In the early race for Republican Sen. Mel Martinez’s seat, Republican Florida Gov. Charlie Crist leads 2-to-1 over Democrats mulling a run in 2010, according to a new Strategic Vision poll.
The poll, reported in The Hill, has Crist ahead of Democratic Reps. Ron Klein and Kendrick Meek by 34 points each. He also leads Democratic state Sen. Dan Gelber 58 percent to 27 percent and Tampa Mayor Pam Iorio, also a Democrat, 57 percent to 29 percent.
Meek and Gelber have declared that they will run, but Klein and Iorio are reportedly still in the exploratory stage. As for Crist, he has hinted that he is waiting until after the Florida legislative session to formally announce any intentions.
Examining a potential primary contest among the four Democrats, the poll has Klein ahead by just 12 points — with 66 percent of primary voters undecided.
Meanwhile, in a Republican primary with four other candidates, Crist is running at 54 percent, with Rep. Connie Mack following at 16 percent.
Without Crist in the primary contest, the poll shows Mack taking 21 percent. Rep. Vern Buchanan takes 11 percent, while former state House Speakers Allan Bense and Marco Rubio capture 8 and 5 percent, respectively.
The poll further indicates that Mack runs ahead of the four Democrats in a general election match-up. Buchanan, Bense and Rubio run even with the Democrats.
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