October 21, 2009 - Rubio Cuts Into Crist Lead In Florida GOP Race, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; Obama's Approval Up Slightly With Big Gender Gap

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Gov. Charlie Crist's lead over former state house speaker Marco Rubio in the 2010 Republican U.S. Senate primary has been cut in half from 55 - 26 percent to 50 - 35 percent, but the Governor tops the leading Democrat, U.S. Rep. Kendrick Meek, 51 - 31 percent among all voters, while Rubio trails Meek 36 - 33 percent, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.

Republican State Attorney General Bill McCollum edges Democrat State CFO Alex Sink 36 - 32 percent in the 2010 race for Governor, the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University survey finds. McCollum has a commanding 43 - 7 percent lead over State Sen. Paula Dockery in a primary for the GOP nomination, not surprising since 91 percent of Floridians don't know enough about her to have an opinion.

President Barack Obama gets a split 48 - 46 percent approval rating, compared to a negative 47 - 48 percent score August 20. His slightly elevated standing in Florida is similar to the pattern that is occurring in a number of other states this fall.

"Gov. Charlie Crist's lead, which had been 29 points August 19, has come back down to earth. His margin is still formidable, but obviously Marco Rubio's focus on convincing Republican conservatives that he, not Crist, is their kind of guy is bearing fruit," said Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

"Among Republicans, 44 percent view Rubio favorably, 3 percent unfavorably, up from 24 - 6 percent August 19. But fully half don't know enough about him to have an opinion. Filling in that blank slate for that half of GOP voters - positively by Rubio and negatively by Crist - will decide the nomination.

"Floridians now give Crist the worst overall job approval of his governorship, 59 - 31 percent, but governors of many other states would sell their first born - or at least their running mate - for numbers like that," said Brown. "But because only Republicans can vote in the GOP primary, Rubio's strong favorable/unfavorable ratio among Republicans is something that should worry the Governor."

Crist's 51 - 31 percent lead over Meek is largely due to his 58 - 22 percent margin among independent voters. In a Rubio-Meek face-off, independents tip to the Republican by a small 31 - 27 percent margin.

McCollum benefits from not only better name recognition than Sink, but a higher job approval than she enjoys. Voters approve 53 - 19 percent of McCollum's performance as attorney general; by 38 - 23 percent they give Ms. Sink a thumbs up as CFO.

"McCollum retains a lead, but almost a quarter of the electorate is undecided, giving Ms. Sink plenty of opportunity with 13 months until Election Day," said Brown. "As far as the Republican gubernatorial nomination goes, Ms. Dockery has a long, long way to go to become competitive.

"It is interesting that President Obama's approval rating has inched up in a state with many senior citizens, voters who are especially sensitive to the health care debate," Brown said. "Obama still gets a 50 - 41 percent thumbs down from independent voters. Women approve of Obama 51 - 42 percent, while men disapprove 51 - 43 percent."

Crist's choice of his former campaign manager, George LeMieux, to replace Mel Martinez in the U.S. Senate splits the electorate almost equally: 34 percent approve, 32 disapprove and 34 percent aren't sure. Two-thirds of voters haven't decided yet about LeMieux's job performance, with the rest split almost evenly between approval and disapproval.

Florida's other U.S. Senator, Bill Nelson gets a 45 - 31 approval rating.

From October 12 - 18, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,078 Florida voters with a margin of error of +/- 3 percentage points. The survey includes 396 Republicans with a margin of error of +/- 4.9 percentage points.

The Quinnipiac University Poll, directed by Douglas Schwartz, Ph.D., conducts public opinion surveys in Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Florida, Ohio and the nation as a public service and for research. For more data or RSS feed- http://www.quinnipiac.edu/polling.xml, call (203) 582-5201, or follow us on Twitter.

