July 30th, 2010
09:04 AM ET
4 years ago

Poll: Crist still on top in 3-way Senate battle

Florida Gov. Charlie Crist is leading Marco Rubio and Jeff Greene in a hypothetical Florida Senate race, according to a new poll.
Florida Gov. Charlie Crist is leading Marco Rubio and Jeff Greene in a hypothetical Florida Senate race, according to a new poll.

(CNN) – Florida Gov. Charlie Crist remains on top in a three-way battle for the Senate, according to a new poll. And a Quinnipiac University survey released Friday also indicates that strong name recognition and a positive approval rating may be helping Crist as he makes an independent bid for the state's open Senate seat.

Thirty-seven percent of Florida voters questioned in the poll say they'll back Crist, with 32 percent supporting former Sunshine State House Speaker Marco Rubio, the presumptive Republican nominee, 17 percent backing billionaire real estate investor Jeff Greene, a Democratic Senate candidate, and 14 percent undecided.

If four-term Democratic Rep. Kendrick Meek wins the August 24 primary, the poll indicates Crist at 39 percent, Rubio at 33 percent, Meek at 13 percent, and 15 percent undecided. According to a Quinnipiac survey released Thursday, Greene leads Meek by ten points with 35 percent undecided, in an increasingly bitter Democratic primary battle.

Once the overwhelming favorite in the battle for the Republican Senate nomination, Crist was trailing Rubio by more than 20 points, according to a Quinnipiac University poll, when he announced in late April that he was dropping his bid for his party's nomination and would run for the Senate as a non-aligned candidate. Since then, Crist has led in most general election polling of the three-way Senate contest.

The new Quinnipiac survey indicates Crist's lead is based on grabbing half of independent voters, about one in five Republicans and about four in ten Democrats. According to the poll, 53 percent of Florida voters approve of the job Crist is doing as governor, with 37 percent saying they disapprove.

"There has been little movement in the Senate race over the past two months. Gov. Charlie Crist's small lead comes as neither Democrat breaks 20 percent in the trial heats. If that were to be the case in November, Gov. Crist would have a very good chance to win," says Quinnipiac University Polling Institute assistant director Peter A. Brown. "But if the Democratic nominee can move into the mid-to-high 20s, Crist's chances decrease substantially."

Only 13 percent of people questioned say they don't know enough about Crist to form an opinion of him. That number jumps to 38 percent for Rubio and to 64 percent for Greene and for Meek.

"At this point, Crist's edge is in name identification. When those numbers even out, as they will to a large degree, we'll have a better picture of how the race stands," adds Brown.

According to the survey, 50 percent disapprove of the job President Barack Obama's doing in the White House, with 46 percent saying they approve of his performance. The president's approval rating is up six points from June, with disapproval down four points.

The Quinnipiac University poll was conducted July 22-27, with 969 Florida registered voters questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus 3.2 percentage points.

–Follow Paul Steinhauser on Twitter: @psteinhausercnn


Filed under: 2010 • Charlie Crist • Florida • Jeff Greene • Kendrick Meek • Marco Rubio
soundoff (22 Responses)
  1. Dave Harris

    It would be nice to have a senator who's not "marching in lockstep" with the degenerate Republican Party. His crime, according to Republicans, was not professing enough hatred of Obama. It'll serve them right to lose the seat.

    July 30, 2010 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  2. Wayne

    Go Charlie Go!
    signed...a liberal democrat!

    July 30, 2010 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  3. BeanerECMO

    Here comes a dem in indy clothing.

    July 30, 2010 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  4. GL

    I am sorry but I am a Dems and black that is rooting for Charlie Crist. I don't know much about Meek other then he is black and a democrat. Charlie Crist is just the type of Republicans we need in Washington that will work across the ailed.

    July 30, 2010 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  5. GL

    According to the poll, 53 percent of Florida voters approve of the job Crist is doing as governor, with 37 percent saying they disapprove.. Crist is the man!

    July 30, 2010 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  6. DJ in TX

    Go Charlie. He's the only sane one in the bunch. And I'm registered Democrat, but I'm changing to independent. Rubio and Meek are on teh fringes of both sides, which is bad for America. We need more independent people who aren't ideological. More people who can think for themselves and buck their party from time to time. That's from either side.

