This morning's Quinnipiac Poll provides further confirmation- Democrats should not be rooting for a Charlie Crist independent bid, as much as it might provide for entertaining theater.
In a head to head with Marco Rubio, Kendrick Meek trails by four points. In a three way race he trails Crist by eight points and Rubio by six. That's consistent with what we found in Florida last month- Meek trailed Rubio by five in a head to head but by nine in a three way contest.
The conventional wisdom is that a Republican politician running as an independent candidate would split the GOP vote but in Florida that's really not true. We found that the folks planning to support Crist as an independent went 40-27 for Meek over Rubio in a direct match up. My guess is that if Crist actually did bolt the party he would get even less Republican support than the polls right now suggest. It's not a perfect comparison, but Arlen Specter sure hasn't received any residual love from GOP voters since he left the party.
There will be a lot of races across the country this year where a third party Republican leaning candidate would be to the advantage of Democrats, but this is not one of them. Meek's best chance of winning this race is clearly for Crist to continue running as a Republican and lose the primary.