1. (If registered Republican) If the 2010 Republican primary for Governor were being held today and the candidates were Bill McCollum and Paula Dockery, for whom would you vote?
                     REGISTERED REPUBLICAN
                     Tot    Men    Wom
 
McCollum             43%    56%    33%
Dockery               7      9      6
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       1      2      -
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      2      3      1
DK/NA                47     31     60
 
 
2. (If registered Republican) If the 2010 Republican primary for United States Senator were being held today and the candidates were Marco Rubio and Charlie Crist, for whom would you vote?
                     REGISTERED REPUBLICAN
                     Tot    Men    Wom
 
Rubio                35%    39%    33%
Crist                50     49     51
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       1      -      2
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      1      1      -
DK/NA                12     11     14
 
TREND:(If registered Republican) If the 2010 Republican primary for United States Senator were being held today and the candidates were Marco Rubio and Charlie Crist, for whom would you vote? (na:Not Asked)
                     REGISTERED REPUBLICAN.........................
                     Oct 21  Aug 19  Jun 10  Apr 16  Feb 18  Jan 21
                     2009    2009    2009    2009    2009    2009
 
Rubio                35      26      23      11       6       6
Crist                50      55      54      na      na      na
Bense                na      na      na       3       4       2
Buchanan             na      na      na      16      11      10
McCollum             na      na      na      na      na      22
Mack                 na      na      na      na      34      21
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       1       1       1       2       2       -
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      1       1       1       2       5       -
DK/NA                12      18      21      66      38      40
 
 
3. If the 2010 election for Governor were being held today and the candidates were Alex Sink the Democrat and Bill McCollum the Republican, for whom would you vote?
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Sink                 32%     7%    64%    23%    30%    34%    14%
McCollum             36     79      8     33     39     34     59
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       2      -      2      2      2      2      2
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      2      1      1      2      4      1      2
DK/NA                27     12     24     41     24     29     23
 
                     North/
                     PnHnd  Bay    Cntrl  SthW   SthE
 
Sink                 28%    34%    27%    33%    39%
McCollum             34     30     40     35     41
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       2      3      3      1      1
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      1      5      3      -      1
DK/NA                35     28     28     31     18
 
TREND: If the 2010 election for Governor were being held today and the candidates were Alex Sink the Democrat and Bill McCollum the Republican, for whom would you vote?
                     Oct 21  Aug 19  Jun 9
                     2009    2009    2009
 
Sink                 32      34      38
McCollum             36      38      34
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       2       1       1
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      2       1       2
DK/NA                27      25      25
 
 
4. If the 2010 election for United States Senator were being held today and the candidates were Kendrick Meek the Democrat and Charlie Crist the Republican, for whom would you vote?
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Meek                 31%    12%    58%    22%    29%    33%    20%
Crist                51     76     28     58     53     50     64
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       1      -      -      1      1      1      1
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      2      4      -      2      4      1      3
DK/NA                14      7     14     17     13     15     12
 
                     North/
                     PnHnd  Bay    Cntrl  SthW   SthE
 
Meek                 26%    30%    31%    31%    38%
Crist                51     49     48     61     53
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       -      1      1      1      1
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      1      5      3      1      1
DK/NA                22     15     17      7      7
 
 
5. If the 2010 election for United States Senator were being held today and the candidates were Kendrick Meek the Democrat and Marco Rubio the Republican, for whom would you vote?
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Meek                 36%     6%    71%    27%    34%    38%    15%
Rubio                33     74      5     31     36     31     51
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       2      1      1      2      3      1      2
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      2      -      1      2      2      1      1
DK/NA                28     20     22     38     24     30     32
 
                     North/
                     PnHnd  Bay    Cntrl  SthW   SthE
 
Meek                 34%    30%    28%    44%    47%
Rubio                32     31     34     24     38
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       1      1      4      1      1
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      1      5      1      1      1
DK/NA                32     33     33     30     13
 
 
6. Is your opinion of - Kendrick Meek favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Favorable            20%    11%    31%    20%    21%    20%    12%
Unfavorable           8     11      4      8      9      7      8
Hvn't hrd enough     71     78     64     70     70     72     80
REFUSED               1      -      1      1      -      1      -
 
                     North/
                     PnHnd  Bay    Cntrl  SthW   SthE
 
Favorable            22%    13%    14%    15%    33%
Unfavorable           7      5      4      1     16
Hvn't hrd enough     71     81     81     83     49
REFUSED               -      1      1      1      1
 
