Crist needs a long vacation, and Florida and America need Marco Rubio.
BY MICHAEL MCAULIFF
If there wasn’t already enough evidence of the energy on the right, Quinnipiac has a Florida poll out today that captures both the conservative surge and ongoing anti-incumbent sentiment sweeping the country.
For the first time, Quinnipiac finds the former state House Speaker Marco Rubio leading the formerly very popular — and still well-known — Gov. Charlie Crist by a margin of 47% to 44%.
“Who would have thunk it? A former state lawmaker virtually unknown outside of his South Florida home whose challenge to an exceedingly popular sitting governor for a U.S. Senate nomination had many insiders scratching their heads,” said Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. “He enters the race 31 points behind and seven months later sneaks into the lead.”
“And, the horse race numbers are not a fluke,” Brown added. “Rubio also tops Crist on a number of other measurements from registered Republicans, who are the only folks who can vote in the primary. Rubio’s grassroots campaigning among Republican activists around the state clearly has paid off.”
And we suspect the poll is only telling part of the tale for Rubio because the energy is on his side.
The survey is also chock full of bad news for Democrats. President Obama is seen unfavorably in the Sunshine State these days by 49% of the people, versus 45% who still see a positive leader.
And in the Senate horse race, Rubio now tops Rep. Kendrick Meek 44% to 35%.