Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The Fall of Charlie Crist

It's his fall with Republicans that gets all the attention, but Charlie Crist's poll numbers have declined almost as badly with Democrats and independents over the last year as they have within his own party. And that makes me doubt he would be successful in an independent Senate bid even if he did decide to make a run for it.

Comparing Quinnipiac's April 2009 poll to its poll this month Crist's approval rating has dropped 19 points with Republicans, from 68% to 49%. But it's also dropped by 18 points with independents from 68% to 50% and by 14 points with Democrats from 66% to 52%.

Right now Crist gets 30% of the Republican vote and 27% of the Democratic vote if he runs as an independent. But it's important to keep in mind that 61% of Democrats don't know enough about Kendrick Meek to have formed an opinion of him yet- are Democrats who like Crist and don't know Meek today still going to vote for Crist this fall once they know Meek? Given the downward trend in his poll numbers among Democrats it seems like he would lose a lot of that support. The same is even true with Rubio, although to a lesser extent. 25% of Republicans still don't have an opinion about him.

The ideological war in the Republican Party is certainly a big part of Charlie Crist's trouble right now. But he's on the decline across the board and has been pretty much since he decided to run for the Senate instead of seeking reelection as Governor. I think part of Crist's problem might be a feeling from voters that he's overly ambitious- and leaving his party to try to get elected to the Senate won't do much to assuage that problem. It's too early to write the obituary on Crist's political career- too many amazing comeback stories in the annals of politics to do that- but a victory in 2010 seems unlikely under any scenario.


Anonymous said...

Is Crists' fall really about not being conservative enough?

I don't think so. I think it's about the discovery of the true Charlie Crist by Florida Republicans, independents, and even Democrats who now can see Charlie for what he truly is - a pandering opportunist. I think it turns people off, and that's why he's taking a beating.

I don't see Crist coming out of this on top, no matter which decision he makes. He has boxed himself in, angered fellow Republicans, and tried to play both sides of the fence too many times. People have seen through him, and while the teachers union is loving him now, they'll eventually figure out that he would throw them under the bus, too, in order to get votes, and they will eventually leave him.

Crist is done.

Argo Journal said...

Rasmussen released a poll today showing Governor Charlie Crist sporting a 57% approval rating. The survey was conducted April 15 -- the very same day that Crist vetoed the teacher pay bill.

Brice D. L. Acree said...

What kind of evidence is there that voters are worried about Crist's ambition? To a great extent, all politicians are ambitious. Why would Crist be any different?

The more reasonable explanation is that Crist has hurt his brand by campaigning in the primary. For most of the past year, Crist has been arguing for his conservative bona fides. He hasn't been able to overtake Rubio on the right, but he has turned off independents and liberals by trying.

That just seems both (a) more reasonable; and (b) more quantifiable than the idea that voters think he's too ambitious.

Anonymous said...

Has Crist announced he is going to run as an independent ... or is this still just hopefull speculation by Democrats ???

Darren Lenard Hutchinson said...

Perhaps this article would make a hint of sense if it compared Crist's approval ratings with the other candidates! Also, Crist is only really low among Republicans. I doubt that Meeks and Rubio have the same numbers among Independents and Democrats that Crist does.

wt said...

Curious to see some 2012 Nelson-Crist polling. I could see Crist dropping out if he thinks he can win in 2 years.

Christian Liberty said...

Crist would still lose a 3 way race, says RR:


WSJ suggests Crist's top allies would be teachers' unions and trial lawyers (splitting the Democrat vote)... not to mention the loss of
GOP allies, strategists, and fundraisers.


Crist would be better off dropping out and maybe running against Nelson.

Christian Liberty said...

Crist to run as independent

announcement 5pm EST St Petersburg Thursday Apr 29

Next move should be to attack Meek

"So long as both Rubio and Kendrick Meek are in the thick of it on Election Day, centrists on both sides of the aisle will feel enormous pressure to defect from Crist and vote as partisans to stop the opposing party’s “extremist” candidate. Which is why, I suspect, Crist’s initial attacks will focus on Meek. Rubio’s going to get ~35 percent no matter what, so the quicker Crist can marginalize the Democrat and convince the lefty base that Meek is hopeless, the likelier he is to capitalize on strategic voting himself."


Christian Liberty said...

Arlen Specter regrets becoming a Democrat?

"Well, I probably shouldn't say this. But I have thought from time to time that I might have helped the country more if I'd stayed a Republican."


Under construction said...

Liberal media, that is sympathetic to the democratic party, loves what Crist is doing because it threatens to split the vote away from the Republican senate candidate Rubio which of course makes the liberal media happy.

Charlie Crist took the Obama payoff for his vote on the stimulus package which did nothing for the people except send their tax dollars to further enrich fat cats (and no doubt Crist personally). Then he publicly announced (5 times) that he would not run as an independent, and broke his word on that, proving to the voters that he cannot be trusted to keep his word and that when it is in HIS best interests, he is disloyal and breaks his word, not only to the people, but also to his party. He has proven that his word means nothing and that he cannot be trusted and is only interested in enriching himself at the voter's expense and at the expense of his own party. In past elections I voted for him. Now I would not vote for him for streetsweeper. Knowing what I know now, I would not doubt that Crist KNOWS he cannot win, but is going to hold out with his vote split threat until he thinks the Republican party will quietly buy him out to quit the race. Crist is a classic example of a word breaking, stimulus package payoff sellout, detrimental to the people's interest and traitorous to his party. A prime example of a self serving politician to the last. Crist is DONE politically. Time for him to retire to his rich model debutante/socialite wife and enjoy the money he has received from his political career and his Obama stimulus package payoff.

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