When Marco Rubio challenged popular incumbent governor Charlie Crist for Mel Martinez's U.S. Senate seat, no one thought he had a chance. What these skeptics assumed was that the current state of affairs would persist indefinitely. They ignored electoral dynamism. Events have a way of showing that the future in politics is never a straight-line projection of the present. Take Scott Brown, for example. Or Marco Rubio.
Rubio has been steadily gaining ground on Crist for the past year. And now, according to Quinnipiac University, he's winning:
Former State House Speaker Marco Rubio has squeaked past Gov. Charlie Crist in the race for the Republican U.S. Senate nomination, leading 47 – 44 percent and topping Gov. Crist on trust, values and conservative credentials, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.
Rubio beats the leading Democrat, South Florida Congressman Kendrick Meek, 44 – 35 percent in a general election matchup, the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University poll finds. Crist leads Meek 48 – 36 percent.
President Barack Obama is under water in Florida as voters disapprove 49 – 45 percent of his job performance, down from a 48 – 46 percent approval rating October 21.
Rubio’s lead over Crist in the horse race represents a major reversal from October when the Governor led 50 – 35 percent; from August’s 55 – 26 percent Crist lead and from June’s lead of 54 – 23 percent.
Watch this race. It's a case study in how quickly political fortunes can change: Rubio's, Crist's--and Barack Obama's.
In other news, Rubio will be speaking at this year's CPAC.