In it, but not of it. TPM DC
The TPM Poll Average shows Rubio with 39.1% of the vote, Crist with 30.6% and Meek with 21.2%. As recently as Aug. 1, public polls showed Crist hanging onto a narrow lead in the contest. But since then, as you can see from the chart below, everything's been coming up Rubio (and to a much lesser extent, Meek).
Doesn't that graph look familiar? Back in the primary days, Rubio beat the heck out of Crist after most prognosticators said he had no chance. Mistaken sometimes as being part of that wacky tea party class of 2010, Rubio is actually a true across-the-board Republican rock star. Crist, on the other hand, is increasingly isolated -- his plan to snag the Democratic mantle in November seemingly dashed by Meek's primary win.
"Crist and Meek are likely splitting Democratic votes," the Reuters news service wrote in a poll analysis last week. "When voters were asked their choice between Rubio and Crist if Meek was not in the race, the contest is essentially tied -- Rubio 46 percent, and Crist 45 percent."
When voters were asked their choice between Rubio and Crist if Meek was not in the race, the contest is essentially tied -- Rubio 46 percent, and Crist 45 percent.
Meek, for his part, still thinks he can make Crist irrelevant by pointing out his embarrassing (from a Democratic perspective, anyway) past and running hard for Florida's moderate, swing-statey base.
"I think it's important we focus on getting people back to work," Meek told Hardball's Chris Matthews Monday. "In Florida we feel standing up for the middle class as I've done throughout this race is going to help us win this race."
Rubio's strategy is a bit less complicated, according to the polls. All he has to do is keep on doing what he's doing.