FL Sen: Rubio, Crist Running Close

FL Sen: Rubio, Crist Running Close

By Kyle Trygstad - July 22, 2010

The Senate battle in Florida may be the most difficult race to prognosticate, as Republican Marco Rubio and independent Charlie Crist remain ahead of the pack and it's still unclear who will be the Democratic nominee.

A new Rasmussen poll released this afternoon finds little has changed over the last month. Rubio holds a slight lead with 35%, followed by Crist with 33% and Democrat Kendrick Meek with 20%. If Jeff Greene were to be the Democratic nominee, the breakdown would be Rubio 36%, Crist 34%, Greene 19%.

Crist now leads by 3.6 points in the RCP Average with Meek as the nominee, and by 5.3 points in the RCP Average with Greene in the race.

Rasmussen's July 6 survey looked much the same, with the only statistically significant difference being Meek's support increasing by 5 points. Same goes for its June 7 survey. This Rasmussen poll of 750 likely voters was conducted July 21 with a margin of error of +/- 4%.

Rubio is hoping to build some momentum on the questions about conversations between Crist and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. At this point, Crist is taking nearly a quarter of the GOP vote along with independents and Democrats. So whether Crist plans to caucus with the Democrats or Republicans should he enter the Senate could be a game-changer in the race.

Of course, Crist is not likely to announce those plans before the election. And Reid has said he firmly backs Meek, a congressman from Miami, who's facing a far more difficult primary challenge than many expected.

Another new poll released today from the Democratic firm Public Policy Polling finds Meek leading Greene in the primary by just 3 points (28% to 25%) with 37% undecided.

Kyle Trygstad is a Washington correspondent for RealClearPolitics. Email him at: Follow him on Twitter @KyleTrygstad.

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