In it, but not of it. TPM DC

Poll: Crist Could Win Florida Senate Election As Independent

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Newscom

Crist has reportedly been urged by some supporters to run as an independent, though his campaign has repeatedly denied that he haas any intention of doing so. He has until the April 30 filing deadline to make his decision -- Florida law does not allow a candidate to do what Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) did, to run and lose in a primary and then file for the general election as an independent.

If Crist were to stay a Republican, this poll shows him to be the stronger Republican nominee than Rubio in match-ups against Democratic Rep. Kendrick Meek, though both he and Rubio lead Meek -- Crist by 48%-34%, and Rubio by a narrower 42%-38%.

"Gov. Crist appears a great deal more viable in a November three-way than he is against Rubio in a Republican primary. But having already ruled out an independent candidacy, he would have to reverse himself by the end of the month due to the filing deadline," writes Quinnipiac assistant director Peter A. Brown. "Such a public reversal might be politically harmful to the governor, but perhaps not compared to his chances against Rubio at this point."