May 20th, 2009
09:40 AM ET
9 years ago

Crist has comfortable lead, new poll shows

 Crist is the clear favorite against primary and general election challengers, a new poll suggests.

Crist is the clear favorite against primary and general election challengers, a new poll suggests.

(CNN) - One week after Florida Governor Charlie Crist announced he would campaign for the Senate next year rather than run for re-election, a new poll indicates he comfortably leads his primary and general challengers.

The popular first term governor announced last week that he would forgo re-election in 2010 and instead run for the seat being vacated by retiring Senator Mel Martinez, a fellow Republican. Crist was immediately backed by some top Republicans in Washington.

A new Mason-Dixon poll, the first survey to question Florida voters since that announcement, indicates that if the Republican primary for the Senate seat were held today, Crist would easily top former Florida House Speaker Marco Rubio 53 percent to 18 percent, who is considered more conservative than Crist.

The poll also suggests Crist would beat Democrat Kendrick Meek, a Congressman from south Florida, by 31 points and would defeat state senator Dan Gelber by 35 points in hypothetical general election matchups.

"Crist seems to be popular throughout Florida, but he also benefits in early polling from being the only Senate candidate who has been on a statewide ballot," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "The challenge for the challengers is to boost their name ID in parts of the state where they have never run before. If one or more of them do that, the election results in 2010 may look nothing like today's poll."

The Mason Dixon poll was conducted May 14-18, with 625 Florida voters questioned by telephone. The survey's sampling error is plus or minus four percentage points.

Filed under: Charlie Crist
soundoff (33 Responses)
  1. Left Wing in L.A.

    Crist is gay. That's not a rumor. Its a fact. He is a hypocrite and a liar. Cnn, do you your job and expose this sham!

    May 20, 2009 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  2. Dutch/Bad Newz,VA

    It looks like it's a wrap. But don't count yur chickens before they hatch Charlie. Hopefully the democrats will give you a formidable adversary.

    May 20, 2009 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  3. Richard

    Gov Christ made a promise that he would increase the homeowners exemption to $50000 if elected governor which he has not done.. You might be supprised when we older voters defeat his chances because of the broken promise.

    May 20, 2009 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  4. Anthony A

    He is getting out of Florida while the getting is good, the state is a mess and he won't be there to fix it so they will blame next guy. Good luck Charlie on you new do nothing job.

    May 20, 2009 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  5. Pheonix86

    Give it time. Regardless of who wins the primary, Republicans will no doubt shoot themselves in the foot once more.

    May 20, 2009 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  6. Fair is Fair

    Queue up the "gay republican" and "suntan" comments...

    May 20, 2009 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  7. joel palmer

    When is going to come out?

    May 20, 2009 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  8. Chip

    Many will comment, "A Republican I can actually like."

    I'm interested to know why. What makes one Republican likable and another not? Is it policy or personality?

    An examination of Charlie's policy stances as compared to his predecessor shows VERY LITTLE difference, yet one is beloved and another excoriated.

    May 20, 2009 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  9. lefty

    We will see how his lead holds up once President Obama starts campaigning for his democratic rival. Although I'm sure he will have Palin, Limbaugh, and Boner on his side helping him to an assured defeat.

    May 20, 2009 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  10. Farnk, Las Vegas

    I think it's great for Crist and the country. Crist will win the primary, but not the general, so we'll have another Democrat in the Senate from FL and FL will have a new Democratic Gov. Sweet!

    May 20, 2009 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  11. JJ-Orlando

    what and elect another Nazi into office. Florida says NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    May 20, 2009 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  12. John

    As was Hillary Clinton according to CNN!

    May 20, 2009 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  13. Kimberly

    If Florida is happy with him, I am ok with it too. He is a Republican, but he is NOT like the red neck backwoods ones that are in the senate now. The republicans should take a note from this guy. Hes not a creep or a hate and fear peddler, this is what they need, and they need to silence steele and limpballs.

    May 20, 2009 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  14. God Fearing in Florida

    You can take Crist to Washington, because I don't want him in Florida. He has been the worst "do nothing" governor that I have ever experienced.

    May 20, 2009 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  15. JJ-Orlando

    My mother called me up and said I voted for a socialist. I replied. Better a socialist than another Nazi mother. This nation would not need to have such need for this kind of social reform had Republican leaders and businessmen not screwed up our nation so terribly.

    May 20, 2009 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  16. Mississippi Mike

    Crist would win. He's been a good governor and would make a great senator.

    May 20, 2009 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  17. Debbie

    Living in the State of Florida, I would vote for Mickey Mouse over Charlie Crist. Since Crist has become governor of my state, he's cut funding for education, police and firemen, to name only a few. So now that is he financially broke our state, he wants to run out of Dodge and head to the US Senate. I just don't see where his popularity is. His marriage, well that's a joke too!

    May 20, 2009 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  18. JDM

    Why hasn’t the mainstream media picked up on the hypocrisy of Charlie Crist? He has been leading a revolution of discrimination in Florida while living his personal life in direct opposition to the way he votes and speaks. Come on Charlie, ditch the political “wife” and be true to yourself and your constituents! It’s funny that you seem to have “forgotten” about your relationships with Jason Wetherington and Bruce Jordan.

    May 20, 2009 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  19. Paul from Phoenix

    To: Letf Wing in L.A.:

    Glad to see the inclusive left is being open to all people again. Hello pot, I am kettle.

    May 20, 2009 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  20. Kevin Denver Colorado

    Mike: Crist would win. He's been a good governor and would make a great senator.

    I notice you always chime in on other peoples governors. NOBODY IN FLORIDA LIKES HIM. just you redneck-

    May 20, 2009 10:39 am at 10:39 am |

    can he move to Nevada and quickly?

    May 20, 2009 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  22. Sam in Houston

    Crist 2012 for President

    May 20, 2009 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  23. leon

    Left Wing in LA is showing the true colors of the group that supported and put Obama in power , They are not better than the group tha put GW Bush in power. Democrats need to look for a better alternative withiing their own party for 2012. Stop Obama's re-election in four years

    May 20, 2009 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  24. Julie

    PLEASE... CNN do your job. Charlie Crist is a joke..when asked a hard question he gives up and resorts to the words "I am Confident". Palin may have a larger vocabulary then Crits. Who in the world to they get for these Polls? Better yet why does CNN beleive them.
    This guy is a horrible Governor.

    May 20, 2009 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  25. Julie

    Oh I get it they poll the people that are home unemployed. sounds about right people once again voting for the person that really does not have their best interest at heart. UNBELIEVABLE. When are people in Florida and this country going to wake up....All politicians have their problems but at least Democrats don't go after destroying the middle class and the weak like the Republicans do.

    May 20, 2009 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
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