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Miss. guv Haley Barbour backs George LeMieux U.S. Senate race

Monday, August 8th, 2011 by Dara Kam

Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour is backing George LeMieux in a heated GOP primary for U.S. Senate.

Barbour, a former chairman of the Republican National Committee who briefly considered running in the 2012 presidential race, called LeMieux a “solid conservative” in a statement released this morning by LeMieux’s campaign.

“I am honored to earn the support of a principled conservative like Haley Barbour. When Governor Barbour was RNC Chairman, he helped orchestrate the Republican Revolution in 1994 that built the type of conservative majorities we need to turn our country around,” LeMieux said in the release. “More importantly, from his leadership during hurricane Katrina to his work passing key pro-life legislation, Governor Barbour is a case study in effective conservative governance.”

LeMieux is struggling to shake off his ties to Gov. Charlie Crist, who appointed LeMieux to replace former U.S. Sen. Mel Martinez when he resigned mid-term. LeMieux, a one-time close ally to Crist whom the former governor called “The Maestro,” did not seek reelection to the seat, which now-U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio won after Crist quit the GOP and ran against him as an independent.

LeMieux will face off in the primary against Delray Beach’s Adam Hasner, a former state House member who also served as the chamber’s majority leader.

Wealthy Delray Beacher Nick Loeb is toying with entrée into the race but is waiting until gal pal Sofia Vergara, star of Modern Family, gets past the Emmy Awards next month. Chris Ruddy, another Palm Beacher and CEO of the influential West Palm Beach-based conservative publication NewsMax, has ruled out getting into the candidate fray.

A Quinnipiac University poll last week showed that 53 percent of Republican voters remain undecided in the Senate primary but found Plant City tree farmer and retired Army Reserve Col. Mike McCalister leading the current four-candidate field with a meager 15 percent.

Behind McCalister in the poll were both LeMieux, with 12 percent, and Hasner, with 6 percent. Former Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse CEO Craig Miller weighed in with 8 percent support.

Scott’s disapproval rating soars in new poll; ‘I’m not trying to become most popular,’ he responds

Wednesday, April 6th, 2011 by George Bennett

Scott

UPDATED with comments from Scott while in Palm Beach County today (after the jump).

Florida voters disapprove of Gov. Rick Scott by a 48-to-35 percent margin, says a new Quinnipiac University poll that finds the new Republican governor’s disapproval ratings have more than doubled over the last two months.

A February Quinnipiac poll showed Scott with the same 35 percent approval rating, but with only 22 percent disapproving.

Voters overwhelmingly agree with Scott that taxes should not be increased to balance Florida’s budget. But by a 64-to-24 percent margin, they don’t believe Scott can keep his no-new-taxes pledge. And they disapprove of Scott’s overall handling of the budget by a 55-to-36 percent margin, with 53 percent calling Scott’s proposals “unfair” to people like themselves.

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Poll: Florida voters divided on Obama reelection, not overwhelmed by Nelson, favor health care repeal

Thursday, February 3rd, 2011 by George Bennett

A new Quinnipiac University poll of Florida voters suggests President Obama, who carried the state in 2008, will have trouble winning it again in 2012. Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson’s numbers are better, but not “terrific.”

Click here to read the poll.

Obama gets favorable job reviews from 47 percent and unfavorable reviews from 49 percent — statistically a dead heat in the poll of 1,160 registered voters with a 2.9 percent margin of error. A generic Republican challenger gets 42 percent to Obama’s 40 percent in a hypothetical 2012 match-up.

Nelson’s job approval/disapproval score is 45/21. In a hypothetical 2012 race, Nelson gets 41 percent support to 36 percent for an unnamed Republican. Says Quinnipiac’s Peter Brown: “Sen. Nelson is not in terrific shape but he is not in terrible shape either. His fate may rest with how President Barack Obama does in 2012 as Florida voters see the two men similarly on the issues.”

The poll shows Floridians favor repealing the health care law by a 50-to-43 percent margin and oppose continued U.S. fighting in Afghanistan by a 54-to-38 percent margin.

Poll: Florida voters who swooned for Crist in ’07 are viewing Scott more cautiously

Wednesday, February 2nd, 2011 by George Bennett

Florida voters who were dazzled by Charlie Crist after his first month in office four years ago are viewing new Gov. Rick Scott much more warily, a new Quinnipiac University poll released this morning shows.

The new poll shows 35 percent approve of the way Scott has done his job in his first few weeks in office, with 22 percent disapproving and 43 percent undecided. Scott is viewed favorably by 28 percent of voters and unfavorably by 24 percent, with 45 percent saying they don’t know enough to form an opinion.

