Poll: Charlie Crist Would Easily Win Florida Governor’s Race

Saturday, 23 Mar 2013 06:57 PM

By Greg Richter

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Former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, who since leaving office has switched from the Republican to the Democratic Party, would handily beat incumbent GOP Gov. Rick Scott, The Miami Herald reports.

While Scott’s program’s, such as raising teacher pay, are popular, people don’t like the man himself, according to a Quinnipiac University poll.

According to the poll of registered voters, Crist would beat Scott 50-34 percent if the election were held today.

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Fifty percent of Florida voters also say that Crist's switch from Republican to independent to Democrat “shows he is a pragmatist,” rather than showing that “he lacks core beliefs,” pollsters said.

Crist didn’t seek re-election as governor in 2010 to run for the U.S. Senate. But he lost the GOP primary to Marco Rubio and announced he’d run in the general election as an independent. Rubio won.

Crist subsequently joined the Democratic Party and supported Barack Obama’s presidential re-election bid. Since losing twice to Rubio, he “had largely become a punch line in Florida political circles,” Politico says.

Crist’s main potential primary opponents, ex-state CFO Alex Sink and former Miami Mayor Manny Diaz, have indicated they are not running, Politico notes. And Steve Schale, Obama’s senior adviser in Florida in 2012, said, “It’s hard at the moment to imagine any scenario where Charlie Crist is not the Democratic nominee for governor in 2014.”

Still, some Democrats worry that Crist can’t stand up to character attacks from Scott and have approached Sen. Bill Nelson about seeking the Democratic nomination. But Nelson just recently won re-election himself and isn’t keen on the idea of another round of politicking so soon, sources close to Nelson told Politco.


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