September 29th, 2010
04:32 PM ET
12 years ago

CNN/Time Poll: Rubio opens Senate lead while governor's race stays a dead heat

(CNN) - Republican Marco Rubio has taken the lead in Florida's three-way battle for the Senate, according to a new poll. The CNN/Time/Opinion Research Corporation survey also indicates that the state's gubernatorial battle is dead even.

According to the poll, released Wednesday, 42 percent of likely voters in the Sunshine State now support Rubio, the former Florida House speaker. Thirty-one percent are backing Gov. Charlie Crist, who earlier this year dropped his bid for the GOP nomination and announced he would run for the Senate as an independent candidate.

Full results (pdf)

Twenty-three percent of people questioned say if the election were held today, they'd vote for Rep. Kendrick Meek, the Democratic nominee, with another three percent undecided.

Crist led the three-way contest in most state polls conducted over the summer, but Rubio has been on top in every survey conducted this month.

The CNN/Time survey indicates Rubio leads Crist 38 to 31 percent among a larger sampling of registered voters, with Meek at 25 percent. Rubio's seven-point margin is up from a two-point advantage in a CNN/Time poll conducted at the beginning of the month.

"Crist had a lead among independents at the start of the month, but Rubio now appears to have the edge among this key group," CNN Polling Director Keating Holland said.

"And with Meek holding a majority of the vote among Democrats, that narrows Crist's options heading into the final turn."

The winner in November will succeed GOP Sen. George LeMieux, who was named last year by Crist to succeed fellow Republican Mel Martinez, who stepped down from the Senate.

In the battle to succeed Crist as governor, the poll indicates that 47 percent of likely voters back Republican nominee Rick Scott, with 45 percent backing Democratic nominee Alex Sink.

Scott, a millionaire former health care executive, topped Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum in last month's GOP primary. Sink, the state's chief financial officer, faced no serious opposition in the Democratic primary.

Among all registered voters, the CNN/Time poll indicates Sink holds a one-point advantage, down from seven points earlier this month.

According to the poll, 50 percent of independent voters likely to cast ballots in the general election say they back Scott, with 37 percent supporting Sink.

"But the real surprise is the lack of a gender gap in this race," Holland said.

"Despite the fact that a Democratic woman is facing a Republican man, there is little or no difference between men and women voters. Sink may need to make a better effort to introduce herself to women voters in Florida."

The CNN/Time/Opinion Research Corporation poll was conducted Sept. 24-28, with 1,505 adults, including 1,352 registered voters in Florida and 786 likely voters, questioned by telephone.

The survey's sampling error is plus or minus 2.5 percentage points for registered voters and plus or minus 3.5 percentage points for likely voters.

- CNN Deputy Political Director Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report

Filed under: 2010 • CNN Polls • CNN/Time poll • Florida • Polls
soundoff (10 Responses)
  1. T'SAH from Virginia

    Meek will pull out and all of his votes will go to CRIST!!! I like Meek but it is getting obvious he cannot pull it off!!

    September 29, 2010 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  2. jim

    Sink has started to turn negative in her campaign ads and therfore will turn voters off.Sorry for voters in Florida as well as the rest of the country as voters wiil have to listen to negative personel attacks by dems because the issues they support aren't favored by most Americans.Since they can't discusss the issues they have to resort to personal attacks and hope they can distract the voters from what matters.

    September 29, 2010 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  3. vic, Nashville TN

    Florida in 2000 Florida again in 2010

    September 29, 2010 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  4. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Rubio will be no more than a yes man in Washington which means Florida really won't have a Senator to represent them. I'd think long and hard before I'd put him in Washington, they are going to wipe his face with his baggage and then put the rag in his mouth.

    September 29, 2010 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  5. worksforme

    Just how could this be accurate? Just how could a state even consider a true crook like Scott. Are they really that stupid or just too lazy to do a little research. This guy bilked billions of Medicare money. Why would someone spend over $50m of their own money just to get nominated? He plainly sees a pot of gold at the end the Florida rainbow. This guy is a fukina crook... plain and simple!!

    September 29, 2010 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  6. King

    Christ and meeks need compromise and decide who is going to run against rubio because the country definately dont need a bagger to shut down the government. Because any repugs that vote with the president they will be fired.

    September 29, 2010 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  7. malabar

    reading dem comments on here, one wuld think we all live in concentration camps and get fed once a week. guess we know who didn't get a call back from Glee or Days of Our Lives. friggin' drama queens. anyway, Rubio's too cute not to win

    September 29, 2010 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  8. XWngLady

    I follow national and local political races pretty closely and I didn't know that Alex Sink was a woman....she probably does need to make more of an effort to introduce herself to women....I loathe the idea of the Democratic candidate having to drop out of the race, but I abhor the idea of Rubio as the Senator from Florida even more!!!!!!!.....Crist would be a slightly less horrible option.

    September 29, 2010 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
  9. Creekdad

    I actually liked Crist, I voted for him for Gov. But before he announced he was going to run as an independent, in a tv interview I saw, he was asked point blank by the host if he were to lose the Republican primary would he switch parties to run independent. He said "no". (Foxnews Sunday on March 28, 2010) So he lied straight out to his current constituents and those who supported him in the Republican Senate race against Rubio. That is a deal breaker for me! If he was thinking of running as an independent then he should have told us so in the interview! I know that would have been detrimental to his race, but lying to your supporters is 10 times worse!

    September 29, 2010 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm |
  10. Anonymous

    I haven't heard a thing Rubio is going to do for florida other than tell me he's gonna say no anything Obama is putting on the table..

    October 3, 2010 12:10 am at 12:10 am |