[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/06/15/art.meek.042810.jpg caption ="If Florida Democrats vote for Rep. Kendrick Meek (pictured), will Republican Marco Rubio win the Senate race?"](CNN) - A new poll out of Florida highlights a predicament facing the state's Democrats: will voting for their party's candidate ensure a victory for the Republican?
According to a new Reuters/Ipsos poll released Thursday, Republican former state House Speaker Marco Rubio holds a 40 to 26 percent lead among likely voters over Gov. Charlie Crist, who is running as an independent after abandoning his bid for the Republican Party's nomination earlier this year. Democratic Rep. Kendrick Meek trails behind with 21 points, while 13 percent remain undecided.
Among registered voters, the race is statistically tied - 32 percent for Rubio, 29 for Crist, with Meek trailing at 22 percent.
But when asked whom they'd choose if Meek were not in the race, likely voters were statistically deadlocked, with 46 percent choosing Rubio and 45 percent picking Crist. When registered voters were asked who they'd choose between the two frontrunners, the results swung heavily in Crist's favor - he lead Rubio 50 percent to 38 percent.
The Reuters/Ipsos poll surveyed 600 registered voters, 486 of which were identified as likely voters. Questions asked to all registered voters carry a sampling error of 4 percentage points, while questions asked to the likely voters have a sampling error of 4.6 points. The survey was conducted September 10-12.
The results are similiar to that of a recent CNN/Time/Opinion Research Corporation survey released last week showing Rubio and Crist are tied among registered voters (36 percent back Rubio with 34 percent supporting Crist. Meek took a distant third with 24 percent).