(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.
What ever happened to PUMA?
I would like Christ to stay in the Governor's office for 2 reasons. First off, he is a good Governor who understands the magnitude of our financial crisis and is not afraid to stand with a Democratic President. Unlike other GOP Governors, Senators, and Representatives who spoke out against the stimulus but then worked to get money for their district from it. Christ doesn't practice that kind of two-faced politics. He's pragmatic and up front unlike Eric Cantor who is critical of spending and yet the bank his wife worked for just happened to get 100's of millions of dollars in bailout money...Or Bobby Jindahl who speaks out against the bailout and yet has projects ready for it.
Plus, and this is a long shot, but I would like Christ to run with Obama in 2012. If the economy recovers and Biden retires, this would be an awesome combination. Christ could really be a great leader for the future.
I like to see a Republican with Common Sense and Brain in the senate just like the other 3. I think Crist will be a reasonable voice in the senate but I don't think he will run.
Can you say, "I played politics with Obama in Florida recently, so I'm a 'shoo-in'".
I like Crist, but I still think he should run for governor. For Senate, I want Marco Rubio. He's a young energetic leader full of good ideas for Florida and this nation!
I will vote for Crist again. He is fair and cares about people. He extended the early voting hours when his ReBubblicans counter parts said that they could not. He truly cares about people. I hope he stays on as Gov. but I will support him as senator.
Couldn't they find a real Republican to run?
He's one of the few Republicans I would actually support. Notice, my fellow Reps, he also supported the stimulus package. HMMM...Is there a relationship there.
Dutch – more than 'a few' Republican Govs agreed to the Stimulus bill. Even a few from the home states of the very same Senators who threatened other Republican Senators to vote their way, or else.....
See what happens when you don't follow your fellow GOP'ers like a zombie? People actually like you!
I am a Democrat, but I think Charlie Crist is doing as good a job as he can under the circumstances. He is not one of those die hard Republicans who goes along with his party for political reasons. He has a mind of his own and makes decisions based on his own judgement..
Debbie Wasserman Schultz. Enough said.
Maybe Crist could be good, he doesn't speak the english language like he has a bunch of rocks in his mouth. He talks intelligently like he doesn't have a bunch of rocks in his skull. Now if he understands science and exhibts intelectual thought without draging his religion into a conversation he could be very good.
Here in Va the Repubs can't help pandering to radical religious nuts while chanting "no" to every thing besides gun ownership for all. Va Repubs believe convicted felons should be able to buy guns at the neighborhood gun show??
Crist is a man who hasn't forgotten the people of Florida who put him in office; not like a lot of other Republicans who don't care about the people.
this guy is a loser. that's why the people on CNN's comment forum like him.
I guess that was a smart move to back the stimulus bill, then, huh?
As a former Republican turned Independent who voted for Obama, I would vote for Crist if I were in Florida.
He showed pragmatism, decency and put the welfare of his State above the Republican ideology of simply saying "no" to anything Obama or the Democrats offer up. People are sick and tired of that. I would vote for Collins, Snowe and Alan Specter also. They showed that they loved their constituents more than they hated Obama.
The rest of them can all go to hell.
Crist is a good representative of the State of Florida. This gentlement has a future ahead of him and will be a rising star in the Republican party. My bet is he has a stronger future than either Huckabee, Romney, McCain or Palin.
He has my democratic vote! He is more about serving his constituency than his party! Kudos to many jobs well done Governor Crist!
Lisa T. Florida
Although I want a Dem in the seat, how smart was he to come out for the stimulus? Very!
I'm a former Florida independent who switched to the Democratic Party to vote in the 2004 primaries, spent about 20 hrs/week on the Obama campaign, and now hold a (minor) elected position in my local party.
And yeah, I might actually vote for Charlie. He'd be an excellent advocate for our state in Washington. The one major problem I've had with him is his underfunding of education, but in Washington he'd have much less of an influence on that. Plus, with him out of the way, a Dem might go to Tally.
I'd vote for him. He's honorable.
If the extreme right wing has their say.... Crist is out of a job and democrats will win. But I don't think the extreme right wing has the votes :P
Just what the country needs another Idiot republican.