I figured Rubio would catch him eventually as his name recognition grew, but 11 months before the election? When his opponent is the incumbent governor?
Crist’s support has fallen from 53% in August to 49% in October. Rasmussen Reports noted at the time, “The fact that Crist has fallen below 50% in a primary against a lesser known opponent suggests potential vulnerability.”
Rubio’s name recognition has grown in recent months and he is now viewed Very Favorably by 34% of Likely Primary Voters. That’s up from 18% in August. As his name recognition increased, Rubio’s support in the polls has jumped from 31% in August to 43% today.
Crist, well known throughout the state, has seen his ratings go in the opposite direction. Just 19% now have a Very Favorable opinion of him, a figure that represents a double digit decline since August.
Remember, the dKos poll in November of 600 Florida likely voters had Crist by 10, with 26 percent saying they view Crist “very favorably” compared to just 10 percent for Rubio. Behold the numbers a month later. Even when Crist was leading, Kos argued that he was a sitting duck in a closed primary against a tea-party hero like Rubio and would eventually either have to switch to the Democrats a la Specter or run as an independent and take his chances in a three-way race. It’s hard to see how he wins in the latter scenario with conservatives united behind Rubio, so I assume a switch is in the offing sometime soon. The question is whether Obama and the DNC will back Crist over the current Democratic frontrunner, Kendrick Meek. Given that Rubio already led Meek head to head in the dKos poll last month, I assume they will, which means the left will be asked to go to the polls for not one but two opportunistic RINOs turned DINOs in next year’s Senate races. Exit question: Whom will McCain endorse? Crist helped swing the Florida primary to him last year, don’t forget.