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Marco Rubio Leads in New Poll With Charlie Crist Right Behind

July 7, 2010 - 6:00pm

Rasmussen Reports released a poll on Thursday morning showing the U.S. Senate battle remains up for grabs between independent candidate Gov. Charlie Crist and former House Speaker Marco Rubio, the likely Republican nominee.

Rubio pulled 36 percent in the poll with Crist right behind at 34 percent. U.S. Rep. Kendrick Meek, who is facing a tough battle from billionaire investor Jeff Greene for the Democratic nomination, trailed behind with 15 percent. The poll found 14 percent of Florida voters were undecided. Last month, the poll had Rubio and Crist with 37 percent each with Meek at 15 percent.

The poll has more bad news for Meek, who announced on Thursday morning that his campaign had raised $1 million during the second quarter of 2010 -- far behind the totals that Rubio and Crist had raised in the first quarter of 2010 and what they are expected to announce they brought in during the second quarter.

The poll found Greene did better in the general election than Meek. When the Democratic nominees were changed, Rubio pulled 37 percent, Crist 33 percent and Greene 18 percent.

Crists drop from a tie in June to behind Rubio, though within the margin of error, may be explained by the way Florida voters view his governorship. While the poll in June found that 60 percent of Floridians approved of the job Crist had performed as governor, that number dropped to 53 percent in July, while 45 percent of Floridians disapproved of his performance.

The poll also contained warnings to all of the Senate candidates -- especially the Democratic candidates -- since Floridians had mixed thoughts on all of them. Crist broke even, with 19 percent of the poll seeing him in very favorable terms and the same amount seeing him in very unfavorable terms. Rubio was seen in very favorable terms by 24 percent of the people polled while 25 percent had very unfavorable views of him. Only 8 percent of Floridians saw Meek as very favorable while 17 percent saw him in a very unfavorable light. Greene was seen as very favorable by 4 percent of Floridians while 19 percent saw him as very unfavorable.

The poll has a margin of error of +/- 4.5 percent.

Reach Kevin Derby at, or at 850-727-0859.

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