Rubio beats the leading Democrat, South Florida Congressman Kendrick Meek, 44 - 35 percent in a general election matchup, the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University poll finds. Crist leads Meek 48 - 36 percent.There is no doubt that Crist is suffering from a bad case of "incumbentitis". For better, or in Crist's case, worse, incumbents have a record. Running away from that record can be nearly impossible these days and it doesn't help that Crist is firmly associated with Barack Obama in the minds of Florida voters. Further complicating matters is the fact that Obama will be in town on Thursday and if rumors are correct he will be touting Crist's pet project, light rail between Tampa and Orlando. Light rail is considered a stinker project in these parts and paying for it in part with the roundly loathed "stimulus" dollars will not help Crist's favorability in the least.
President Barack Obama is under water in Florida as voters disapprove 49 - 45 percent of his job performance, down from a 48 - 46 percent approval rating October 21.
Rubio's lead over Crist in the horse race represents a major reversal from October when the Governor led 50 - 35 percent; from August's 55 - 26 percent Crist lead and from June's lead of 54 - 23 percent.
"Who would have thunk it? A former state lawmaker virtually unknown outside of his South Florida home whose challenge to an exceedingly popular sitting governor for a U.S. Senate nomination had many insiders scratching their heads. He enters the race 31 points behind and seven months later sneaks into the lead," said Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. "And, the horse race numbers are not a fluke. Rubio also tops Crist on a number of other measurements from registered Republicans, who are the only folks who can vote in the primary. Rubio's grassroots campaigning among Republican activists around the state clearly has paid off.
"President Obama, who enjoyed a 64 - 23 percent approval rating in Florida in the first post-inaugural poll last February, is now under water."
I don't expect Crist to hang in there long enough to make it to the August primary. We'll see.