Crist Campaign Touting New Poll Numbers
It's been a rough couple of days for the Charlie Crist campaign with new polls from Rasmussen Reports and Quinnipiac University showing the Governor's lead over his main challenger dropping from about 30% to 15%.
But the Crist campaign is eager to share a new poll that shows the Governor still holding onto a 24% lead.
The Police Benevolent Association, which formally endorsed the Governor yesterday, released results from a poll they commissioned through McLaughlin & Associates. The survey of 500 likely Republican voters purportedly shows Crist leading with 52.8% to Marco Rubio's 29.4%.
“This poll shows that the Gov. Crist beats his challenger handily, and the Governor also has an extremely high approval rating,” said David Murrell, Executive Director of the Florida PBA.
The PBA poll also shows Crist's approval rating at a sky-high 67% -- far above other recently released polls that gave him around a 50% approval rating.
“It appears that Republican voters are quite satisfied with Governor Crist’s management of the affairs of Florida and approve of his campaign for the U.S. Senate,” said Murrell.
While this poll gives Crist supporters something positive to point to, the overall trend of a tightening race between Crist and Rubio can't be disputed. It will be interesting to see how these numbers evolve once both campaigns begin to deploy their multi-million dollar ad budgets. Crist holds a significant fundraising advantage as of the last quarter, but the Rubio campaign is clearly picking up some steam.
Another factor in the race could be the new candidacy of former U.S. Senator Bob Smith, who is pitching himself as an alternative to the right of both Crist and Rubio. Smith has taken to attacking both other candidates very harshly on the immigration issue. But it remains to be seen what kind of impact he'll have on the larger race.