Crist has slight lead in new poll

Florida Gov. Charlie Crist (I) has a narrow lead in the Sunshine State's Senate race, according to a new poll.

The Ipsos survey released on Saturday showed Crist at 30 percent, former Florida House Speaker Marco Rubio (R) at 27 percent and Democratic Rep. Kendrick Meek at 15 percent.

There is a lot of room for movement, however. Nearly 25 percent of registered voters surveyed are still undecided and Crist's lead is within the margin of effort of 4 percent.

The former Republican Crist has a slight lead despite 50 percent of registered voters think he made an opportunistic decision in dropping out of the GOP primary after trailing Rubio badly.

Here is what the Miami Herald and St. Petersburg Times wrote:

ecause Crist is a popular guy -- people like him, they like his policies,'' pollster Julia Clark, director of Ipsos Public Affairs, said of the outsized influence independent and swing voters may have on the race. ``He is stripping away support from both the Democrats and the Republicans, and I think that's going to confuse things a lot for both of those parties.''

The secret to Crist's success so far: his broader appeal across the political spectrum in the newly reconfigured three-man race.

He is backed by 39 percent of independents, 38 percent of Democrats and 26 percent of Republicans.

Rubio, a former House speaker from Miami, and Meek, a Miami congressman, are drawing most of their support from members of their own parties.

For a governor leading one of the country's most economically ravaged states and who only a few weeks ago faced near-certain defeat against Rubio in the Aug. 24 GOP primary, Crist remains remarkably well-liked.

Only 38 percent disapprove of his job performance, while 52 percent approve -- including more than six in 10 independents and Democrats.


Cross-posted to the Ballot Box