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Is Charlie Crist’s bounce gone? New Rasmussen numbers: Marco Rubio 39%, Crist 31%, Kendrick Meek 18%

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Charlie Crist received a bounce in the polls when he left the Republican Party to run for the U.S. Senate as an independent. New numbers suggest that the bounce for the governor is over.

A new Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of likely voters in Florida finds Republican Marco Rubio with 39% support, while Crist earns 31% of the vote and Democrat Kendrick Meek trails at 18%. Twelve percent (12%) are undecided.

Two weeks ago, just after Crist announced that he was running as an independent, he held a 38% to 34% advantage over Rubio.

The latest numbers parallel the findings in April two weeks before Crist announced he was quitting the Republican Primary race.

Crist, whose numbers had been in freefall in his primary match-up with Rubio, has been actively courting Democrats. But Meek now edges Crist among Democratic voters after trailing him two weeks ago.

Among Republicans, Crist’s support has dropped from 30% two weeks ago to 23% now. Rubio, the Cuban-American former speaker of the state House, earns 68% of Republicans, up 10 points from the previous survey.

Crist’s lead over Rubio among voters not affiliated with either party has narrowed as well, from 12 points early in the month to three points now.

Rubio has a two-to-one lead among male voters over both Crist and Meek. Crist has a small lead over Rubio among female voters.

(Want a free daily e-mail update? If it’s in the news, it’s in our polls). Rasmussen Reports updates are also available on Twitter or Facebook.

This statewide telephone survey of 500 Likely Voters in Florida was conducted on May 16, 2010 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/-4.5 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

Fifty-three percent (53%) of all voters in the state favor a law for Florida like the one just adopted in Arizona that involves local police in immigration enforcement. Thirty percent (30%) oppose such a law, and 13% more are not sure about it.

Sixty-five percent (65%) of voters who favor a law like this for Florida support Rubio. Forty-two percent (42%) of those who oppose this kind of law like Meek, while 38% back Crist.

Fifty-seven percent (57%) currently approve of how Crist is performing as governor, down five points from earlier this month. Forty-two percent (42%) disapprove.

Crist is viewed Very Favorably by 20% of Florida voters and Very Unfavorably by 16%.

For Rubio, Very Favorables are 22% and Very Unfavorables 22%.

Twelve percent (12%) regard Meek Very Favorably, while 15% see him Very Unfavorably.

At this point in a campaign, Rasmussen Reports considers the number of people with a strong opinion more significant than the total favorable/unfavorable numbers.

Fifty percent (50%) of voters in Florida approve of how President Obama is doing his job, while 49% disapprove. This is in line with feelings among voters nationwide in the Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including,,, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.

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