Crist leads 2 fields in poll, Iorio impressive
Floridians favor Charlie Crist seeking a second term as governor rather than run for the U.S. Senate, a new poll shows. But with a job approval mark of 67 percent, including 66 percent of Democrats, he's a runaway favorite for either post in 2010, the Quinnipiac University survey says (1,001 voters, Feb. 11-16, MOE +/-3.1 percentage points).
The surprise in this poll is Tampa Mayor Pam Iorio, a Democrat who is considering entering the field of Senate contenders. She drew support from 16 percent of voters, the same as U.S. Rep. Kendrick Meek of Miami. Ron Klein had 14 percent and Dan Gelber 5 percent. In a Crist-less GOP Senate primary, U.S. Rep. Connie Mack IV of Fort Myers leads with 34 percent, followed by Vern Buchanan at 11, Marco Rubio at 6, and Allan Bense at 4. When Crist's name is added, he gets 53 percent and Mack's support collapses to a mere 13 percent. Rubio's fav/unfav numbers are a worrisome 12/18.
"Gov. Crist has effectively frozen both the governor's race and the Senate race," Quinnipiac's Peter Brown said. (By a 41 to 22 percent margin, voters said Crist should run for governor again).
Voters also favor expanded gambling from a tribal compact with the Seminole Indians by a margin of 59 to 36 percent, and by an even larger margin (66 to 33 percent), they want the Legislature to follow Crist's instructions and approve the compact. They like those robotic cameras at intersections to catch red-light runners (60 to 37 percent) and reject higher tuition at universities (78 to 19 percent).