[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/08/29/art.meek.crist.2shot.0829.gi.jpg caption ="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.
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