Some Encouraging News for Rubio’s Senate Campaign
While the poll did show that Governor Charlie Crist still leads former House Speaker Marco Rubio by a 51-23 vote among all Republicans, the lead is based heavily upon his high name ID and Rubio's low name recognition to date.
The numbers tighten significantly among Republicans who consider themselves familiar with both men.
Among those so-called "informed" Republicans, Crist leads Rubio by a much closer margin of 33-31 percent.
In related news, the Club for Growth appears to be considering launching a TV advertising blitz in support of Rubio.
"We recently interviewed Marco Rubio and were impressed," said Club president David Keating. "We are very concerned about the two major tax increases Charlie Crist recently signed and believe there's no excuse for his active support of the Obama big-government 'stimulus' spending bill. We are actively considering the race."
The Club for Growth is a conservative anti-tax group that has spent the last decade involving itself in selected Republican primaries, with varied levels of success. The group's main project for 2010 was going to be helping Pat Toomey defeat Arlen Specter in the Pennsylvania GOP primary. Indeed, Specter was trailing in early polls before switching parties to run as a Democrat.
If the Club for Growth does back Rubio, Floridia Republicans should expect the race to take a sharply negative tone as the group's general practice is to flood the airwaves with attack ads.
Former Presidential candidate Mike Huckabee's recent endorsement of Rubio makes any involvement by the Club for Growth an interesting partnership. During the 2008 Republican presidential primaries the Club was sharply critical of Huckabee, using funds mainly raised from backers of Mitt Romney to attack Huckabee as the "tax-increasing liberal governor of Arkansas". Huckabee, in turn, has referred to the Club for Growth as the "Club for Greed".
But as today's poll numbers show... if the Club's money is able to drive up Rubio's name recognition, it's very possible that we will see the overall polls tighten significantly in this race.