet, threatened me with gang rape etc., etc. etc. I sent several appeals for help to Governor Chiles. He ignored them and/or bucked them to others. I contacted Ros at Health Department. She ‘lost’ the file. I am still waiting for Crist to answer my letter of April 16, 2009. I will work/contribute to anyone seeking to send Crist packing.

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