Poll: Crist’s Lead May Disappear After Democratic Primary

Kris Alingod – AHN News Contributor

Tallahassee, FL, United States (AHN) – Despite trailing conservative Marco Rubio in the latest fundraising report, a new poll shows Florida Gov. Charlie Crist slightly ahead of his Democratic and Republican rivals. The independent governor, however, may lose some of his support after Democrats unite behind one candidate in the primary.

According to the Public Policy Polling, Crist has 35 percent support overall, followed by Rubio with 29 percent, if the Democratic candidate is Rep. Kendrick Meek, who gets 17 percent. The governor has 38-29 percent lead against Rubio if the Democratic candidate is businessman Jeff Greene, who has 13 percent support.

Democrats make up 52 percent of Crist’s supporters, but the number will likely drop Democratic voters choose their candidate for the Aug. 24 primary. Currently , 60 percent of voters have not formed an opinion about Greene, and 55 percent are similarly unsure about what to think about Meek.

The governor only has a 44 percent job approval rating, the first time since April that less than 50 percent of the electorate approved of his job performance.

Rubio, a Tea Party favorite and former state House speaker, has 31 percent of voters viewing him favorably, 46 percent viewing him negatively, and 22 percent who said they are “not sure” of their opinion of him.

“It will be interesting to see if [Crist] can maintain enough support from Democrats to win the race, following the Democratic primary,” Public Policy Polling president Dean Debnam said in a statement.

In terms of fundraising, Rubio reported a record $4.5 million during the second quarter that ended June 30. Crist raised $1.8 million during the same period but has $8.2 million on hand, nearly double Rubio’s $4.4 million cash-on-hand.

Meek, a former state lawmaker and trooper with the Florida Highway Patrol, reported raising $1 million.

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