Rasmussen: Debate damaged Crist

posted at 11:36 am on April 12, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

How did that televised debate between Charlie Crist and Marco Rubio work out for Florida’s embattled governor?  He needed a Hail Mary to put a dent into Rubio’s overwhelming lead, or at least establish himself as an attractive enough candidate to launch an independent bid for Senator.  Instead, Rasmussen’s latest survey shows that Crist may have done near-fatal damage to both efforts (via Twitter follower Randy Scudder):

Support for Florida Governor Charlie Crist’s U.S. Senate bid has fallen this month to its lowest level yet. Just 28% of the state’s likely Republican voters support his candidacy now, down six points from March.

The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of likely GOP Primary voters in the Sunshine State shows former state House Speaker Marco Rubio edging up a point from last month to 57%, his highest level of support to date. Three percent (3%) like some other candidate in the race, and 12% are undecided.

Republican Primary voters see Rubio as a stronger candidate than Crist in the General Election. Eighty-one percent (81%) say Rubio would be at least Somewhat Likely to win if nominated while just 63% say the same of Crist. Those figures include 53% who say Rubio would be Very Likely to win and 30% who see Crist as Very Likely to win.

The crosstabs only relate to GOP primary voters, so their analytical value is somewhat limited. Crist only wins three demographics, and those only by pluralities: self-described moderates, liberals, and wage earners who make less that $20K per year. Otherwise it’s a complete shutout for Marco Rubio, mostly by large majorities. Oddly, even with this, Crist still has a majority of respondents giving him favorable job-approval numbers, suggesting that his political career may not be permanently damaged by this embarrassing episode.

Three weeks ago, Ramussen had Rubio handily winning a three-way race in the general election, with both Crist and Kendrick Meeks losing by twenty points or more to Rubio. This doesn’t appear to have changed much, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see Crist falling even further back than his 22% after the debate. George Will delivered something of a coup de grace yesterday:

A recent debate on “Fox News Sunday” illustrated the differences between the few politicians who are, and the many who are not, willing to face facts. Marco Rubio, the former speaker of Florida’s House of Representatives who is challenging Gov. Charles Crist for the Republican U.S. Senate nomination, made news by stating the obvious.

Asked how the nation might address the projected $17.5 trillion in unfunded Social Security liabilities, Rubio said that we should consider two changes for people 10 or more years from retirement. One would raise the retirement age. The other would alter the calculation of benefits: Indexing them to inflation rather than wage increases would substantially reduce the system’s unfunded liabilities.

Neither idea startles any serious person. But Crist, with the reflex of the unreflective, rejected both and said that he would fix Social Security by eliminating “waste” and “fraud,” of which there is little. The system’s problems are the result not of incompetent administration but of improvident promises made by Congress.

Synthetic indignation being the first refuge of political featherweights, Crist’s campaign announced that he believes Rubio’s suggestions are “cruel, unusual and unfair to seniors living on a fixed income.” They are indeed unusual, because flinching from the facts of the coming entitlements crisis is the default position of all but a responsible few, such as Wisconsin’s Rep. Paul Ryan, who has endorsed Rubio. What is ultimately cruel is Crist’s unserious pretense that America faces only palatable choices and that improvident promises can be fully funded with money currently lost to waste and fraud.

In other words, Crist has accomplished something amazing: he made a sitting governor into an empty suit, and the insurgent into the voice of wisdom. He couldn’t do more to lose this race if he tried.


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Crist only wins three demographics, and those only by pluralities: self-described moderates, liberals, and wage earners who make less that $20K per year.

so, he’s got the Peggy the Moocher and Julio the burger flipper vote locked up.

Good luck with that Charlie.

ted c on April 12, 2010 at 11:39 AM

Seems like this is over analyzed on a daily basis.

Rubio is simply a superior candidate over Crist – plain and simple.

jake-the-goose on April 12, 2010 at 11:40 AM

It is finished.

Abby Adams on April 12, 2010 at 11:40 AM

Once Rubio showed off his slick waxed back, Crist was done.

Akzed on April 12, 2010 at 11:40 AM

Sounds just like Obama. I’ll fix the waste and fraud. I’ll close the loopholes. Presto! Nirvana ensues.

