FL-Sen: Rasmussen Dishes Out Some Tasty Cat Fud

And we’re here to serve it up – or hide it in the dryer. Rasmussen (12/15, likely voters, 10/19 in parens):

Charlie Crist (R): 43 (49)

Marco Rubio (R): 43 (35)

Some other: (5) (4)

Not sure: 9 (12)

(MoE: ±5%)

It’s a tie game. Maybe this explains why Charlie Crist didn’t celebrate his first anniversary with his wife – the campaign is clearly demanding too much from him.

66 thoughts on “FL-Sen: Rasmussen Dishes Out Some Tasty Cat Fud”

  1. If he stays in the GOP primary he’s going to get crushed.  I don’t see him cracking 40% against Rubio.

    He can’t pull out of the race and run for re-election either because McCollum sure as hell won’t step aside for Crist and Crist won’t beat McCollum in a primary.

    His only viable option seems to be run as an independent for Senate.  

  2. I expect Rubio to get around 70% to 80% of the vote in the panhandle among all the wingnuts that live there. Since it is likely the Rubio will beat Crist I think its time to draft Betty Castor now!

  3. when Rasmussen shows Democrats in trouble they have “an axe to grind” but when it shows Republicans eating their own, it’s taken to be gospel?

    They are a polling firm like any other and if they massage the data, they will be exposed like what happened with Strategic Vision.  

  4. omigod! 😀 We may actually have a shot at taking this seat if Rubio wins the primary. I defiantly was not expecting Rubio to get this much support this earlier. Time for a shake up in the Crist campaign/strategy?  

  5.  This is going to sound different from everybody but Rubio should peak soon. Rubio at first did poorly because no one knew who he was and now people are getting to know who he is. People will start to slink back toward Crist because people should think “Yeah, I liked Rubio but he seems a little too Conservative.” Also, I think alot of people who moved to Florida moved there because they wanted to get away from the…people who look like Rubio. I know people in Florida who are Liberal Jewish people from NYC and are not a fan of the people who look like Rubio. If Liberals in Florida can be like that, think of the Conservatives’ opinion. Rubio should have a very tough time winning their votes because I do not see many voters bringing themselves to be tolerant and vote for someone who looks like Rubio (side note, Betty Castor in 2004 did well in the Panhandle against moderate Republican Mel Martinez.) Also, Rubio may not even win Hispanics because the majority of Florida Hispanics are not Cuban and there is animosity between the groups. Florida however is not a ultra Conservative state (except for the Panhandle) which only casts about 10% of the Republican primary vote anyway. When you add the Jacksonville area, it gets to about 23% of the vote but this is still not very high.

    Overall, I do not see Rubio winning much east and south of Ocala except for Miami Dade County.  

  6. That Rubio wins the primary and general election. Then we have a teabagger senator instead of a rationale one.(By we I mean the united states, I don’t live on Florida)

  7. There’s no way Crist can beat Rubio in a Republican Primary and there’s no way Meek can win election in a Republican-leaning midterm. The only wrench into this would be Crist going Dem or third-party. The end.

  8. He’s obviously a naked opportunist. I think he’d have an easier time beating Meek in a Democratic primary than Rubio in the GOP one. What are the chances the GOP primary gets so ugly and unwinnable that he runs as a Democrat?

    No question Rasmussen skews their polls to be sensationalistic. I’d be surprised if Rubio is tied, but I don’t doubt he’s within low single digits of Mr. Crist.  

  9. I’d rather have Crist beat Rubio, than Rubio face Meek. I just think the optics and political environment do not portend a Meek victory. The thing with Rubio is that not stopping him now risks him becoming too big to defeat in the future (see GOP hopes of retaining IL Senate Seat in 2004 when Dems nominated a guy called Barack Obama).

    Rubio sells his conservatism very well and I just think it will be hard to nail him hard against Meek and once he’s in the Senate its next stop, 1600 Penn. It’s just not a risk I’m willing to take but that’s just me.

