Tampa, Fla. — According to a recent Mason-Dixon Research & Associates poll, when surveying 625 registered Florida voters, Republican Marco Rubio has a substantial lead over current Governor and Independent candidate Charlie Crist. To make matters worse in this three-way race for the U.S. Senate seat, vacated by Senator Mel Martinez, Democratic candidate Kendrick Meek is closing in on Crist’s lead for second place in the polls. Is it doable for Crist to gain the lead over Rubio and Meek?
An all important endorsement from a prominent South Florida Democrat is now endorsing Charlie Crist. As an Independent candidate Crist doesn’t have the luxury of an established party funding his campaign. Charlie Crist has very strong ties to the Tampa Bay community. Before we answer the question about him being successful for his bid as a U.S. Senator let’s learn a little about the man himself.
Former Tampa Bay area resident and current Governor of Florida, Charlie Crist, spent his childhood in St. Petersburg, Florida until he graduated from St. Petersburg High School. He attended college out of state and then at Florida State University. Crist ultimately returned to Tampa Bay where his political career began to flourish.
Elected to the Florida Senate in 1992 he served there for six years. In 2000 Charlie Crist was the last to be elected as Commissioner of Education. Governor Crist was the first Republican to be elected in 2002 as Florida’s Attorney General. To top it off he won the Governor’s race in 2006 with a commanding lead over Democrat Jim Davis. Now in 2010 he decided to run as an Independent rather than as a Republican for the U.S. Senate.
Within this recent Mason-Dixon poll Rubio currently leads at 40% while Crist went from 33% last month to 28% now. Meek’s numbers rose significantly from 18% to 23% and it’s still climbing. According to a Mason-Dixon pollster having a 40% lead in a race with three candidates is a very strong showing indeed. All Marco Rubio needs is 2-3 points to be secure and wrap up the race once and for all.
However, Charlie Crist received an endorsement from former U.S. Representative Robert Wexler, a Democrat, where his South Florida district holds a huge Jewish voting block. The same Mason-Dixon pollster stated the lead for the U.S. Senate race could change with a drop of 15% for Rubio in support of either Crist or Meek. This is where Democratic voters go from Meek to Crist or vice versa. Perhaps the former constituents of Wexler some will take their votes and give it to Crist.
Sergio R. Bustos, Miami Herald, “Poll: Rubio’s lead over Crist grows; Meek gain ground”, TampaBay.com St. Petersburg Times
Florida Governor Charlie Crist, Executive Office of the Governor
The Associated Press, “Crist gets endorsement from Wexler, a Democrat”, Miami Herald