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Poll: Crist Independent Bid Would Help Rubio

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Crist's approval rating is only 35%, with 51% disapproval. The once-popular and seemingly unstoppable governor has seriously fallen in his political stature.

Crist was also tested as both an independent in a three-way race, and as a Democratic nominee. Rubio leads in a three-way race with 34%, followed by Crist at 27%, and Meek with 25%. Crist would draw 32% of Democratic voters, 18% of Republicans, and 35% of independents -- suggesting that an independent Crist bid could help Rubio, by drawing more votes from Democrats than Republicans.

With Crist as the Democratic candidate, Rubio leads by 43%-34% -- meaning that because of a higher level of undecided Democrats in this match-up, Crist is not as strong a Democratic candidate as the actual Democrat who is currently in the race.

PPP's Tom Jensen writes: "Taken as a whole the numbers suggest that Crist's most winnable path to the US Senate now is as an independent, given his huge deficit with Republican primary voters. But even that's a long shot -- among all Florida voters 24% want Crist as Governor a year from now, 15% want him in the Senate, and 47% would like to see him out of elected office. Crist finds himself now in a very difficult position."

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