After Crist’s first month in office in 2007, a Quinnipiac poll found 69 percent approval for his job performance and only 6 percent disapproving, with 25 percent undecided.

The new survey of 1,160 registered voters was taken Jan. 25-31 and has a 2.9 percent margin of error. By a 52-to-34 percent margin, Florida voters like Scott’s approach of cutting government programs and services rather than raising taxes to handle the state’s budget problems. But 58 percent say they don’t believe Scott can keep his pledge not to raise taxes or fees.

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Dem Pac to Meek: Get out of the race

Tuesday, October 12th, 2010 by Jane Musgrave

Worried that Kendrick Meek can’t beat GOP candidate Marco Rubio, a group of Democratic leaders is asking the congressman to pull out of the U.S. Senate race and throw his support to Gov. Charlie Crist who says he is the only one who can beat Rubio.

Members of the People’s Choice of Palm Beach County PAC voted Monday to send County Commissioner Burt Aaronson a letter, asking him to relay their concerns to Meek, said Jay Weitz, president of the PAC that he says represents 80 to 85 percent of the Democratic clubs in the county.

Aaronson, who has been flirting with the idea of endorsing independent candidate Crist, is to meet with Meek on Wednesday to decide which of the two candidates will get his support.

In the letter, members of the PAC agreed to ask Aaronson to urge Meek to get out of the race “for the good of the Democratic Party,” Weitz said.

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Three polls give Rubio double-digit lead in Senate race

Thursday, September 30th, 2010 by George Bennett

Rubio

Rubio

A Quinnipiac University poll released this morning shows Republican Marco Rubio riding voter anger and anti-Obama sentiment to a 13-point lead over indie Gov. Charlie Crist in Florida’s Senate race with Democrat Kendrick Meek a distant third.

The results are similar to a CNN/Time poll released late Wednesday that shows Rubio leading Crist by 11 points and a Rasmussen poll released Wednesday that also has Rubio up by 11.

Obama

Obama

Quinnipiac’s Sept. 23-28 poll of 1,151 likely voters (margin of error: 2.9 percent) shows voters prefer a Senator who will oppose President Obama’s policies by a 53-to-41 percent margin and prefer Republicans to control the Senate by a 47-to-38 percent margin. Forty-eight percent of voters call themselves “angry” at the federal government and another 29 percent “dissatisfied.”

Sink leads Scott by 7 points, Mason-Dixon poll says

Thursday, September 23rd, 2010 by Jeff Ostrowski

Alex Sink holds a 7-point lead over Rick Scott in the Florida governor’s race, according to a poll released today by Mason-Dixon Polling & Research.

The poll of 625 likely voters gives Sink 47 percent of the vote and Scott 40 percent, with 11 percent undecided and 1 percent for each of two minor candidates.

Scott’s reputation took a hit during his GOP primary battle with Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum, leaving 47 percent of voters with an unfavorable impression of him, Mason-Dixon said. Sink had a negative rating among only 23 percent of voters.

“He is hampered by a very high negative rating that is the result of his brutal primary race,” says Mason-Dixon’s Brad Coker.

How the numbers break down:

  • Sink leads 56-31 in Southeast Florida, 51-37 in Tampa Bay and 44-41 in Central Florida.
  • Scott leads 52-37 in North Florida and 47-40 in Southwest Florida.
  • Scott leads 51-41 among men.
  • Sink leads 53-30 among women.
  • Sink leads 44-37 among independents.

The poll’s margin of error is four percentage points.

CNN polls: Sink leads guv race; Rubio 36, Crist 34, Meek 24 for Senate

Wednesday, September 8th, 2010 by George Bennett

A new CNN poll of registered voters — as opposed to likely voters — shows Democrat Alex Sink with a 49-to-42 percent lead over Republican Rick Scott in the governor’s race.

In the Senate race, Republican Marco Rubio has 36 percent, indie Gov. Charlie Crist gets 34 percent and Democrat Kendrick Meek polls 24 percent.

The Sept. 2-7 survey of 899 registered voters has a 3.5 percent margin of error.

Rasmussen moves Florida Senate race from toss-up to leaning GOP

Thursday, August 26th, 2010 by George Bennett

Republican Marco Rubio holds a 40-to-30 percent lead over indie Gov. Charlie Crist in Florida’s Senate race in a new Rasmussen poll, leading the survey firm to move Florida from “toss-up” to “leans Republican” in its Senate rankings.