    July 30, 2010 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  7. vic

    Good News we need politician like Charlie Crist in senate we don’t need tea party caucus in senate

    July 30, 2010 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  8. Meg from Iowa

    The people of Florida are starting to see how scary Rubio is with his far right agenda!

    Independents will never move all the way to the right! Never gonna happen, they are too smart.

    July 30, 2010 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  9. works for me

    Billionaire Greene made his money on the demise of the Real Estate market and off the backs of people who lost everything and continue to do so. Sad state of affairs to have scum like this running for anything.

    July 30, 2010 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  10. Pragmatic

    Did you know that Rubio billed the party for more than $100,000 during the two years he served as House speaker, according to credit card statements?

    The charges included repairs to the family minivan, grocery bills, plane tickets for his wife, and purchases from retailers ranging from a wine store near his home to Apple's on-line store.

    Rubio also charged the party for dozens of meals during the annual lawmaking session in Tallahassee, even though he received taxpayer subsidies for his meals.

    Asked he needed to amend his tax returns to reflect any party money that covered his personal expenses, Rubio said, "We don't believe it's income... bet that excuse wouldn't work on the IRS for me!

    That doesn't even cover his ethical lapses when in the FL state Legislature! but 33% of the GOP doesn't seem to mind ... they'd vote for a bag of fertilizer labeled "Conservative Republican" ...

    July 30, 2010 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  11. G

    Crist is a good guy, hope that he wins. We need more independents in congress.

    July 30, 2010 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  12. Sonny Girard

    What's missing in this article is the dupliciousness of Charlie Crist, who vowed to back the Republican primary choice only weeks before breaking that promise and is using Republican money to fight the party's candidate. Can you trust someone who lies so blatantly?

    July 30, 2010 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  13. David in Houston

    I really like Christ. He seems like a stand-up guy.

    July 30, 2010 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  14. Orlando Patriot

    Just keep in mind that Crist would sell his mother if needed to get elected. He is the epitome of what is corrupt and wrong with our current government and representatives. Remember, over the course of two years he was against offshore drilling, then changed his mind to be FOR offshore drilling, and is now AGAINST offshore drilling again. If you want a career politician that will lie and not have any moral fiber in his decisions and will vote ONLY for what is best in the polls then you are part of the problem.

    We MUST have a government that has some credibility and the fortitude to stand up for their values. Crist needs to go (along with EVERY current member of Congress AND this corrupt and immoral president) and need to start over.

    If you vote for Crist then you are voting for "politics as usual" where Crist would just as soon stab you in the back if it benefited HIS political career......

    July 30, 2010 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  15. Sonny Girard

    Crist should be honest and just run in the Democrat primary. Let's have truth in advertising from Florida's Arlen Specter.

    July 30, 2010 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  16. Givemeabreak!!!

    Charlie's the winner all the way !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    July 30, 2010 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  17. Adalbert

    He should be on the top. He is by far the best for Florida today.

    July 30, 2010 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  18. thor

    Charlie Crist is just another Arlan Spector and is the only hope for the Dems in Florida.in Nov.

    July 30, 2010 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  19. Bob of Lompoc

    Liberal Dem here: Thank God for the over the top ego of RightWingNut Rubio. Republicans had this seat tied up until he came along. Whew! Saved once again by Republicans shooting themselves in the foot.

    July 30, 2010 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  20. Randolph Carter, I'm no expert, but...

    Crist is on top in a 3-way? Sorry, it was just too easy! Have a nice day!

    July 30, 2010 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  21. NYC REPUB

    The Republican-Tea Party must be stopped!!! Governor Crist is the best candidate for the Senate, as he can truly work with reasonable people from both parties.

    July 30, 2010 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  22. T'SAH from Virginia

    CRIST will win this race!!! He separated himself – or rather he was FORCED – from the far-right LUNATICS and it's going to PAY OFF. He was painted a traitor just for communicating with our President – That is NOT American and the American people realize it!!

    July 30, 2010 10:58 am at 10:58 am |