Poll: Crist Winning As Independent


Gov. Charlie Crist has opened a slight lead in the U. S. Senate race — as an independent.

The Quinnipiac University Poll was completed two days ago, before Crist’s veto today of the highly contentious teacher salary and tenure bill.  The veto could give him a bigger lead by encouraging thousands of current and retired teachers and parents to vote for him.

News sources across the state were speculating Thursday that Crist would announce his departure from the Republican Party shortly.

This poll can only push him farther in that direction.

Here  is the news release from Quinnipiac:



Marco Rubio has opened up an elephant-sized 56 33 percent lead over Gov. Charlie Crist in Florida’s U.S. Senate Republican primary, but in a three-way general election with Rubio on the GOP line, Crist as an independent and Democratic U.S. Rep. Kendrick Meek, Crist has a razor-thin edge, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.

Gov. Crist leads Meek 48 34 percent in a general election matchup, while Rubio’s margin over the Democrat is just 42 38 percent, the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University survey finds.

If Crist were to file as an independent for the general election, he would get 32 percent of the vote, compared to Rubio’s 30 percent and Meek’s 24 percent.

Rubio, the former speaker of the Florida House of Representatives, has virtually reversed the numbers from last June when he trailed Gov. Crist 54 23 percent.  He has increased his lead 20 points from a January 26 poll when he edged Crist 47 44 percent.

“Anything is possible in politics and we have a long way to go until the August primary, but Rubio’s surge against a sitting governor from his own party is similar to Ned Lamont’s Democratic primary win over Sen. Joseph Lieberman in Connecticut in 2006, said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.  “A year ago, many observers questioned Rubio’s sanity for potentially risking his bright future by what most at the time considered a quixotic quest.

 “Gov. Crist appears a great deal more viable in a November three-way than he is against Rubio in a Republican primary.  But having already ruled out an independent candidacy, he would have to reverse himself by the end of the month due to the filing deadline, said Brown.
“Such a public reversal might be politically harmful to the governor, but perhaps not compared to his chances against Rubio at this point, Brown added.

In a three-way general election:

• Crist would get 30 percent of Republicans, 27 percent of Democrats and 38 percent of independent voters;

• Rubio would receive 64 percent of GOP votes, 5 percent from Democrats and 29 percent of independents:

• Meek, a congressman from South Florida, would get 55 percent of Democratic votes, 15 percent of independents and no Republicans.
Meek is much less known than either of the Republicans with 73 percent of voters not knowing enough about him to rate him either favorably or unfavorably.  Rubio is rated favorably by 36 percent; unfavorably by 22 percent and 41 percent don’t have an opinion.   Crist is viewed favorably by 48 percent, unfavorably by 35 percent and just 13 percent don’t know enough about him to have an opinion.

The size of Rubio’s lead over Gov. Crist in a GOP primary is buttressed by a number of other questions.

By 54 30 percent, registered Republicans, who are the only ones allowed to vote in a GOP primary, say they trust Rubio more than Crist to do in office what he promises in the campaign.  By 56 32 percent, they say Rubio more than Crist shares their values and by a 59 27 percent margin, they cite Rubio as more consistently conservative than Crist.

“If Crist remains in the GOP primary, and absent the type of game-changing scandal of which there is no sign, the Governor faces the political equivalent of climbing a 90-degree mountain, said Brown. “But in a three-way, he has a possible path to the U.S. Senate.

Florida’s two sitting U.S. Senators, Democrat Bill Nelson and Republican George LeMieux, get job approval ratings of 43 30 percent and a split 20 21 percent respectively.

From April 8 13, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,250 Florida voters with a margin of error of +/- 2.8 percentage points.  The survey includes 497 Republicans with a margin of error of +/- 4.4 percentage points.
The Quinnipiac University Poll, directed by Douglas Schwartz, Ph.D., conducts public opinion surveys in Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Florida, Ohio and the nation as a public service and for research. 

For more data on the Florida poll or RSS feed http://www.quinnipiac.edu/polling.xml, call (203) 582-5201, or follow us on Twitter.

4 Responses to “Poll: Crist Winning As Independent”

  1. Resident says:

    I’m listening. How far he moves to the center is what I want to hear. How independent will he be? If he runs as an independent and if after elected stays a republican, then what difference does it makes. I need to hear answers.

  2. Sorry, Charlie says:

    No matter where we stand on the political spectrum most of us want to understand, and agree with, the core principles of the person for whom we ultimately vote. With Charlie you get an incredibly personable man with NO core principles. Voting for him is like shooting craps. It is one thing to be open minded, but quite another to pivot on issues in the blink of an eye. Unfortunately for Charlie the stakes are simply too high to ask us to support who knows what…

  3. Floridan says:

    I think his veto of SB6 pretty much guaranteed that he will run as an independent.

    Good for him — he needs to stay true to what he is and not try to be more right-wing than Rubio.

  4. What Would Reagan Do? says:

    Charlie can run as an Indepenant. That will prove what we all know about him already. A man willing to abandon principles has none to begin with.