Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Rubio continues to lead

In the Florida Senate race Charlie Crist is getting 42% of the Democratic vote and Kendrick Meek is getting 41%. It's been clear for months that unless one of the candidates broke away with the Democratic vote Marco Rubio would coast to victory and with only three weeks left until the election that's looking more and more likely. Rubio leads with 44% to 33% for Crist and 21% for Meek.

Perhaps more interesting at this point is what would happen if either Meek or Crist was to drop out of the race and create a one on one with Rubio. Crist and Rubio would tie at 46% each. Crist would have an overwhelming 66-31 lead with independents, but would win the Democratic vote by only a 69-20 margin. That 20% of Democrats for Rubio suggests that some segment of Meek's supporters would be none too pleased about him being forced out of the race and would not gravitate toward Crist.

In a head to head between Rubio and Meek, Rubio would lead 48-41. Meek performs weaker than Crist because although he would lead with independents by an 11 point margin that's nothing compared to the 35 point advantage that Crist has with that group.

In all likelihood Crist and Meek are both in it to the end. Crist is actually slightly more popular than Rubio, sporting a 47% approval rating to Rubio's 45% favorability. And Crist does have a strong lead with independents in the three way race, 50-27. But independents make up only 19% of the voters in Florida to 40% who are Republicans and with his former party Crist's support has pretty much evaporated to just 14%. Rubio's the only candidate in the race with a really strong base and the 82% of GOP voters he's getting right now has him in a very strong position to win and quite possibly win big.

Full results here


sdf said...

Thank you for polling the hypothetical two-way races, even though it seems very unlikely that they will come about at this point. It is the first time as far as I know that anybody has polled head-to-heads in many months.

You mention that there seems to be some indication that unhappy Meek voters would vote for Rubio if they felt as if their candidate was forced to drop out. [And there's a typo in your post that you might want to fix: it should read "that 20% of Democrats for Rubio"]. Did you, by any chance, try to determine what percent of them might simply stay home instead?

To put it another way, it would be interesting to try to determine to what extent Meek's not dropping out is critical to other Democratic candidates in FL, especially Alex Sink.

Dustin Ingalls said...

"Did you, by any chance, try to determine what percent of them might simply stay home instead?"

No, but you can imagine Rubio would probably not actually get 20% of Democrats, and a lot of avid Meek supporters might actually just not vote in that race, even if they show up for Alex Sink or other Democrats down-ballot. That might actually help Crist, even though intuitively, you'd think the fewer Democrats, the more Crist is hurt. The Republicans are showing up one way or another, and they're unified behind Rubio, and independents make up less than a fifth of voters. So, just to do a crude calculation, based on nothing but a guess, if Crist kept the raw number of Democrats he has now in the two-way, and about a quarter of the Dems supporting Rubio actually just didn't vote, and the undecided Dems just stayed home, moving Rubio down to 17% of Dems, then Crist would have 83% of the Dem vote. In that scenario, with the GOP and indies staying the same, Crist would actually be up, 50-47. Of course, if you move all the remaining undecided Republicans Rubio's way, and even break undecided independents proportionately toward Crist, it's a 50-50 race once more.

Bill R. said...

Meeks needs to fall on his sword.

Anonymous said...

aren't ballots printed (they already have been mailed to overseas military voters). It is too late to change the names on the ballots that voters will receive, so a hypothetical "dropping out" scenario seems a waste of time.

There are 3 candidates in the race. That won't change.

wt said...

Where does Crist's career go from here? Third party with Arnold and Bloomberg? Some kind of centrist think tank or lobby shop?

The problem is that it's hard to see who he hasn't upset in this race.

(I gave Crist 50 bucks in 2009. I really liked the campaign he was running. So much has changed for him, so quickly, for the worse.)

Good for Rubio for apparently sewing up the race. And I think he strikes fear into the hearts of a lot of Dems who see him running on a national ticket.

Anonymous said...

I think all know where Crist is headed: spokesperson for tanning products.

Anonymous said...

I have a turnout question:

Your poll shows Democrats outnumbering Republicans this year by 1 point.

Mason Dixon shows Democrats by 3.

Quinnipiac shows a more Republican sample with Republicans+7.

In the 2004 and 2006 Exit Poll, Republicans had a 4% advantage in turnout over Democrats.

What actually leads to your sample ?

Do you sample it to D+1 or is it how respondents declare their party ID when you poll them ?

If you sample it, don´t you think the sample should be more Republican, given the climate this year and the results of the exit polls I mentioned above ?

Thank You.

henwy said...

I'm going to enjoy watching Crist go down in flames in a few weeks. In an era where politicians can be two-faced weasels often without paying a price for it, it's good to see someone finally get their comeuppance. He basically threw away any integrity he might have had for ambition and greed and everyone should be happy to see him flush his career down the toilet. Sow the wind; Reap the whirlwind.

Dustin Ingalls said...

"Do you sample it to D+1 or is it how respondents declare their party ID when you poll them?"

The latter. We don't weight for party ID. Also, I havent't seen Q's internals, but their latest poll released today has toplines basically identical to ours, so their party breakdown is probably now more similar to ours.

Anonymous said...

Well either Crist or Meek needs to take one for the team or Rubio walks right into the senate.
I doubt Meek could win statewide, Crist should come out declare he will caucus with the democrats and if he can get Meek to campaign for him he may have a chance.
Otherwise it's a race for second,

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