October 20th, 2010
04:30 PM ET
12 years ago

CNN/Time Poll: Rubio increases lead in Florida Senate race

(CNN) - Marco Rubio is widening his lead in the battle for an open Senate seat in Florida, according to a new poll.

A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Wednesday also indicates that the state's gubernatorial battle is deadlocked.

Forty-six percent of likely voters questioned in the poll say if the election were held today, they'd vote for Rubio, the former Florida House Speaker and the Republican's Senate nominee, with 32 percent saying they'd vote for Gov. Charlie Crist, a Republican who earlier this year dropped his bid for the GOP nomination and announced he would run for the Senate as an independent candidate, and one in five saying they'd cast ballots for Rep. Kendrick Meek, the Democrats' nominee.

Rubio's 14 point lead is up from an 11 point advantage in a CNN/Time/Opinion Research Corporation poll conducted late last month. Crist led the three-way contest in most state polls conducted over the summer, but Rubio has been on top in every survey conducted since the start of September.

Among the larger sampling of all registered voters, Rubio holds a 39 to 32 percent advantage over Crist, with Meek remaining at 23 percent.

The poll indicates that 51 percent of Democrats support Meek, with 44 percent backing Crist. Eighty-seven percent of Republicans support Rubio, with 11 percent backing Crist. According to the survey, 44 percent of independent voters support Rubio, with four in ten backing Crist and 13 percent backing Meek.

"Crist has a six-point margin among moderates, but Rubio is up by four points among independents," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "What's the difference? About four in ten voters who support the Tea Party call themselves independents, and Rubio has an eight-to-one lead among that group."

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 49 percent of likely voters back Republican nominee Rick Scott, with 46 percent backing Democratic nominee Alex Sink. Scott's three point advantage is within the poll's sampling error. Last month Scott held a two point advantage over Sink.

Among the larger sampling of all registered voters, the survey indicates that Sink has a 49 to 44 percent advantage.

"Alex Sink continues to pull much lower numbers among women than you would expect for a Democratic woman running against a Republican man," says Holland. "Sink has a 49 percent to 44 percent margin over Scott, but women usually fare much better than that among female voters. Her strength is among lower-income voters - she has a ten-point lead among voters who make less than $50,000 a year."

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.

According to the survey, 55 percent of likely voters in Florida disapprove of the job President Barack Obama's doing in the White House, with 41 percent saying they approve of how he's handling his duties. The president's approval rating rises to 44 percent among a wider sampling of all Sunshine state adults, with 48 percent saying they disapprove.

The CNN/Time/Opinion Research Corporation poll was conducted October 15-19, with 1,505 adults in Florida, including 1,333 registered voters and 798 likely voters questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus 2.5 percentage points, with a sampling error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points for likely voters.

- CNN Deputy Political Director Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report

Full results (pdf)

Filed under: 2010 • Charlie Crist • CNN/Time poll • Florida • Kendrick Meek • Marco Rubio • Polls
soundoff (11 Responses)
  1. Steve (the real one)

    Interestling how liberals keep whining about polls and then there is the standard" nobody polled me". History lesson for you. There were polls from everywhere and everyday during the last 2 Bush years and yes, right here on CNN.com! Guess what? Nobody called me either! Deal with it! You can't handle it, then stop reading and stop responding! Otherwise, that is how election cycles work!

    October 20, 2010 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  2. Riley

    I live in Fliorda and am proud to cast a vote for Rubio. Crist is a joke. He has changed his position on EVERY issue. Meek is simply too liberal for this state. Rubio is the clear choice.

    October 20, 2010 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  3. stufthis

    I cannot believe Floridians would support Rubio and the bagger agenda. He has a shady background, and has promised to raise the age to collect social security. His tax cuts for the wealthy would add $3 trillion more to the national debt. But, I know that billionaires have put a lot of money into his campaign. Since a lot of Floridians are retired and are veterans, I would only say, "watch your wallet if Rubio is elected."

    October 20, 2010 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  4. Anonymous

    Ha rubio and others like him will run the state into the ground...a clear choice you say, yea this coming from the state that handed this country over to the bush administration after a crooked recount perpetrated by top florida republicans...thanks to your incompetence we have the mess were in now, you know what's best for your state yo don't even have a clue

    October 20, 2010 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  5. Monster Zero

    I believe that the count on the Bush/Gore runoff was correct, but if you want to talk about crooked and corrupt tactics, Democrats can surely enlighten us all. There are numerous subdivisions constructed here in Florida now that are completely vacant, during the Obama 2008 election it was evidenced that miraculously the tax rolls were full of people with addresses in these vacant subdivisions, hmmmmm, kind of like graveyards and jails, perfect Democratic Party recruiting grounds. Ruibo will win as will Rick Scott, then we can start the tearing down of the over burdensome bureaucracy. Do you realize that in Florida we have the FDEP, (5) Water Management District, the local municipality and the Fed (USACOE) to deal with if we wish to impact a wetland or endangered specie? Time for a public sector gutting we cannot afford to pay for their pension's and paychecks any longer in their effort to thwart commerce.

    October 20, 2010 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  6. Dale

    When you look at the pole a majority of voters do not want Rubio. That's not a win, it's luck

    October 20, 2010 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  7. Jess C

    Sorry to hear this, Florida. But, don't hang on the polls; they're generally pretty wrong. They likely poll people who are at home during the day with phone lines. Not exactly an unbiased demographic.

    October 20, 2010 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  8. Chad from Tampa

    Rubio is the MAN!

    October 20, 2010 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  9. GOP Scorched Earth Politics

    Sorry but Meek needs to drop-out and Crist get set-up to switch to the Dem's. Just face it GOP – there is no place for moderates any longer in your fruitloop-hijacked new agenda.

    October 20, 2010 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  10. 13 Days until Socialism dies in the United States

    GO GO RUBIO!! Beat both of those DemocRATS! Florida, just say NO to Obozo rubber stampers and YES to Rubio!

    October 20, 2010 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  11. Ed Fl

    If Rubio wins the CUTIE PIE CUBAN'S mentors from the C st den of wierdo GOP politicians will make him their pet. those old GOP'ers have a long weird history for newcomers that move into their GRASP. Have Fun it might not last long.

    October 20, 2010 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |