Crist gets an indie bump?

posted at 12:15 pm on May 5, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

Before declaring himself as an independent, Rasmussen repeatedly polled the Florida Senate general election race with Charlie Crist running in that position — and consistently found him trailing Marco Rubio and Kendrick Meek in a three-way race.  However, in the immediate aftermath of his renouncement of the Republican Party, Rasmussen finds Crist leading both candidates.  Is this the start of a fresh look at Crist, or a high-water mark based on novelty?

The Florida Senate race appears to be a whole new ballgame with Republican Governor Charlie Crist’s decision to run as an independent.

A new Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of Likely Florida Voters finds Crist earning 38% support to Republican Marco Rubio’s 34% and Democrat Kendrick Meek’s 17%. Eleven percent (11%) are undecided.

Two weeks ago, before Crist announced his decision to run as an independent candidate, Rubio held a seven point advantage in the race.

Since then, Crist has gained eight (8) percentage points in the poll while Rubio and Meek have each dropped three (3) points. It remains to be seen if this is a temporary bounce or a lasting change in the race.

That is, of course, the big question.  The crosstabs give some idea how it may play out, however.  Support for repeal of ObamaCare is especially high in Florida, with 62% favoring it.  Fifty-six percent of independents support the idea of repeal.  Crist has not backed the repeal effort, at least not publicly and not to the extent that Rubio has committed to it.  Yet the current split among independents for the Senate race has 40% going to Crist, 28% to Rubio, and 11% to Meek, with 21% unsure.  Unless Crist turns into a Tea Partier himself — something he wouldn’t do while running as a Republican — those independents won’t stick around long with Crist.

Offshore drilling will be another key point.  Last week, Crist publicly renounced his support for off-shore drilling in the wake of the Gulf of Mexico spill, but voters didn’t follow Crist’s lead.  Overall, off-shore drilling enjoys a plurality of support from likely Florida voters, 48/35, and even more pronounced among independents, 47/29.   If Crist maintains his opposition to off-shore drilling, expect those independents to come back to Rubio as well.

Rasmussen offered two other interesting questions that directly relates to Crist’s decision to dump the GOP label.  That would make sense if voters thought that the primary system was broken or that a third party was desperately needed — but neither are true.  A majority believe that primaries work, 56% to just 19% who don’t, with independents going 46/19 on the question.  Fifty-five percent of all likely Florida voters don’t believe a third party is needed, with independents splitting 41% against just 37% who support a third party.  That’s not even considering whether Crist would be the kind of leader a third party needs in Florida, a question Rasmussen didn’t ask.

This looks like a novelty bump, not a trend that will last much longer.  Independents may have hailed a little competition in the race, but they’re more politically aligned with Rubio than with the man who had been the establishment candidate in the Republican primary. (h/t: HA reader Randy S)


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I’m waiting 2 weeks before pushing the panic button.

toenail on May 5, 2010 at 12:18 PM

Crist gets an indie bump

Can that be cured?

faraway on May 5, 2010 at 12:19 PM

Crist will tank.

He will also be greatly handicapped in raising money.

Rubio will race ahead of him shortly.

molonlabe28 on May 5, 2010 at 12:19 PM

Looks like the dems might be trying to give Crist some cover as an independent to further their goal of splitting the republican party. When election day comes the dems will vote dem and the republicans will vote Rubio.

fourdeucer on May 5, 2010 at 12:21 PM

Crist gets an indie bump?

Is that like a chubbie?

ted c on May 5, 2010 at 12:25 PM

I saw that poll today and was really confused.He certainly wouldn’t be getting much support from Repubs. and the Democrats aren’t going to back him, at least I don’t think so. That leaves the Indies. They scare me…..

sandee on May 5, 2010 at 12:25 PM

This looks like a novelty bump, not a trend that will last much longer. Independents may have hailed a little competition in the race, but they’re more politically aligned with Rubio than with the man who had been the establishment candidate in the Republican primary.

Um Ed just prior to Crist dropping out, it was looking to me like RUBIO was becoming the establishment backed candidate.

I agree this bounce will eventually come back to Rubio, but only when he stops pandering on illegal immigration and offshore drilling.

How long till he picks up the phone and calls in a certain individual to campaign for him if these polls stay close?

davek70 on May 5, 2010 at 12:26 PM

Orange-tastic!

WordsMatter on May 5, 2010 at 12:28 PM

Crist still has to be Governor. Everything he does between now and November will have to favor the Dems in Florida.

Or they’ll vote for Meek. And they may extract as many favors as possible and still vote for Meek.

It’s what I’d do if I were them.

SlaveDog on May 5, 2010 at 12:30 PM

Anti-establishment bump. Just by getting out of any party a candidate will have a dead cat bounce. Two months from now he will be in third place.

jukin on May 5, 2010 at 12:33 PM

How does one get a “bump” after revealing themselves to be a shameless, principleless hack interested only in getting elected?

This guy changes positions, drops his party and now will seemingly do and say anything to win.

Boy … that’s someone I’d want representing me in Washington. dripping s/

darwin on May 5, 2010 at 12:35 PM

Intrade has Rubio $50, Crist $32

Jon0815 on May 5, 2010 at 12:36 PM

What’s the latest news on JetBoy’s hat?

Red Cloud on May 5, 2010 at 12:38 PM

Four, six months ago wasn’t Crist up over Rubio by 20-30? You know, the contest he just withdrew from.

Marcus on May 5, 2010 at 12:38 PM

OT: Down goes Obey! Down goes Obey! Down goes Obey!

Dire Straits on May 5, 2010 at 12:41 PM

I’m still looking for video of the hat eating.

Vashta.Nerada on May 5, 2010 at 12:42 PM

YOU THINK THE GOP CAN WIN 100 SEATS? HA!!!

Christ aheaad in FL……McCain ahead in AZ?

RINO GLORY DAYS IN 2010!!!

AMNESTY COMING……?

The White House is set to step up pressure on some key Republicans in hopes of winning support for comprehensive immigration reform.

But it’s shaping up to be a struggle, based on interviews with the senators President Barack Obama has approached on the issue.

The administration is starting with a pool of 11 Republicans who voted for immigration reform in 2006. Subtract a few who are dead-ends — such as John McCain, who faces a tough primary in Arizona — and that leaves the White House zeroing in on several others, including Dick Lugar, Judd Gregg and Lisa Murkowski and a couple of newcomers: Scott Brown and George LeMieux.

Each got a call from President Barack Obama from Air Force One two weeks ago. And last Wednesday, Obama stressed that without Republican support immigration reform is a nonstarter.

Next up, White House staff will reach out to the senators’ staffs to test out an outline of a Democratic proposal on immigration. Senate Democrats also have approached the White House about hosting an immigration summit to elevate the issue, an idea that came up during a meeting with immigration groups last Thursday, a person familiar with the meeting said.

Six other Republican senators voted for immigration reform four years ago — Bob Bennett, Sam Brownback, Susan Collins, Mitch McConnell, Olympia Snowe and George Voinovich — but here are the Top 5 the White House is focused on now:

Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0510/36786.html#ixzz0n4dE9WcZ

IT’S OVER!!!

PappyD61 on May 5, 2010 at 12:42 PM

Sounds like it’s going to be more like the Perot Curse during the general election…

Wyznowski on May 5, 2010 at 12:42 PM

those independents won’t stick around long with Crist.

Eh, how do you know that? Where’s your reasoning?

ninjapirate on May 5, 2010 at 12:42 PM

Isn’t all of the bump based on Crist picking up Dem voters? The more that happens, they more he’ll move to the left and kill his chances with Republicans and conservative Indies.

BuzzCrutcher on May 5, 2010 at 12:43 PM

Since then, Crist has gained eight (8) percentage points in the poll while Rubio and Meek have each dropped three (3) points. It remains to be seen if this is a temporary bounce or a lasting change in the race.

If you follow the links in the Rasmussen poll, the above statement is incorrect. Must be a typo by Rasmussen. Crist did, indeed, have an 8% bump, but Rubio only lost 3%, while Meeks lost 5%.

Now:

Likely Florida Voters finds Crist earning 38% support to Republican Marco Rubio’s 34% and Democrat Kendrick Meek’s 17%.

http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/elections2/election_2010/election_2010_senate_elections/florida/election_2010_florida_senate

Two Weeks Prior:

Florida voters finds that 37% would vote for GOP frontrunner Marco Rubio, 30% for Crist and 22% for the likely Democratic nominee Kendrick Meek.

http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/elections2/election_2010/election_2010_senate_elections/florida/florida_senate_rubio_37_crist_30_meek_22

mwdiver on May 5, 2010 at 12:45 PM

Gulp?

darii on May 5, 2010 at 12:51 PM

Is Marco Rubio over rated?

Is he a RINO just waiting to get a pass by overly hopeful Conservative voters?

I smell a rat and I don’t trust the guy, especially after he condemned Arizona for taking a reasonable, constitutionally supported, non-racist, fair stand to protect herself and her people, and enforce immigration laws.

William2006 on May 5, 2010 at 12:55 PM

PappyD61 on May 5, 2010 at 12:42 PM

PappyD61 ..Look at it this way. As Rush just said David Obey as gone in 6 months from using the “Famous Pelosi Gavel” to bring the USA Obiecare to now retiring. Roughly 60% of the country think Arizona is right in its new law. Anyone who touches amnesty is a fool (esp. Repulican). Rubio has went from being a virtual unknown to a contender who I think will win hands down. Plus the Politico is NO bastion for the Republicans. I may not be wearing shades but I’m starting to look for a pair to put on. :)

Dire Straits on May 5, 2010 at 12:55 PM

The poll sample was obviously skewed towards the Oompa Loompa demographic.

search4truth on May 5, 2010 at 12:56 PM

Gulp

yes, people do that around here a lot even before the 1st debate

Marcus on May 5, 2010 at 12:56 PM

The elusive tan-in-a-can factor.

viking01 on May 5, 2010 at 1:09 PM

I don’t think it’s temporary. Crist is a Democrat. He was a Democrat while he had an (R) next to his name and he’s still a Democrat while sporting an (I) next to his name.

Meek will go down in flames while Crist pulls voters from him.

I expect Meek to pull Independent-like numbers while Crist will pull Democrat-like numbers.

ButterflyDragon on May 5, 2010 at 1:19 PM

Unless Crist turns into a Tea Partier himself — something he wouldn’t do while running as a Republican — those independents won’t stick around long with Crist.

I’d like to see Crist try that.

Should be… educational… to have the ObamaHugging Rino at a Tea Party event, talking about limited govt. etc.

If you could hear him over the inevitable booing.

cs89 on May 5, 2010 at 1:25 PM

Via FOX News: Jeb Bush endorses Rubio.

Emperor Norton on May 5, 2010 at 1:26 PM

All that’s needed is a very simple Republican ad:

“A vote for Charlie Crist is a vote for Democrats.”

Repeat until election day.

rvastar on May 5, 2010 at 1:42 PM

Rubio has had a few political mis-steps. Having Ann Coulter “dis” you while talking to Juan Williams about Illegal Aliens on Fox News is not a way to have yourself endeared to Conservatives, I assure you.

Sultry Beauty on May 5, 2010 at 1:47 PM

This tells me that there is a lot of stupid people in Fla.If you ask them how they would vote in the rep primary Rubio leads crist by 20 plus % but put a I by crist’s name and he gains 20%.Sorry people of Fla. but that is just plain stupid.

thmcbb on May 5, 2010 at 1:53 PM

Crist will not win. This is even silly to be talking about at this time or any time in the cycle.

Jdripper on May 5, 2010 at 2:10 PM

Can that be cured?

faraway on May 5, 2010 at 12:19 PM

Getting the truth out there always works. The problem is getting the truth out there. Now that Crist is basically a demratbastard, the FL media will lie to cover his true nature.

csdeven on May 5, 2010 at 2:17 PM

This tells me that there is a lot of stupid people in Fla. If you ask them how they would vote in the rep primary Rubio leads crist by 20 plus % but put a I by crist’s name and he gains 20%.Sorry people of Fla. but that is just plain stupid.

There were thousands of people who said they were confused by the butterfly ballot in Palm Beach County and wanted a mulligan in 2000. Maybe they were out in the sun too long.

This probably won’t last. It’s hard to imagine the Democrat getting ONLY 17% of the vote in a 3-way race, and this poll was taken BEFORE former Governor Jeb Bush endorsed Rubio.

By Election Day, the Dems will be voting for Meek, and the Republicans for Rubio. The only question is whether Crist siphons off enough Rubio votes to give Meek the Senate seat.

Steve Z on May 5, 2010 at 2:23 PM

I’d LOVE to see Crist at a TEA Party! What an epic fail that would be!

The Dems have their own problems with Palm Beach billionaire Jeff Green jumping into the D primary race. Meeks is no shoo-in (shoe-in?). It’ll be fun to watch that mudslinging competition.

I want to hear Rubio define his position on immigration, but I expect he’ll be our next Senator.

Sidenote: Scott Brown sure seems to be campaigning hard for FL guv on tv, radio, and the web. Odd that I haven’t seen ads from the competition, but I’m guessing they’re out there, like AG Bill McCollum.

ornery_independent on May 5, 2010 at 2:26 PM