    As per Crist running as an indy or a Dem, that would most certainly guarantee a Rubio win and Dems would be unwise to pursue this option. Crist should go full negative against Rubio now and often. He has the money and there is litle downside and lots of upside ( basically, what Clinton should have done to cut off Obama’s legs in the fall of 2007, but as they say that’s history.) Indeed, I could argue that a bloodied but victorious Crist is better for Meek than a bloodied but victorious Rubio.

  10. …. peaking too soon.  Now that is has closed the gap with Crist, he will get a lot more scrutiny. But if he can win the primary then he wins the general, unless the economy is VASTED improved from what it is today.

    2010 is going to be a referendum on Obama, that sinks Meek unless Obama is much more popular in FL than he is now.  The economy has to improve for that to happen.  If it does, Meek has a shot. If it doesn’t, then brace yourself for Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL).  He then becomes the long-awaited heir to the Reagan legacy.    

  11. Look, I would LOVE to believe these numbers, but they don’t pass the sniff test and the poll has very obvious methodological problems common to Rasmussen that routinely produce outliers that are either catnip or panic-inducing for us, as the case may be.

    First, it’s only 431 respondents, with a 5% margin of error.  That’s very high.  You very rarely see a public polling outfit with so few respondents and such a high margin of error, unless they’re really trying to poll the general and the primary numbers are just an offshoot that they throw out there because they can.  Now, Rasmussen might be doing exactly that, but since they do dirt-cheap robocalls there’s no excuse for them not to do a lot more respondents to bring down that margin of error.

    Second, it’s a one-night sample.  This is perhaps the single biggest problem Rasmussen ALWAYS has, and it does, as noted above, produce the occasional batshit crazy outlier, which is exactly why no other polling outfit does one-night samples.

    Third, they’re using a likely voter screen for a primary election that’s 8 months away.  A likely voter screen is plenty difficult to do accurately in any case for a primary election, but for one 8 months away it’s virtually nothing more than guesswork.  Again, this is a routine problem with Rasmussen that they use likely voter screens for everything, no matter how far away, and it’s a component problem of all their polls except for near-term general elections.

    All this adds up to occasional stupid poll results.  The one I always like to point to is last year’s NH-Sen August Rasmussen poll that had Sununu suddenly up 52-45 on Shaheen, contradicting both all other contemporaneous polling and all other Rasmussen polling on that same race.

    So I just can’t take this FL-Sen primary poll seriously unless and until I see other polling corroborate it.

    And it’s worth noting the most recent poll or two before this latest Rasmussen effort actually showed Crist with a healthy lead, larger than some prior polls that showed Rubio having gained ground.

  12. I came to the conclusion Robio was going to beat him in the primary back in early fall but I didn’t expect Rubio to close the gap until at least February or March of next year.  Crist’s fall is astonishing.

  13. I’d wager that Crist actually outperforms against Rubio in the panhandle just because of the racist factor. Either way though, my understanding of the panhandle is that there are a lot of registered Democrats who are to the right of some Republicans (but who, nonetheless can’t vote in the closed primary anyways).

    Rubio will do extremely well in the Miami area, he’ll rack up big margins among Cubans there.

  14. Assuming voters in the Panhandle “know” that Crist is gay, it’s unclear to me if that would be more or less important than the color of Rubio’s skin.

  15. Mel Martinez underperformed in the Panhandle in 2004 both in the primary and general.  But I still think those white Panhandle conservatives will come out heavily for Rubio even if he is Hispanic.

  16. I keep getting the feeling that if Crist were to go full negative against Rubio it would make things a lot closer.  Right now Rubio has everything going for him – will that magic last going into late 2010?  Also, if the polls keep showing Crist handily beating Meek but Rubio struggling to win the general, might that not make a lot of the rank and file Republicans nervous that they may be blowing a race that would otherwise be an easy hold?

  17. I checked the tags on this post – I forgot to include “gospel” as one of them! I’ll go fix that right away….

    Anyhow, even if one thinks that Ras is finding ways to massage the numbers for horserace polls in favor of Republicans (not something I suggested in my post on Sunday), that generally would not apply to an R-on-R primary.