John the Libertarian on April 12, 2010 at 11:41 AM

Oompa
Loompa
Duple-dee dawesome

Crist is losing
Which is to-ta-lly awesome

blatantblue on April 12, 2010 at 11:42 AM

OT: I think Paul Ryan won over Beck. Way to go Ryan!

deidre on April 12, 2010 at 11:45 AM

Crist was toast(electorally, not pigmentally) the moment he said in that debate that he would’ve voted for Porkulus had he been in the Senate in early 2009. To me, that’s even worse than the infamous Obama hug.

This is an opportunity after it’s become clear to all but 6% of the country according to one poll that the legislation is a complete bust to backtrack and admit he made a mistake(ala Mittens with Romneycare) and instead he doubles down. He deserves to get smoked.

Doughboy on April 12, 2010 at 11:45 AM

But Crist, with the reflex of the unreflective, rejected both and said that he would fix Social Security by eliminating “waste” and “fraud,” of which there is little.

Since the entire SS program is a Ponzi scheme, it is entirely fraudulent.

BobMbx on April 12, 2010 at 11:48 AM

Waste and fraud in SS? He might try taking a peek at Medicaid.

katy the mean old lady on April 12, 2010 at 11:49 AM

Crist is losing
Which is to-ta-lly awesome

blatantblue on April 12, 2010 at 11:42 AM

Yes it is! Been working my aged behind off for Rubio. He is one class act!

katy the mean old lady on April 12, 2010 at 11:51 AM

Waste and fraud in SS? He might try taking a peek at Medicaid.

katy the mean old lady on April 12, 2010 at 11:49 AM

The “waste and fraud” line is the same BS Obama and the Dems used to try and sell the health care bill. It’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard. If we could save hundreds of billions by eliminating waste and fraud, why in God’s name haven’t we done it yet?!

Doughboy on April 12, 2010 at 11:51 AM

ted c on April 12, 2010 at 11:39 AM

Don’t forget “Pookie”…that is if you can get him off the couch….(snort).

milwife88 on April 12, 2010 at 11:51 AM

Palin, Rubio, Christie, 2012…..God love’em. I have never been so proud of being a conservative.

Dan Pet on April 12, 2010 at 11:54 AM

Yes it is! Been working my aged behind off for Rubio. He is one class act!

katy the mean old lady on April 12, 2010 at 11:51 AM

The Orange needs to go. He’s an automatron for the Obarfy’s of the world. I used to try to cut him some slack, but he’s such an opportunist. It’s gross.

blatantblue on April 12, 2010 at 11:56 AM

OT- I just love Paul Ryan! (as does Glenn Beck)

cibolo on April 12, 2010 at 11:56 AM

Rubio himself is about to eliminate waste & fraud –– Charlie Crist!

cartooner on April 12, 2010 at 11:56 AM

Now

Y’all need to support Gary Berntsen.

http://garyforny1.com

Great guy. Born and raised Long Island. Spent 25 years NCS clandestine for CIA, and led CIA special activities in Afghanistan in late Sept 01. Not to mention he hunted the Dar es-Salaam AQ members who blew up the embassies in ’08.

Great guy, and needs nationwide support.

He did all he could for McCain in 08, being his lead veteran’s liason, and now McCain consultants are working for his primary opponents.

blatantblue on April 12, 2010 at 11:58 AM

’08 should read ’98.

apologies

blatantblue on April 12, 2010 at 11:59 AM

blatantblue on April 12, 2010 at 11:58 AM

Met him years ago. Hell of a guy! I think I’ll yank the cat’s allowance and send it.

katy the mean old lady on April 12, 2010 at 12:02 PM

If we could save hundreds of billions by eliminating waste and fraud, why in God’s name haven’t we done it yet?!

