Former state House Speaker Marco Rubio is nearly doubling up Gov. Charlie Crist in the Florida Republican Senate primary, according to a new poll conducted by Research 2000 for the liberal Daily Kos blog.
Rubio takes 58 percent to Crist’s 30 percent, an absolutely amazing reversal from even six months ago when Crist looked to be cruising not just to the nomination but to the Senate. The poll numbers may be slightly behind the current state of the race, however, as the last several weeks have been tough for Rubio as he been barraged by bad press over his spending during his time as speaker of the state House. (The latest blow is a stinging piece from a columnist at the St. Petersburg Times.)
Expect the Crist team to note that, in the Kos poll, the governor holds a 45 percent to 36 percent margin over Rep. Kendrick Meek while Rubio and Meek are in a dead heat. Electability isn’t always a great issue in a primary fight where voters tend to be motivated by their hearts, not their heads, but if Crist can use his general election strength as part of a larger narrative that voting for Rubio as the nominee is an unnecessary risk then it might work.
In the wake of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, U.S. Senators Marco Rubio and Bill Nelson,