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. Winston Smith

    Even though I'm a Liberal Democrat...if I lived in Florida...I would consider voting for Crist.
    At least he appears to be a rational & reasonable Republican.
    Those qualities are hard to find in the GOP right now.
    BTW: Death of America by Obama February 18th, 2009 1:50 pm ET "omg, hillary clinton has no idea what she's doing."--–

    My...my...my...DEATH OF AMERICA BY OBAMA...that's quite alittle NEO CON screen name.
    Did you think of the name yourself - or did THE FAT MAN, RUSH LIMBAUGH help you ?
    You, right wingers are such DRAMA QUEENS.
    Now..when exactly did you guys re-find your religion (fiscal conservatism) ?????

    February 18, 2009 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  2. Bob from Kentucky

    Republicans take note: the only Republican in Florida with the good sense to side with Obama on the stimulus bill is an instant frontrunner for the Senate. Can the writing on the wall be any plainer?

    February 18, 2009 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  3. Gina in Racine Wi

    Good Luck Mr. Crist.......you showd love for your Country and the people in Florida when you backed President Obama's Recovery Bill.....I think he will even get a substantial amount of Democratic votes.

    February 18, 2009 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  4. globalgroove

    Just what the senate needs...another closeted gay

    February 18, 2009 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  5. Mike in Philly

    I wonder if the Republican PAC that swore to spend millions to defeat the 3 Senators who voted for the stimulus, will come out now and say they will spend millions to defeat Crist, since he agrees with the stimulus. As does any other governor that accepts the money, of course.

    That could be interesting ...

    February 18, 2009 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  6. Luke from Boston

    Right now NO Democrat has a chance for a FL Senate seat. There are too many older and literate voters in the state to be dumb enough to vote Dem.

    Three reasons why dems do not have a chance if Florida:

    1) FL has no income tax, do you think Floridians want higher taxes that this recent wild Democrat spending spree will force?

    2) With a significant number of older citizens, Floridians don't want rationed health care that will result under Obama's plan.

    3) These older folks WORKED for a living and they do NOT like giving handout to lazy *ss welfare bumbs


    February 18, 2009 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  7. Peter

    Crist is a moderate Republican, I like him very much

    February 18, 2009 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  8. Larry from RI

    Another GOP member who has common sense, is willing to work for the common good and realizes how bad things are for the common man.
    He understands the failed ideology of the GOP and has shown he has balls – unlike the current leadership of boner and his minions.

    Thanks for standing up for principles over party.

    Hey John McShame – This is how you put "AMERICA FIRST"!

    February 18, 2009 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  9. betts

    I'm sure he'll have his rubber-stamp inked and ready to follow his comrades. He's a moron!

    February 18, 2009 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  10. Gary

    At this point I don' t care if the president or congress is Republican or Democrat, however after this corrupt pork spending bill we called "stimulus" was rammed through congress, I think it has become clear that we cannot have one party controlling government. I like Crist and would happy to see enough Republicans hold or take back seats to have a split congress so that we have more balance in government.

    February 18, 2009 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  11. fearful for my country

    This ex democrat will be voting republican across the board . I love our governor and it's time for the democrats to clean house. Especially in Florida , new York , California and massachucetts.

    February 18, 2009 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  12. Carmela, Longwood, Florida

    Surprises never cease. First, Florida turns blue in the last election (hurray!!!), now, we will possibly have the first Republican gay senator!! WOW!!

    February 18, 2009 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  13. rob

    yes, that is what the senate needs. globalgroove, if he is gay, fantastic as it would help create more diversity in the senate!

    February 18, 2009 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  14. Felicia

    I think crist would be a good choice i have to say he seems to be on top of his game and not a bad looker

    February 18, 2009 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  15. Bill

    Let me see if I get this Governor Crist was in favor of the President plan when all but three Republicans were aganist it in Washington D.C. correct. Now if he elected will he just vote no like all the rest of the Republicans?

    February 18, 2009 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  16. Zaley

    Crist is a good guy. He's not like his fellow Republicans. He has a spine and a brain of his own. You don't see him caving into Party lines. he's willing to work for the American people and not the Party.
    I wish him well.

    February 18, 2009 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  17. sick n tired of CNN moderators

    Well why wouldn't he be frontrunner? After all he's a pro at rigging elections for the Republican Party and he's from Florida no less! Thats pretty much a no brainer if you ask me!

    February 18, 2009 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  18. Mike in Philly

    "1) FL has no income tax, do you think Floridians want higher taxes that this recent wild Democrat spending spree will force?"

    Dunno. Will they want higher taxes to pay for the trillion dollar debt from the Republican spending spree last year?

    February 18, 2009 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  19. Abby

    Charlie Crist will pander to anyone and everyone that can propel him to higher office. He certainly appears to have his sights on the White House one day. He also appears to be a teflon Governor. For all the problems with education, insurance, utilities, social and family services in Florida, the actual voting public only sees him as doing a good job. Hence the high approval ratings. Hey, if it is a likely win, why shouldn't he go for it. He couldn't do worse than anyone else rumored to be interested in a run. He's moderate enough to be liked by Florida dems and reps alike. He's got to keep striving for some higher office to keep his new wife interested.

    February 18, 2009 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  20. Lisa B

    If he decides to run for Senate, how long before Crist is thrown to the wolves and undermined by members of his own party? He is as popular as he is because of his pragmatism, compassion and ability to think for himself, qualitites not appreciated by the current deadbeats leading the GOP.

    February 18, 2009 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  21. alabama j

    you are the man gov crist

    February 18, 2009 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  22. Beverly, NYC

    Good he seems like a level headed prson, I's sure he will remember that he works for the state of Florida not Boehner & Mitchell.
    The Dems can call him Majority Vote #62. keep the faith Snow, Specter & Collins soon you won't be the only brains in that court of idiots.

    February 18, 2009 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  23. No Incumbents 2010

    I guess it's all in who you brown nose.

    February 18, 2009 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  24. Reality Check Richmond Virginia

    I wonder how he would feel about the stimulus package if he were in the senate and not trying to actually run a state? I would hope for some consistency.

    February 18, 2009 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  25. TalG

    As a Florida Republican, I wouldn't vote for Gov. Crist, Senator Mack, or ANY Republican candidate that would be offered. Until my party starts getting a serious Clue as to the problems this country is facing, none of them are qualified to run for dog catcher, much less a US Senator. To me, the Republican Party is more like the Obstructionist Party, having created the disaster we're in now and refusing to own up to the mistakes. And while Gov. Crist might be willing to work across the aisle now, once he's in Washington, the party overlords will ensure that any independence or open-mindedness is eliminated from him.

    Besides, the odds are that a Democrat will win the seat here in Florida and join the dozen or so new Democrat senators as the anger against the Republican Party grows even higher.

    February 18, 2009 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
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