Crist Still Leads in Florida Polls

Crist's gamble continues to appear to have been a good one.

Via Quinnipiac:  Crist On Top In 3-Way Florida Senate Race, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; Dem Sink Tied With Either Republican In Govenor’s Race

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.

I will be curious to see how the numbers solidify once there is a clear Democratic nominee and an actual campaign begins,

However, Crist’s position as governor clearly is a major asset—one that likely have guaranteed Republican control of the seat had he been nominated.  As it stands, it looks possible that, like in Nevada, the GOP primary voters have made a nomination error.  Still, there is a lot of time left in the race (and, as noted, sans a  true three-way campaign, it is difficult to take the polls wholly seriously).

FILED UNDER: 2010 Election, US Politics, , , , ,
Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter


  1. Steven,
    Having Crist win could very well help get rid of this “ideological purity” nonsense.  That’s something worth hoping for.

  2. Liandro says:

    A “nomination error”?  I couldn’t disagree more.  Maybe the R voters of Florida are just far more concerned with principle and the direction of our country (and party) then the electoral horse race details.
    That said, let’s get into some horse race details.  I believe 25% of Crist’s support hails from R’s…you think none of that comes home in November?  Really?  When Crist is blatantly flopping in the wind, and flopping towards D’s no less?  I’m sure you know the trends of third party/indie bids even better then I do Dr. Taylor.  How many of his Dem supporters (of larger percentage of his support) likewise come home to the D in November?  How long does it take the money disadvantage to play out?  The get-the-vote-out apparatus disadvantages?
    Crist is a weasel, not a principled independent.  The commercials write themselves.  The D is undetermined, but once that D is chosen and begins to fight it affects Crist more then Rubio (assuming the D does not end up being a truly wretched campaigner).
    Yes, trading “ideological purity” for a chameleon pol whose main principles are his support of himself is worth hoping for…if you are desperate to emphasize the worst elements of politics.  Crist is not a moderate, he is simply a man with opportunistic positions.  Lieberman didn’t really change his positions much, he just ran indie on the same platform…and won.  Crist is moving left at breakneck speed…until he wins and R’s take over the Senate in 2012.  IMO, he will always be for sale.

  3. @Liandro:

    If the goal is to win elections, and if Crist beats Rubio, then the Reps made a nomination error.  That statement is a normative one (i.e., it makes no judgement about the individuals in question or their quality as office holders), rather it is an empirical statement made on the basis of evaluating one of the purposes of any nomination system:  to nominate a candidate to win the election.

  4. Liandro says:

    I understood your angle, but I don’t think the Reps in FL are looking at it from that angle.  Take NY-23…sometimes winning would be losing.  Crist’s resulting policy and position switches have just emphasized that they made the RIGHT decision…having an R next to your name doesn’t mean anything sometimes.
    The goal is to win elections with people who actually represent R’s the majority of the time.  I would argue that endorsing someone who blatantly breaks with the party is a nomination error–the other side already has an ideological (and whip count) victory.  It seems fairly obvious that Reid and Obama would welcome Crist into the Senate…how is that kind of person a win for even moderate R’s?
    Crist would have been a nomination error no matter if he won or lost; Rubio was R’s only real shot at representation.  If Crist wins, R’s still get Crist…and still don’t want him.  If Rubio wins we have a rising conservative star (perhaps we get that either way?).  Almost no scenario at this time has the D winning.