  18. But can Crist bring down the hammer? I’m not sure that he can.

    2) I highly doubt that the rank-and-file would act so strategically, especially given that the teabaggers seem to be motivated by sentiments like DeMint’s (rather have 30 senators who agree with him than a majority which includes some who don’t). I also doubt that, next summer, we’ll see many polls which show Meek beating Rubio.

  19. from the Sunday posting to this one strongly suggest you do not believe the Rasmussen polls when they show Democrats in trouble but do when they show Rubio in a tie with Crist.  

  20. I think the verdict is out in both cases! (Though I’m actually generally inclined to believe that Rasmussen’s horserace polls are a lot better than their issue polls, which is why I linked to Nate Silver’s analysis, which had Rasmussen as the third-most accurate pollster of those he surveyed.)

    I think you may be mistaking my glee that Rasmussen might be right with this poll for certainty that they are. I’d like to see other confirmatory polls first. But I’m happy for whatever grief this causes Charlie Crist in the meantime.

  21. Rubio’s tenure as speaker allowed for plenty of tax and spending increases.  His record has been barely scrutinized at this point, much less his personal history or anything else that would be potentially damaging.  He’s been able to frame himself in the most positive possible light for the last 4-5 months, and yet he is only tied with Crist.  That says to me he’s got a “flavor of the month” feel about him, and he needs to prove his rise is sustainable.

    I also dispute that it’s impossible for Meek to be behind Rubio in this race.  He’ll likely be hitting the airwaves full-blast in spring of 2010 if not sooner, and if the fur flies in the GOP primary (which I’d be shocked if Crist were to go out so quietly) Rubio’s positives will undoubtedly falter to at least some extent.  If the disparity in polling still exists, the party bosses may be more inclined to boost Crist than allow a liberal black Democrat the Florida Senate seat (I do agree with you on the teabagger sentiment, but I’m referring more to party leadership).

  22. Only Rasmussen showed Rubio doing better than Crist versus Meek last time. Similar thing in a couple other states. California springs to mind. But I too give him the benefit of the doubt on horserace polls. Approval and issues, fuggeddaboudit!

  23. Basically all the Florida democrats in Congress have already backed Meek and everyone else is running for something else.  Meek is also doing very well financially which discourages primary opponents.  Meek is our nominee, like it or not.

  24. This is going to sound different from everybody but Rubio should peak soon. Rubio at first did poorly because no one knew who he was and now people are getting to know who he is. People will start to slink back toward Crist because people should think “Yeah, I liked Rubio but he seems a little too Conservative.”

    Primaries in Florida are closed to party members only.  The republican primaries are overwhelmingly dominated by conservatives.  Anotherwords the more batshit crazy Rubio’s image becomes the better he’s going to do in the primary against Crist, not worse.

  25. I think alot of people who moved to Florida moved there because they wanted to get away from the…people who look like Rubio

    Then they’re stupid and moved to the wrong state. They should try, I don’t know, maybe Vermont?

  26. A lot of progressives are not happy with him, but he is by default our party’s nominee, as it is pretty much too late for anyone else to jump into that race, probably even if that person is a bajillionaire. Even Newsom never stood a chance because of Brown’s huge advantage in the name ID department, which is extremely important in an uber-expensive state.

  27. If you want to move to a state full of white people Florida is the most unlikely of places.  It’s one of the most diverse states in the country.

  28. Everyone expects Jerry Brown to beat Meg Whitman or Steve Poizner in the general, but I’ve heard very few think Kendrick Meek would be able to dispatch Crist or Rubio.

    Our best bet is that this gets so nasty that whomever emerges from the GOP primary has been beaten up to the point that they are broke and unelectable.  

  29. holds their primaries in August. (I think..) Which means someone coming out of their primary bruised and battered only has 2 months to lick their wounds until November is upon them.

  30. He’s too right-wing to win a Democratic primary.

    My question would be, what about him running as an Independent?