Doughboy on April 12, 2010 at 11:51 AM

Better to always have it safe in hand to use as a talking point.

a capella on April 12, 2010 at 12:03 PM

Paul Ryan was great on Glenn Beck.
Rick Santorum/Paul Ryan for 2012. The two of them capture all the big items for 2012….National Security, Social and Economic issues…..
Imagine Obama debating Santorum on a Churchillian narrative with Biden trying to debate Ryan on a 20 trillion dollar defict and trying to reduce it……..The incumbents would be like Dumb and Dumber vs. The Great Debaters………

walker_ro on April 12, 2010 at 12:03 PM

Met him years ago. Hell of a guy! I think I’ll yank the cat’s allowance and send it.

katy the mean old lady on April 12, 2010 at 12:02 PM

Amazing guy. I trust a man like him. You know why?

He talked about the abhorrent monetary waste in the military in our two wars overseas.

He spoke about government waste, municipality waste, AND military waste.

With a son in the military, and with his own military and intel experience that shows me he is TRULY interested in the taxpayer’s welfare.

blatantblue on April 12, 2010 at 12:05 PM

Now it wasn’t an anti war screed. It was about how much money we simply waste.

It shows me he really is interested in financial responsibility and accountability.

blatantblue on April 12, 2010 at 12:06 PM

Wait till Crist hears that there is new video of Sarah Palin saying: I love Marco Rubio, Call me.

Nelsa on April 12, 2010 at 12:07 PM

Is the glass half full or half empty?

Hey folks, this isn’t so much about Crist being a loser, it’s about the PRESSSSident not doesn’t want to give any space in any poll or headline that Rubio is a rising GOP star.

drfredc on April 12, 2010 at 12:07 PM

The time for discussing serious problems and coming up with serious solutions is now. The sooner we get moving the less painful it will be.

Cindy Munford on April 12, 2010 at 12:08 PM

Wait till Crist hears that there is new video of Sarah Palin saying: I love Marco Rubio, Call me.

Nelsa on April 12, 2010 at 12:07 PM

Is Palin the new “Rubio Girl”?

Doughboy on April 12, 2010 at 12:11 PM

That is why challangers always want more debates and the guy who thinks he’s ahead doesn’t.

Putting the better known guy on the same stage with the challenger always lessens the advantage.

petunia on April 12, 2010 at 12:29 PM

Wait till Crist hears that there is new video of Sarah Palin saying: I love Marco Rubio, Call me.

Nelsa on April 12, 2010 at 12:07 PM

Mostly I like Palin and all, but when she does stuff like this it makes it hard for me to see her in the Whitehouse. There is just a lack of seriousness that bothers me.

petunia on April 12, 2010 at 12:31 PM

He did all he could for McCain in 08, being his lead veteran’s liason, and now McCain consultants are working for his primary opponents.

blatantblue on April 12, 2010 at 11:58 AM

Yep. Sounds like the loyalty I’ve grown accustomed too in my dear Senator. He only wins this year because JD is such a nut.

petunia on April 12, 2010 at 12:34 PM

Mostly I like Palin and all, but when she does stuff like this it makes it hard for me to see her in the Whitehouse. There is just a lack of seriousness that bothers me.

petunia on April 12, 2010 at 12:31 PM

What do you consider serious?

katy the mean old lady on April 12, 2010 at 12:43 PM

In other words, Crist has accomplished something amazing: he made a sitting governor into an empty suit, and the insurgent into the voice of wisdom. He couldn’t do more to lose this race if he tried.

He could try insulting tea partiers.

forest on April 12, 2010 at 12:57 PM

It seems to me that Crist’s only hope now is to drop out of the race, endorse and campaign for Rubio, and try to rehabilitate his image for a run against Nelson in 2012.

But that would take good judgement, something he’s shown little of in this race.

irishspy on April 12, 2010 at 1:18 PM

The “waste and fraud” line is the same BS Obama and the Dems used to try and sell the health care bill. It’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard. If we could save hundreds of billions by eliminating waste and fraud, why in God’s name haven’t we done it yet?!

Doughboy on April 12, 2010 at 11:51 AM

And why don’t interviewers ask that question every time some politician falls back on that lame bs, especially with pols that have been around for a while? Could you imagine the comeback question “You mean you haven’t been working on eliminating waste and fraud before now?”

