Rubio Leads Despite Not Running Ads

Marco Rubio is currently leading the three way race for the open Florida Senate seat, despite not spending a dime on television advertising in recent months.

As Doug noted earlier this morning, Republican Marco Rubio is up eight points in the three-way race for Mel Martinez’ old Senate seat, with 40% of registered voters to 32% for erstwhile Republican Charlie Crist and 17% for Democrat Kendrick Meek.

Jim Geraghty, who notes Rubio has spent not a single nickle on television advertising since May 1, wonders how he’ll poll once he actually starts running commercials.  Indeed.

As is typically the case in races with a significant spoiler, the key will be what Meek and those who support him do between now and November.  Absent something catastrophic or earth shattering, he has zero chance of winning.   Does he withdraw from the race and toss his support to Crist?  Do his supporters jump ship?  If so, do they stay home or show up enthusiastically for Crist as the lesser evil?

UPDATEStephen Green goes out on a limb, not only declaring  “Marco Rubio will be the next Senator from the great state of Florida” but predicting “Crist comes in a weak third on election day.”   I highly doubt that, although I’m generally happy to see sore losers thwarted.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2010, Public Opinion Polls, US Politics, , , , , , ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. PD Shaw says:

    Also, how much money are national Democrats willing to give Crist, whose probably as reliable as a Specter or Lieberman?

  2. PD Shaw says:

    Nate’s “Seventh” seat appears to be Nevada, providing evidence that Reid lost this seat, but the Republicans decided to make it interesting. The “Eighth” and “Ninth” seats are Illinois and Washington, which appear to be statistical ties using Nate’s projections.

  3. PD Shaw says:

    Oops, I thought I was posting that under the Nate Silver post.

  4. Michael Reynolds says:

    “Despite” not running ads?

    The Brown vs. Whitman ads have started running here. I already hate them both.

  5. James Joyner says:

    “Despite” not running ads?

    I had the exact same thought upon typing it. But, alas, ads have both the effect you describe — driving down the popularity of both candidates — and the desired one — making you hate the opponent slightly more.

  6. Tano says:

    Gee c’mon James – Why play this game of picking out particular polls, ones that tell you what you might want to hear, presumably, or at least ones that allow you to write an attention grabbing headline – and pretend that such polls are definitive statements about the state of a race.

    Yeah, PPP puts out a poll that shows Rubio up by 8. Last week the Q poll had Crist up by 7. That came right after a Mason-Dixon poll that had Rubio up by 5, and a St. Pete Times poll that had Crist up by 4.

    Its a pretty even race, with difficult dynamics, given the 3-way race, with the Independent being the sitting Gov. I don’t think anyone can know now who will win, or even what the real state of the race is.

  7. Wayne says:

    PPP did get it right in the primary results while the others were far off. However like any poll, they are just intelligent guessing games.

    That said, I think many of the pre-primary polls were slanted toward Christ because of the Dems’contested primary. Now I think many of the Dems will get behind their primary winner which will draw votes from Christ. Many don’t like political ads but they do seem to work.Not that they are the only factor. There is only one poll that counts and we will see then.

  8. Michael says:

    The Senate race has been all but ignored in Florida for the past several months while we watched the Scott vs. McCollum trainwreck. Rubio’s probably polling exactly where he was when the campaigns were suspended after Crist jumped to NPA.

  9. James Joyner says:
  10. James Joyner says:

    <blockquote>Testing to see if manual blockquotes work>