  31. Lots of conservatives would likely stay home. Best case scenario is a narrow primary win for the orange skinned one.

  32. if Crist is on the ballot in the fall, he’ll win.

    And Rubio would have no shot.  Right now if they are tied, Rubio picks up, oh, close to zero non-Republican votes if Crist is in.  Crist picks up a lot of independants.  Rubio would have to be ahead of Crist by more than 10 points in a Rep primary poll to have a chance in the general.  

    If Crist runs, he has to worry about losing to Meek, not Rubio.

    And if Crist wins, the searing attacks on him from Rubio and other extremist Republicans should make it at least a 15% chance that he caucuses with the Democrats.

    Crist running as an independant is win-win for Crist and for Team Blue.

  33. Remember, Florida has every statewide race up for leection in 2010 except Bill Nelson’s seat.  The Governor’s race, AG, Ag Comm and CFO are all up and ever single one of them are open contests with no incumbent.  Conservatives are likely to turn out to try and get conservatives like McCollum elected Governor even if Crist is their Senate nominee.  

    The Governor’s race has far bigger stakes for Florida and maybe the nation than the Senate race does.

  34. And I do hope that is the case.  I think she’ll win but I just don’t see it being anything other than close.  

  35. If Meek ends up running a strong campaign he has a good chance at beating Rubio.  He’s just a very unproven commodity, though Rubio is as well.  

  36. “the Dems destroyed Crist”?

    Crist’s troubles are self-inflicted.

    Plus having the misfortune (for him) of being a moderate Repub in a time of wingnut ascension.

    Plus currently a general dislike of Governors nationwide.

  37. His congressional district is a gerrymandered safe seat. And his voting record reflects hsi district which doesn’t indicate he’ll reach out to the middle. He hasn’t even run against an R in a general election.  

  38. We already have a LOT of batshit crazy Republican Senators.  Rubio will never flank DeMint or Coburn on the right rhetorically, and frankly on legislation and votes the more quiet Rethugs are really no different from the bomb-throwers.

    I don’t doubt that Rubio can be painted as too conservative for Florida in the general, and that Meek can win, even though Meek obviously can be painted as too liberal and Rubio could just as easily win.

    But ultimately I think it’s a mistake to think Rubio and Crist would be substantially different as Senators.  Crist has made clear he understands he must move right to remain acceptable within his own party, and I think everyone should expect a Senator Crist to be ultimately little different from a Senator Rubio.

    And that means just root for Rubio since he’s the one Meek has a more realistic chance of beating!

  39. These people elected the Sarah Palin of the south, Katherine Harris, in 2006 to run against Bill Nelson, she got slaughtered.

    They are a bunch of wing nuts, I’d be surprised if Rubio DIDN’T get the nomination.

  40. That the panhandle being antigay will cancel out the racists? Or is it purely the teabaggers trying to purify the Republican Party?

  41.  I bet your average voter who moves to Florida do not know how diverse Florida is. Or they just move to the non diverse parts of Florida. I know people who moved to Florida to get away from “the people who look like Rubio.” They live in gated communities where they can keep people they do not want out of there.  

  42. They probably cancel each other out.  Something similar might occur in a Meek-Rubio race given candidate races.

  43. Even the third-tier no-names could have outperformed Harris in 2006.  There was absolutely no excuse for republicans giving Nelson a pass and over 60% of the vote.  Any halfway credible repub could have held him to the mid 50’s.

  44. Even Rush lives in his gated castle in south Florida where he never has to interact with the “little people.”

  45. Rubio is always going to take nearly the entire Cubano vote regardless of how far-right he is.  Just watch, if it’s Rubio-Meek Rubio will take upwards of 85% of their vote.  Not that it matters all that much, they aren’t a swing demographic anyhow.  Non-Cuban Hispanics far outnumber them and that trend is growing.

  46. True.  Though in fairness Obama is the only one I can think of who was elected statewide.

    Our Chief Justice of the Supreme Court in Florida is a black democrat, but she was appointed not elected.  

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