Democrat Kendrick Meek gets 21 percent in the new Rasmussen poll of 750 likely voters, which was taken Wednesday and has a 4 percent margin of error.

Crist gets a 52 percent approval rating for his handling of gubernatorial duties in the poll. President Obama’s approval rating is 46 percent, with 55 percent disapproving, says Rasmussen.

Pollsterpalooza: Who nailed it, who didn’t in pre-primary surveys…

Wednesday, August 25th, 2010 by George Bennett

In the two weeks leading up to Tuesday’s Florida primaries, most polls showed GOP establishment favorite Bill McCollum rebounding from outsider Rick Scott’s summer surge and regaining a lead in the Republican governor’s primary.

The most notable exception: Democratic firm Public Policy Polling, which on Monday said its weekend polling showed Scott up by 7 points. Scott appears to have won by just under 3 points.

Here’s the RealClearPolitics.com rundown of all the major GOP governor primary polls.

And here’s its rundown of Democratic Senate primary polls. Everyone had this race trending toward Kendrick Meek, who ended up beating Palm Beach billionaire Jeff Greene by 26.5 points. PPP’s day-before poll had Meek up by 24 points.

Scott +7? McCollum +4? Tuesday GOP primary will test pollsters’ accuracy

Monday, August 23rd, 2010 by George Bennett

Public Policy Polling and Quinnipiac University both surveyed Florida Republican voters over the weekend on the Bill McCollum-Rick Scott gubernatorial bloodbath. They came up with vastly different results.

As noted earlier this morning, Democratic-oriented PPP found Scott with a 47-to-40 percent lead over McCollum in the Republican primary. Quinnipiac’s poll shows McCollum with a 39-to-35 percent lead over Scott.

One huge difference: PPP found Republican voters have an overall positive view of Scott, with 46 percent expressing a favorable view and 33 percent unfavorable. Quinnipiac found GOP voters with an overall negative view of Scott — 31 percent favorable and 40 percent favorable.

McCollum’s favorability ratings are underwater in the PPP poll — 38 percent positive and 45 percent negative. In the Quinnipiac poll, McCollum’s favorable/unfavorable score is 39/37.

PPP’s Republican sample was 304 likely voters and has a 5.6 percent margin of error. Quinnipiac surveyed 771 likely GOP voters and has a 3.5 percent margin of error.

Both polling firms find Kendrick Meek with a double-digit lead over Jeff Greene in the Democratic Senate primary.

Revenge of the insiders: Meek, McCollum back up in new Q poll

Wednesday, August 18th, 2010 by George Bennett

Three weeks after a Quinnipiac University poll showed outsiders Jeff Greene and Rick Scott holding double-digit leads in their Democratic Senate and Republican governor’s primaries, a new Quinnipiac survey shows their establishment-backed rivals are back on top as next Tuesday’s elections approach.

Democratic U.S. Rep. Kendrick Meek now holds a 35-to-28 percent edge over Palm Beach investor Greene in the Democratic Senate primary — reversing Greene’s 33-to-23 percent lead in late July.

In the GOP governor’s primary, Attorney General Bill McCollum has opened a 44-to-35 percent lead over Naples businessman Scott. Scott had a 43-to-32 percent lead over McCollum in the July poll.

The latest poll was taken Aug. 11 through Monday. The sample of 807 likely Republican voters has a margin of error of 3.5 percent while the 814-voter Democratic sample has a 3.4 percent margin of error.

Rasmussen poll: Rubio leads Senate race if Meek is Dem nominee; Crist leads if it’s Greene

Wednesday, August 11th, 2010 by George Bennett

A new Rasmussen poll of Florida’s Senate race shows Republican Marco Rubio ahead in a three-way contest if Kendrick Meek wins the Aug. 24 Democratic primary. Rubio gets 38 percent, independent Charlie Crist gets 33 percent and Meek gets 21 percent in the poll.

If Jeff Greene wins the Democratic primary, the poll shows Crist barely edges Rubio by picking up some Democratic support. That scenario shows Crist with a 37-to-36 percent lead over Rubio and Greene at 20 percent.

The poll of 750 likely voters has a 4 percent margin of error.

Either way, the Democrat finishes a distant third in the new poll. Both Crist and Rubio probably enjoyed Tuesday’s Orlando Democratic debate, in which both Meek and Greene highlighted each other’s negatives.

