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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Poll: 7 in 10 Fla Republicans would prefer Jeb Bush as governor



The single biggest threat to Charlie Crist’s political future probably isn’t his U.S. Senate primary rival, Marco Rubio. It’s former Gov. Jeb Bush, who could give Rubio an enormous boost if he chose to.

A new St. Petersburg Times/Miami Herald/Bay News 9 poll underscores how much Bush’s shadow still looms over Florida almost three years after leaving office: Forty-six percent said they would rather have Bush leading Florida today, while 41 percent said Crist.

More striking, 71 percent of Republicans would pick Bush as governor today,while only 22 percent of Republicans said they would pick Crist over Bush.

“Is there a path to victory for Marco Rubio? Yes, but it involves the support of Jeb Bush,’’ said pollster Tom Eldon. “Crist may have appointed the last senator, but Bush has it in his hands to appoint the next one.”
Despite their occasional public professions of mutual respect, the Crist-Bush rivalry is among the worst-kept secrets in Florida. It has served as an undercurrent in everything from Florida’s presidential primary contest between Mitt Romney and John McCain to the current debate about the future of the GOP.

(Story here)

[Last modified: Thursday, September 9, 2010 2:25pm]


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