PatMac on April 12, 2010 at 1:29 PM

But that would take good judgement, something he’s shown little of in this race.

irishspy on April 12, 2010 at 1:18 PM

Hell, you should hear the commercials. Stupid doesn’t cover it.

katy the mean old lady on April 12, 2010 at 1:33 PM

If Crist keeps up this stnad by your man routine with Obama, he could damage his entire political future if he hasn’t already. All he did was attack Rubio personally and defend the Stimulus, he looked liked the inexperienced and desperate candidate.

Daemonocracy on April 12, 2010 at 1:37 PM

so, he’s got the Peggy the Moocher and Julio the burger flipper vote locked up.

Good luck with that Charlie.

ted c on April 12, 2010 at 11:39 AM

Probably not Julio the burger flipper, if he’s of Cuban ancestry, like Rubio is!

Who is Peggy the Moocher? Noonan?

Steve Z on April 12, 2010 at 1:50 PM

Squid? Jetboy? Helloooooooooooooo?

Hey, Squid: Wanna tell us about that “Rubio’s lost 20+ points” lie again? LOLOLOLOLOLOL!

crushliberalism on April 12, 2010 at 1:54 PM

Crist was toast(electorally, not pigmentally) the moment he said in that debate that he would’ve voted for Porkulus had he been in the Senate in early 2009. To me, that’s even worse than the infamous Obama hug.

You’re right about that, Doughboy! Crist is trying to become a Republican Senator, and only three Republican Senators voted for Porkulus, one of whom (Specter) is now a Democrat. If Crist wants to be a Republican Senator to replace Martinez, he should vote as Martinez voted, and as did 38 other Republican Senators.

Rubio won that debate on Fox hands down. He’s a very strong debater, with a quick but calm delivery full of common-sense proposals, easily explained so that most voters can understand, without feeling threatened. He’s still young and needs experience, but there’s something Reaganesque about Rubio. If he performs well in the Senate, he could be Presidential material in 2016 (when his term expires), unless a Republican President is running for re-election.

Floridians are lucky to have such a candidate in the Senate race, and they probably know it!

Steve Z on April 12, 2010 at 2:06 PM

hope is fading…

moonbatkiller on April 12, 2010 at 2:16 PM

Rubio said that we should consider two changes for people 10 or more years from retirement. One would raise the retirement age. The other would alter the calculation of benefits: Indexing them to inflation rather than wage increases would substantially reduce the system’s unfunded liabilities.

Crist’s campaign announced that he believes Rubio’s suggestions are “cruel, unusual and unfair to seniors living on a fixed income.”

But if Social Security benefits are indexed to inflation, how would seniors be living on a fixed income? Isn’t this more like a fixed standard of living?

As for raising the retirement age, doesn’t that seem reasonable when the average person lives beyond age 80? Does the Government really owe the AVERAGE person 15 years of subsidized life? Most younger working people (up to age 55 or so) know that Social Security CAN’T provide ALL their retirement needs, which is why most of them are socking money away in IRA’s and 401K’s, and want to work longer, so they DON’T outlive their money.

Steve Z on April 12, 2010 at 2:22 PM

Hey, Squid: Wanna tell us about that “Rubio’s lost 20+ points” lie again? LOLOLOLOLOLOL!

crushliberalism on April 12, 2010 at 1:54 PM

When I said it, it was the case, Mason Dixon was the last one before that and had Rubio up by 11, down 20 from the last Rasmussen. It is no longer the case and I have not said it. Thus, I am not a liar and you are too lazy to do your own research.

I know you like to be a maniac and call people liars, but I provided you the link twice, and you ignored it. That is not my problem, that is you problem because you are too lazy.

Squid Shark on April 12, 2010 at 3:37 PM

Mostly I like Palin and all, but when she does stuff like this it makes it hard for me to see her in the Whitehouse. There is just a lack of seriousness that bothers me.

petunia on April 12, 2010 at 12:31 PM

Are you for real? She made an off the cuff remark while signing autographs showing support for Rubio…what are you, like 12?

Is Palin the new “Rubio Girl”?

Doughboy on April 12, 2010 at 12:11 PM

Just a bit sexist, doughy. Maybe Rubio is the new “Palin Boy”.

Dan Pet on April 12, 2010 at 5:46 PM