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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Pollster: Charlie Crist should run as an independent

1

February

A new poll from Fabrizio, McLaughlin & Associates shows that Gov. Charlie Crist should consider running as an independent, rather than as a Republican, now that former House Speaker Marco Rubio has opened up a 14-point lead among self-identified likely 2010 Republican voters. A quarter of the voters are undecided. Error margin: 5.6 percent.

It’s not just the 14-point spread that’s troubling for Crist. It’s the internals. Of those Republicans who say he’s doing a good job, only 47 percent would vote for him over Rubio.

And voters from all three major categories (Republicans, Democrats, independents) all give Crist about the same marks on his image.

“Charlie is flat. There’s no intensity. A Republican should be doing much better among Republicans than with Democrats,” said Tony Fabrizio, the pollster who tacked on the Senate race questions in a poll he took for a private client interested in state policy.

Fabrizio’s solution: Crist should consider running as an independent. And start chipping away at Rubio.
But even as an indy, Crist has troubles in a three way race that ropes in Miami Rep. Kendrick Meek as the Dem. Rubio would pull 31 percent of the vote, Crist 26 and Meek 24 percent.

Fabrizio says in his analysis: “Among those GOP voters who have an opinion (positive or negative) of BOTH Crist and Rubio, Crist trails Rubio by a 50 point margin. While these results are somewhat exaggerated, it spells big trouble for Crist because Crist is known to 100% of GOP voters whereas Rubio is known to about 60%. Based on this data, if Rubio’s image growth is left unchecked, it is likely that Crist will fall even further behind in the ballot.”

It’s not as if voters don’t know who Rubio is, either. In a theoretical matchup where Crist would run for re-election against fellow Republican Bill McCollum, Crist would do better than he does against Rubio.

“Rubio is known and liked in the Republican primary universe. They have done a good job in the earned media world. The problems for Charlie are numerous,” he said.

Download 2-10 FL SW - Crist's Quandary

--Marc Caputo

[Last modified: Thursday, September 9, 2010 1:16pm]

    

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