Florida Gov. Charlie Crist leads the three-way race for the U.S. Senate seat with 37 percent, followed by 32 percent for Republican Marco Rubio and 17 percent for Jeff Greene, the leading candidate for the Democratic nomination, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today. If U.S. Rep. Kendrick Meek wins the Democratic primary, Crist’s lead would be 39 percent to 33 percent for Rubio and 13 percent for Meek.
Crist’s lead is based on getting half the independent voters, about 20 percent of Republicans and about 40 percent of Democrats. His 53 – 37 percent voter approval of his job as Governor probably is a factor in his lead.
Crist’s margin in the general election matchups compare to a 37 – 33 – 17 percent lead with Meek in the race and 40 – 33 – 14 percent with Greene running in a June 9 poll.
“There has been little movement in the Senate race over the past two months. Gov. Charlie Crist’s small lead comes as neither Democrat breaks 20 percent in the trial heats. If that were to be the case in November, Gov. Crist would have a very good chance to win. But if the Democratic nominee can move into the mid-to-high 20s, Crist’s chances decrease substantially,” said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.
Florida voters give Crist a 49 – 35 percent favorability rating with 13 percent who say they don’t know enough about him to form an opinion. Rubio has a 35 – 24 percent favorability, with 38 percent who don’t know enough about him. The “don’t know enough” score for Meek and Green is 64 percent each.
“At this point, Crist’s edge is in name identification. When those numbers even out, as they will to a large degree, we’ll have a better picture of how the race stands,” Brown said.
From July 22 – 27, Quinnipiac University surveyed 969 Florida voters with a margin of error of +/- 3.2 percentage points.