Dem polling firm: Fla. Senate race close if Rubio is GOP nominee

Wednesday, March 10th, 2010 by George Bennett

Marco Rubio beats Gov. Charlie Crist by a 60-to-28 percent margin in a Republican Senate primary matchup, a Democratic polling firm says, but Rubio only has a 5-point lead over Democratic frontrunner Kendrick Meek in a hypothetical general election matchup.

The latest survey of 849 Florida voters by North Carolina-based Public Policy Polling, which works primarily for Democratic candidates, shows former Florida House Speaker Rubio with a 44-to-39 percent lead over Miami U.S. Rep. Meek. Crist would beat Meek 46-to-33 percent, according to the poll.

If Crist were to run as an independent, the poll says, he’d finish second with 27 percent to Rubio’s 34 percent. Meek gets 25 percent in that scenario.

Rubio widens lead over Crist to 18 points in latest Rasmussen poll

Monday, February 22nd, 2010 by George Bennett

Rubio: leads GOP race 54-36

Rubio: leads GOP race 54-36

Emerging national conservative celebrity Marco Rubio has opened up an 18-point lead over Gov. Charlie Crist in their Republican U.S. Senate primary race, according to the latest Rasmussen Reports poll.

Former Florida House speaker Rubio has a 54-to-36 percent lead over Crist in a poll of 442 likely Republican voters taken last Thursday — the day Rubio made a much-publicized speech to the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington.

Crist: approval numbers slipping

Crist: approval numbers slipping

In the poll, which has a 5 percent margin of error, Rubio is viewed favorably by 67 percent of Republican voters and Crist is viewed favorably by 54 percent. Crist’s approval rating as governor is 48 percent, with 49 percent disapproving. In January, Crist had a 62 percent favorability rating among Republicans and his approval-disapproval score as governor was 56-43.

Rubio had a 12-point lead in a late-January Rasmussen poll. Rubio and Crist were tied in December.

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

Tuesday, January 26th, 2010 by George Bennett

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.

(more…)

New poll: Crist, Rubio in dead heat

Wednesday, December 16th, 2009 by Dara Kam

Gov. Charlie Crist and former House Speaker Marco Rubio are in a dead heat in the GOP race for the U.S. Senate, according to a poll released this morning.

The Rasmussen Reports telephone survey found Crist and Rubio in a 43-43 percent tie among likely Republican primary voters.

Crist’s lead over Rubio dropped 10 percent in the same poll since August. And the governor’s popularity is at an all-time low, with just 19 percent of respondents having a “very favorable” opinion of him.

Earlier this year, Rubio, the first Cuban-American House Speaker, was considered a long-shot in the race.

But conservative support – including the endorsement of The Club for Growth and U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint of South Carolina – has rallied Rubio’s campaign and drawn national attention to the Florida primary, viewed as a test of the rising “Tea Party” movement and characterizing the fight for the control of the party between moderates and conservatives.

Crist and other GOP leaders have angered Republican conservative base voters who typically show up at the polls to vote in primaries.

This summer, Republican Party of Florida Chairman Jim Greer – hand-picked by Crist – snubbed Rubio by endorsing Crist and discouraging primaries that he said weaken the party’s ability to win in the general election.

Crist alienated conservatives by applauding President Barack Obama’s stimulus package symbolized by the now-infamous “man-hug” with the Democratic president.

And he raised eyebrows in August when he appointed his longtime advisor and right-hand-man George LeMieux to replace U.S. Sen. Mel Martinez, who retired before his term ended.

The winner of next year’s primary is likely to face off against Democratic U.S. Rep. Kendrick Meek, who is gathering petition signatures to get onto the ballot.

Poll: Rubio narrows Crist’s lead in GOP Senate primary race; McCollum edges Sink for governor

Wednesday, October 21st, 2009 by George Bennett

Gov. Charlie Crist has a 15-point lead over former Florida House Speaker Marco Rubio in the 2010 GOP Senate primary race — down from a 29-point August advantage, according to the latest Quinnipiac University poll.

The latest poll shows Crist with a 50-to-35 percent edge over Rubio. It was 55-to-26 for Crist in August. Rubio is still largely unknown to half of GOP voters.

Crist beats the Democratic Senate frontrunner, U.S. Rep. Kendrick Meek of Miami, by a 51-to-31 percent margin in the poll. Meek tops Rubio 36-to-33 percent in a hypothetical Senate matchup.

In the 2010 governor’s race, Republican Attorney General Bill McCollum has a 36-to-32 percent lead over Democratic CFO Alex Sink. McCollum has a 43-to-7 percent lead among Republicans over state Sen. Paula Dockery, a potential primary challenger.

(more…)

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