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Crist Edges Rubio & Meek in New Poll, But ...

10:15 AM, Apr 15, 2010 • By JOHN MCCORMACK
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Quinnipiac:

If Crist were to file as an independent for the general election, he would get 32 percent of the vote, compared to Rubio's 30 percent and Meek's 24 percent.

This may be enough to convince Charlie Crist to break his pledge to run in the GOP primary, but Rasmussen showed a much tougher race for Crist as an independent. In a March three-way match-up, Rubio led Crist 42% to 22%, with Democrat Meek garnering 25% of the vote.

So why the big disparity between Rasmussen and Quinnipiac? Did Crist's negative advertising move Rubio's numbers among the general electorate in the past month?

Maybe. But keep in mind that Quinnipiac is polling registered voters, while Rasmussen polls "likely voters." And Rasmussen's model--despite what you hear from some liberal bloggers who discount Rasmussen's polling because it shows them what they don't want to see--is very good. It was spot on in the the New Jersey governor's race, the Massachusetts Senate race, and the 2008 presidential election. (Quinnipiac was quite good on the NJ governor's race as well--it was polling "likely voters.")

At any rate, I'd bet Rubio still has a healthy lead among voters who will actually turn out in November. Crist would nonetheless have somewhat better shot in a three-way race. Of course, his best bet would be to save his war chest and run in 2012 against Bill Nelson.

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