Poll: Florida's Crist at 50% in possible comeback
March 20th, 2013
09:47 AM ET
2 years ago

Poll: Florida's Crist at 50% in possible comeback

(CNN) - Could it be back to the future for former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist?

That's the suggestion from a new poll, which indicates the Republican turned Democrat is leading the Sunshine State's current GOP governor in a hypothetical 2014 election showdown.

According to a Quinnipiac University poll, 50% of Florida registered voters say they would back Crist, running as a Democrat, with 34% supporting Gov. Rick Scott, if next year's gubernatorial contest was held today.

And the survey indicates that half of Florida voters say Crist's switch from Republican to independent and now to Democrat is a positive thing that shows he's a pragmatist, with four in ten saying it's a negative move which shows he lacks core beliefs.

Crist, then a Republican, won election as governor in 2006. Three years later he decided to run for the Senate in 2010 rather than make a bid for re-election as governor. At first he was the overwhelming favorite in the race, but thanks in part to his 2009 embrace of President Barack Obama at an event pushing the federal stimulus, which was despised by many Republicans, Crist fell far behind one time long-shot former state lawmaker Marco Rubio by the end of the year.

Crist then left the GOP and ran for the Senate as an independent, in a three-way contest that was won by Rubio. Last year he backed Obama in the presidential election, spoke at the Democratic National Convention, and late last year officially changed his party affiliation to Democrat, a big signal that he was interested in running for governor in 2014.

"I didn't leave the Republican Party, the Republican Party left me," Crist said on CNN's "Piers Morgan Tonight," at the time, repeating a line he used at the Democratic National Convention. "Issue after issue they seem to get more strident and more difficult."

"The fact that voters think it's an asset that former Gov. Charlie Crist moved from conservative Republican to a Democrat with very different political views will be a key metric to watch between now and the 2014 voting," says Quinnipiac University Polling Institute assistant director Peter Brown. "These numbers indicate Republicans will have a tough job turning around Crist's lead over Scott by reminding voters of Crist's evolution."

The Quinnipiac poll also indicates that Alex Sink, who as the state's chief financial officer, lost to Scott in the 2010 election, leads him 45%-34% in a hypothetical rematch.

Only 32% say that Scott deserves a second term in office and only 36% say they approve of the job he's doing as governor.

The Quinnipiac University poll was conducted March 13-18, with 1,000 registered voters in Florida questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.

CNN's Ashley Killough contributed to this report


Filed under: Charlie Crist • Florida
soundoff (43 Responses)
  1. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Florida kicked Crist to the curb in order to elect I am Legend, who indulges in fraud and voter suppression among his many baser skills.

    March 20, 2013 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  2. Al-NY,NY

    screams of "RINO" were heard when he left to become an Independent. Now it will be "librul soshulist"....the GOP is pathetic

    March 20, 2013 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  3. Malory Archer

    Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Why did the people of Florida,who have his back, let this man be crucified simply for shaking the hand of the President of the United States?

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Because the state is full of old people who are easily frightened, and they do nothing all day except listen to reichwing radio bloviators and tv screaming heads who tell them the "libruls" are going to turn them to soilent green. Skeletor spent a gazillion of his own money (actually it was taxpayer dollars that he stole from Medicare through his HCA corporation) to buy the state!

    March 20, 2013 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  4. Joi Gibson

    Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Why did the people of Florida,who have his back, let this man be crucified simply for shaking the hand of the President of the United States?
    Crist is a good man with a D, R or I after his name. That's a rare find.
    March 20, 2013 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
    ___________________________________________________________________
    Because, unfortunately, in off years, most folks do not pay attention and that left Charlie swinging in the wind and we wound up with Lurch. I am with Mallory Archer!

    March 20, 2013 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  5. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    Being a moderate is the "In" thing republicans. Take notes.

    March 20, 2013 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  6. Malory Archer

    Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Florida kicked Crist to the curb in order to elect I am Legend, who indulges in fraud and voter suppression among his many baser skills.

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Actually, he didn't run for a second term so he could run for the Senate seat that went to anchor baby. Unfortunately, anchor baby had the backing of the bush crime family, the koch crime family and a whole host of Miami cubans, and managed to barely eek out a win.

    March 20, 2013 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  7. jkane sfl the gop national disgrace party will be swept out like the trash they are in2014 ?

    The cript keeper look a like Scott will be a one term govenor just like romney the gop tax cheat, time to clean house of all gop teaparty trash down here in Florida.

    March 20, 2013 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  8. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    @ Mallory Archer and Joi Gibson:
    Tsk, tsk then.
    Frightening to see that in this case old age and wisdom came to a parting of the ways.
    I quite agree that in "off years" folks do not pay attention. I used to be one of those (ashamed to say).
    Votes DO have consequences as well as APATHY.

    March 20, 2013 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  9. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Actually, he didn't run for a second term so he could run for the Senate seat that went to anchor baby. Unfortunately, anchor baby had the backing of the bush crime family, the koch crime family and a whole host of Miami cubans, and managed to barely eek out a win
    -------------------------------------------------
    I remember that now,thanks.

    March 20, 2013 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  10. Jinx9to88

    There will be alot of GOP scrubs losing their seat in 2014.

    March 20, 2013 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  11. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Well Mallory, Joi and my cousin Jackie in Florida, it looks like you guys have a chance to "right a wrong" so to speak. You get a "do-over" of sorts.
    Please don't pull a South Kakalakee who looks as if they .
    Do the right thing!

    March 20, 2013 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  12. Colorado

    This is just the beginning. As the GOP becomes more extreme I think we'll see a whole bunch of "moderate" republicans jumping ship. Can't wait for all those "I have searched my soul...." speeches.

    March 20, 2013 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  13. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Didn't finish my previous post CNN:
    Please don't pull a South Kakalakee who looks as if they might actually re-elect their disgraced ex-Governor to public office...again!
    Do the right thing!

    March 20, 2013 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  14. Name lynn

    What is really going on in florida its crazy both ways. Is it a curse or what the republicans and the democrates, what the heck.

    March 20, 2013 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  15. Lynda/Minnesota

    "Been there, done that Chris Christie."

    Oh, boy. Did I just foretell the future of Chris Christie?
    Oh, well. I meant Charlie Christ of course.

    All these Paul's and Chris' and Rand's do get confusing.

    March 20, 2013 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  16. Joi Gibson

    @ Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Didn't finish my previous post CNN:
    Please don't pull a South Kakalakee who looks as if they might actually re-elect their disgraced ex-Governor to public office...again!
    Do the right thing!
    March 20, 2013 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
    ------------------------------------
    Believe me, if I have to stand in line for ten hours, I will vote Lurch and his beady eyes right out to BFE.

    March 20, 2013 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  17. Rick McDaniel

    Not much of a leader, if he has to switch parties to run.

    March 20, 2013 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  18. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    @ Joi Gibson
    Believe me, if I have to stand in line for ten hours, I will vote Lurch and his beady eyes right out to BFE
    -------------------------------------------------
    LOL!!!

    March 20, 2013 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
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