February 18th, 2009
01:08 PM ET
9 years ago

Poll: Crist frontrunner for Florida Senate nomination

Crist is enjoying strong approval ratings despite the poor economic conditions in his home state of Florida.

Crist is enjoying strong approval ratings despite the poor economic conditions in his home state of Florida.

(CNN) - A new poll indicates Florida Gov. Charlie Crist would be the immediate frontrunner for the Republican nomination should he decide to run for Senate in 2010.

If Crist were to jump into an already crowded Republican primary, a Quinnipiac poll suggests he would immediately freeze out the competition. In a hypothetical match-up, Crist leads his next closest GOP rival - Rep. Connie Mack IV - by a 53 to 13 percent margin.

Others mulling a Senate bid, including former Florida House speaker Marco Rubio and Rep. Vern Buchanan, each garner five percent or less in a race with Crist.

Crist can also count on job security if he opts to remain in Tallahassee instead: if he were to stay out of the Senate battle and seek the governorship once again, nearly 60 percent of voters say he deserves another term. Voters also want him to stay. A plurality believe Crist should seek re-election as governor and not run for Senate.

Crist is buoyed by a 68 percent approval rating among voters, which includes the support of 65 percent of Democrats. And although Crist angered some within his party for his vocal support of President Obama’s stimulus package, he retains the support of 77 percent of Republican voters.

The poll hints that Democrats will face an uphill battle in the Senate race no matter who wins the Republican nomination: Among the many Democrats seeking the seat, none appear to be well-known among voters statewide.

The Quinnipiac poll of 1,001 Florida voters was conducted February 11-16 and has a margin of error of 3.1 percent.

Filed under: Charlie Crist • Florida
soundoff (101 Responses)
  1. Gretchen, SD

    This guy seems like an opportunist to me, and a little manipulative. Barack put his hand on Crist's shoulder and he moved away pretty quickly, before a photo could be taken–but he wants that stimulus money–that he'll stand still for.

    February 18, 2009 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  2. Venia

    I don't particularly like him given his support of mccain and the clueless pathological liar (palin) however he did wholeheartedly approve the stimulus package and urged his fellow rethuglicans to do the same even though they didnt. So as a staunch and proud liberal democrat i give the guy a thumbs up for standing against the rethuglicans in the house and senate and being willing to do something to actually help the people, a quality unheard of in the rethuglican party.

    February 18, 2009 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  3. david

    I live in Florida. Christ is ok for a Republican. He is more moderate than many of those in his party and tries to do some good in this state. However, between him and the 2 terms of another Bush this state, like many others, is about to tank. Republican control has left this state bankrupt and sinking faster than the Titanic because of massive tax cuts that have produced no jobs and a growing unemployment rate. I know they will increase fees and this, that and something else but at least it will not be a tax increase, Bull Stuff.

    February 18, 2009 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  4. Felicha, Florida



    February 18, 2009 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  5. arithmetic is liberal

    We need a "git 'er done" Republican in the Senate.

    I'm with Crist all the way, despite my online nickname. And that is OVER any Democrat challengers that may crop up between here and 2010. I do reserve the right to change my mind, however, like any thinking person.

    February 18, 2009 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  6. Death of America by Obama

    omg, hillary clinton has no idea what she's doing.

    February 18, 2009 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  7. Loretta

    I don't think much of republicans because they refuse to help the poor and the needy. I'm not sure what they stand for except keeping the rich richer and the poor poorer, but Crist, he is an exception to the rule because he has only displayed concern for his folks in Florida. Even during the election it was not about helping republicans stop people from going to the poll but it was about how to make it easy for his state. I applaud him!

    February 18, 2009 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  8. clos

    2016 he has a good chance to be the presidential nominee for the GOP. Because he is not a redneck, or stock in the past. He seems intelligent PS stay away from republicans like Sarah palin. She thinks you can garner hatred of people so that she will confuse America.

    February 18, 2009 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  9. Sniffit

    With a name like Crist, I think we know why the GOP loves him so much...

    February 18, 2009 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  10. Rachel, PA

    I'm a Dem, but I'm so annoyed with Burris I can't see straight. Does he not get it. America and Illinoians can see right through him. He doesn't care about the people he just wants to remain the Senator. This man just wants to be a Senator–that's it.

    He lied through his teeth, and then at the revelation that a tape was coming out he changed his story four times. Now he ran back to Illinois to tell the people what he has done over the last month.

    Send him to the Outhouse or the Big House, either one is fine. He's a moron.

