September 8th, 2010
04:14 PM ET
4 years ago

CNN/Time Poll: Heated battle for Florida Senate

Charlie Crist and Kendrick Meek are part of a close three way race for Senate in Florida.
Charlie Crist and Kendrick Meek are part of a close three way race for Senate in Florida.

(CNN) - A new poll indicates that the three way-battle for Florida's open Senate seat, arguably the most fascinating Senate contest this year, is deadlocked at the top.

And according to a CNN/Time/Opinion Research Corporation survey of registered voters in Florida, the Democrat holds a seven point advantage in the gubernatorial fight.

Full results (pdf)

In the Senate contest, 36 percent of people questioned say they support Republican nominee and former Florida House Speaker Marco Rubio, with 34 percent backing Republican Gov. Charlie Crist, who earlier this year dropped his bid for the GOP Senate nomination and is now running as an independent candidate. Twenty-four percent say if the election were held today, they'd vote for Rep. Kendrick Meek, the Democratic nominee, with three percent saying they vote for none of the candidates and three percent holding no opinion.

"A three-way race is producing a three-way split among Florida voters," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "Meek wins majority support among Democrats while Rubio picks up seven in ten Republicans. Among Independents, it's Crist with 45 percent, distantly followed by Rubio with 29 percent and Meek with only 16 percent of Independents."

The survey also indicates a geographical divide.

"Crist is doing best in the Tampa Bay area and along the southern Gulf Coast. Meek does best in the Miami area. Rubio's best region is the northern part of the state, including the Panhandle."

The winner will succeed GOP Sen. George LeMieux, who was named to replace fellow Republican Mel Martinez, who stepped down from his seat last year.

With Crist running for the Senate instead of bidding for a second term as governor, the gubernatorial contest is for an open seat. The poll indicates that Florida Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink, the Democratic nominee, has an edge over GOP nominee Rick Scott 49 to 42 percent.

"Sink is doing well among independents and moderate voters. She pulls two-thirds of the vote among moderates, and beats Scott among independents by a 50 to 37 percent margin," says Holland.

Scott, a multi-millionaire former health care executive, spent around $50 million to top Florida Attorney General and former Rep. Bill McCollum in what turned into a bitter primary.

Bud Chiles, the son of former Florida Democratic governor and senator Lawton Chiles, recently dropped his independent bid for governor.

The CNN/Time/Opinion Research Corporation poll was conducted September 2-7, with 899 registered voters in Florida questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.

– CNN Deputy Political Director Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report


Filed under: 2010 • CNN Polls • Florida • Polls
soundoff (15 Responses)
  1. leo PA

    Go meek..................

    September 8, 2010 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  2. Lori in St Pete

    Actually, Bud Chiles, the son of the late Florida Democratic governor and senator Lawton Chiles. Governor Chiles died while "on the treadmill" several weeks after the brother of the previous occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue "won" the 1998 election.

    September 8, 2010 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  3. Lori in St Pete

    Actually, Bud Chiles is the son of the late Florida Democratic governor and senator Lawton Chiles. Governor Chiles died while "on the treadmill" several weeks after the brother of the previous occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue "won" the 1998 election.

    September 8, 2010 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  4. Orlando Patriot

    Just remember: Charlie Crist would sell his mother for a vote and sell his children if a poll told him it would benefit him. Do you want a chameleon with no moral value or character as your senator? I think not........

    September 8, 2010 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  5. Marty, FL

    Independent Democrats & Republicans in FL should understand Gov. Crist has a serious chance to win against far-right Rubio and be our first Independent US Senator from FL.

    As much as I like Rep. Meek, he does not appear to have a chance to win, consistently falling low in the polls. A vote for Meek would unfortunately be a vote for Rubio.

    Please put Floridians first above partisan politics. Go Crist!

    September 8, 2010 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  6. Marty, FL

    Great to see fellow Floridians understanding Alex Sink is our best choice for governor, not Medicare-fraud Rick Scott.

    Alex Sink has successful executive experience, and she is a moderate for all affiliations.

    iViva Alex!

    September 8, 2010 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  7. Sniffit

    I think I'd prefer Meek, but I can't deny getting all excited about the possibility of Crist throwing turds in the GOP's extremist nutjob faces....tantrum throwing demagogue buffoons.

    September 8, 2010 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  8. Republicans gone wild!!

    Don't trust or vote for Christ...... he's another Joe Lieberman!

    September 8, 2010 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  9. Ted

    Who cares? AT least they don't seem to have any delusionary fanatics from the teabag party down there.

    September 8, 2010 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  10. annie s

    Orlando Patriot, I would take Godzilla over Mr. Rubio, so in answer to your question, if the polls show that Meek can not win, my vote will go to Christ.

    September 8, 2010 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  11. Willy Brown

    the 2 democrats Crist & Meeks will be beat by the republican this fall.

    September 8, 2010 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  12. Eli

    If two big lib organizations have Rubio up by two then it's probably closer to four points.

    September 8, 2010 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  13. JMD

    hehe heh heh – when Rubio loses (and he will), watch the Tea Party extremists fizzle out.....

    September 8, 2010 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  14. Anonymous

    Who conducted this Poll - Kief Oberdork? It's not even close and you know it. The Democrat loses and loses big, even with two Republicans in the race, and you liberals at CNN can't stand it.

    September 8, 2010 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  15. jim

    There are not a whole bunch of political differences between Crist and Meek.Flip a coin and then vote for Rubio.

    September 8, 2010 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |