Conservative favorite Marco Rubio’s campaign for the Senate in Florida continues to pick up steam, a new poll from Quinnipiac University finds. Rubio has his first lead in the GOP primary fight against Gov. Charlie Crist, and he dominates Rep. Kendrick Meek (D) in a hypothetical general election matchup.
Rubio is a ahead of Crist 47-44, a lead that essentially pegs the race as a dead heat. The Q poll is not the first to show Rubio having closed the gap with Crist, but it comes after weeks of stepped up campaigning by Crist, who was urged to enter the race by national Republican leaders. Yet Crist has continued to lose ground to Rubio in advance of the August primary in Florida in polls and now finds himself behind the conservative insurgent he all but dismissed in the early months of the race.As for the Democrats, the Q poll offers little good news. Meek continues to trail in name I.D. to both Crist and Rubio. That’s not a surprise, given all the attention paid to the race both in Florida and the country. But the poll shows that more than half of Democrats don’t know who he is and a close to three-quarters of voters don’t either. The Meek campaign has said in the past it’s waiting on the sidelines as Rubio and Crist duke it out, and will begin focusing on boosting Meek’s name recognition soon.
Yesterday, Meek’s campaign announced it raised $1.2 million last quarter, giving Meek an impressive warchest to ramp up campaigning in the early part of the year.
One thing the Meek campaign had always pointed out, however, was that a Rubio win would make things easier for them, with his conservative views driving Florida’s moderate voters to seek an alternative. The new poll shows Meek would have as tough a time beating Rubio as he would Crist. The Democrat trails Crist 48-36 and Rubio 44-35 in the poll.