    February 18, 2009 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  11. the idiot

    That's the libs in this page were knocking him just four months ago for appearing on stage with McCain. They just don't seem to know what they like do they.

    February 18, 2009 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  12. Jane in San Francisco

    Good luck, Charlie! You're one of the few members of the GOP who still has any sense left!

    February 18, 2009 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  13. Laverne

    I don't know if anyone else recalls when Crist was on the campaign trail with John McCain, he often cancelled appearances and seemed rather uncomfortable appearing with him and bashing Obama. I think Crist is a moderate republican who recognized that if he is to have a successful political career he much rather be in the center and not be associated with losers! Even though everything he does is for political gain, at least he get the fact that the people of Florida wanted change and not insane McCain!

    February 18, 2009 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  14. jaye

    If he dosen't stop with the republican stance against Obama and start thinking of the citizens of Florida instead of being one of the republican obstructionist then he has no chance of being elected.
    Wise up, Charlie – it's the Florida residents that vote, and they will not elect you unless you do their will. And their will is the betterment of the state and the country, and not the will of the republican idiots led by Limbaugh and Boehner.

    February 18, 2009 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  15. Frank from Peterborough

    The fact is the GOP would not allow Crist to act responsibly and support legislation contrary to the ideology of their base and their leader Rush Limbaugh.

    Just look at California right now as the GOP dethroned one of their own just because he supported the Governor and Democrats who are trying to save the state.

    February 18, 2009 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  16. EBC

    Isn't this funny? Governor Christ supported President Obama's stimulus plan and it helped him in the polls. And yet all those Republican jerks in Washington still don't get it. Governor Christ reach across party lines because he's looking to get re-elected. He had an agenda, President Obama WROTE the game Gov. Christ is playing.

    BUT don't get it twisted, come re-election time, the REALITY will soon kick in. Florida has turned BLUE for a very good reason!!! Floridians are sick of getting SCREWED, SCREWED, SCREWED by the GOP of NOs.

    February 18, 2009 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  17. Jose in TX

    From the CNN front page: "In the end, all of us are paying a price for this home mortgage crisis," Obama said.

    Well, apparently we are NOW.

    February 18, 2009 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  18. Noah

    It is hilarious that the Liberal nutjobs are so happy that Sarah Palin needs to pay back taxes. For one thing, there have been more than 5 Democrats who have recently been exposed as not just owing back taxes but being actual tax cheats, meaning they evaded taxes. At least in Palin's case she was unaware that she owed the taxes in the first place. LIBERALS ARE THE BIGGEST HYPOCRITES

    February 18, 2009 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  19. Dace Tucson Z

    He will never make it past the hate zealot base – because he actual is human and uses his brain – which puts him at odds with the GOP. The few moderates that actually care about America are being cannibalized in the new confederate party.

    February 18, 2009 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  20. BT

    Gov. Crist opened the polls in Florida so that ALL Floridians would have the opportunity to vote. What an odd thing for a Republican to do... put the very people he represents before his party.
    Good for you, Gov. Crist and good luck!

    February 18, 2009 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  21. Simmy

    Democratically speaking, Crist is now cool! He will win.

    February 18, 2009 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  22. Victory Gin

    Man, I miss Lawton Chiles...
    Mr. Crist is just another thief looking for bigger and better heists.
    He will represent himself well and Florida, poorly.
    He sure will reach across the aisle and into YOUR wallet to get things done....for himself.
    This overly tanned yes man gets nothing from me.

    February 18, 2009 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  23. Republicans are ankle biters

    Lets sell Florida to Cuba,they just about own it now.

    February 18, 2009 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  24. Karen - Missouri

    Christ might be more moderate as a governor, but he would quickly find that in the Senate...THE GOP CONTROLS THE MINDS OF SENATORS AND HOUSE OF REPS. In Washington, Republicans don't have the guts nor the ability to think for themselves or to actually represent their constituents. Christ would be better off being re-elected governor.

    Republican GOVERNORS like the stimulus money to their states...unlike the Senators who could care less. Christ wouldn't be able to work across the aisle because the Repub. PARTY wouldn't let him.

    While I like Christ, after the elections and now the games they played over the stimulus package...I WOULD NEVER VOTE FOR OR TRUST A REPUBLICAN AGAIN! (I my 59 years I've never seen such garbage from Republicans since the Nixon years)

    February 18, 2009 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  25. NY republican

    @ elsie – sorry but it can't "zero votes on the Stimulus " and "tree" (3?) at the same time. It has to be one or the other (no matter how they voted in the past). And to everyone else, why do you all forget those pesky Democrats that voted no?

    February 18, 2009 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
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