Rubio slices into Crist's lead in Senate primary

Marco Rubio (R) has dramatically cut Florida Gov. Charlie Crist’s lead in the Florida Republican Senate primary to 15 points, as the race appears to be taking on a whole new life.

Rubio, who recently announced that he raised a solid $1 million in the third quarter, now learns that Quinnipiac University has him significantly reducing Crist’s lead in the polls. While Rubio trailed 55-26 two months ago, he is now holding the popular governor to 50 percent of the primary vote and trails 50-35.

The results resemble a reported Chamber of Commerce poll that had Crist up 44-30 and stirred talk of some unrest in the centrist governor’s camp. And it is good news for a Rubio campaign that has been trying to prove to potential donors and endorsers that it is for real.

Rubio has very good numbers among Republicans, with 44 percent viewing him favorably and just 3 percent unfavorably. Crist is seen positively by 63 percent of GOPers, with 30 percent having a negative view of him.

In the general election, Crist holds a wide lead over Rep. Kendrick Meek (D-Fla.), 51-31. But if Rubio can win the primary, he would start by trailing Meek 36-33.

UPDATE: Perhaps to bite into Rubio's momentum in the poll, Crist has scheduled a "major endorsement" announcement Wednesday. It will take place at 4 p.m. at Fraternal Order of Police headquarters in Jacksonville.

UPDATE 2: Scratch that. Now the Crist campaign said the announcement has been postponed to "a later date." It said to expect more details "shortly."