TREND: Is your opinion of - Kendrick Meek favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him? (*Congressman Kendrick Meek)
                     Oct 21  Aug 19  Jun 10  Apr 16  Feb 18  Jan 21  Nov 18
                     2009    2009    2009    2009    2009*   2009*   2008*
 
Favorable            20      14      12      11      12      14      14
Unfavorable           8       5       7       6       6       6       8
Hvn't hrd enough     71      80      80      82      80      79      76
REFUSED               1       1       1       1       2       1       2
 
 
7. Is your opinion of - Marco Rubio, favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Favorable            24%    44%     6%    25%    26%    22%    33%
Unfavorable          11      3     19     12     14      9      5
Hvn't hrd enough     64     52     74     62     59     68     61
REFUSED               1      2      1      -      1      1      1
 
                     North/
                     PnHnd  Bay    Cntrl  SthW   SthE
 
Favorable            20%    20%    23%    19%    33%
Unfavorable          13     10      7     12     16
Hvn't hrd enough     67     68     70     67     52
REFUSED               -      2      1      2      -
 
TREND: Is your opinion of - Marco Rubio, favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him? (*former Florida House Speaker Marco Rubio)
                     Oct 21  Aug 19  Jun 10  Apr 16  Feb 18  Jan 21
                     2009    2009    2009    2009    2009*   2009*
 
Favorable            24      15      14      10      12      13
Unfavorable          11       9      11      11      18      17
Hvn't hrd enough     64      74      73      78      69      69
REFUSED               1       1       1       2       1       -
 
 
8. Is your opinion of - Charlie Crist favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Favorable            58%    63%    47%    65%    57%    58%    61%
Unfavorable          30     30     35     24     32     29     32
Hvn't hrd enough     10      5     15      9     10     10      4
REFUSED               2      2      3      2      2      3      2
 
                     North/
                     PnHnd  Bay    Cntrl  SthW   SthE
 
Favorable            56%    63%    51%    63%    59%
Unfavorable          26     31     33     25     31
Hvn't hrd enough     16      3     13     10      8
REFUSED               1      3      3      2      2
 
TREND: Is your opinion of - Charlie Crist favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     Oct 21  Aug 19  Jun 10  Apr 16  Feb 19  Jan 21  Nov 18
                     2009    2009    2009    2009    2009    2009    2008
 
Favorable            58      60      60      64      68      67      65
Unfavorable          30      27      28      22      21      21      22
Hvn't hrd enough     10       9       9      10       9      10      10
REFUSED               2       3       3       3       3       2       2
 
 
9. Is your opinion of - Bill McCollum favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Favorable            34%    47%    27%    31%    40%    29%    40%
Unfavorable          14     10     20     10     16     12     13
Hvn't hrd enough     50     41     51     58     43     57     44
REFUSED               2      2      2      1      1      2      2
 
                     North/
                     PnHnd  Bay    Cntrl  SthW   SthE
 
Favorable            26%    31%    42%    45%    32%
Unfavorable           7     12     18     16     16
Hvn't hrd enough     65     55     39     36     52
REFUSED               2      2      1      3      1
 
TREND: Is your opinion of - Bill McCollum favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him? (*Attorney General Bill McCollum)
                     Oct 21  Aug 19  Jun 9   Jan 21
                     2009    2009    2009    2009*
 
Favorable            34      42      40      40
Unfavorable          14      13      13      14
Hvn't hrd enough     50      43      46      44
REFUSED               2       2       2       1
 
 
10. Is your opinion of - Alex Sink favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about her?
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Favorable            23%     9%    34%    21%    24%    22%    16%
Unfavorable           8     17      4      5     10      7      9
Hvn't hrd enough     68     73     61     73     66     71     74
REFUSED               1      1      -      -      1      1      1
 
                     North/
                     PnHnd  Bay    Cntrl  SthW   SthE
 
Favorable            22%    32%    19%    16%    22%
Unfavorable           7     10      9      8      7
Hvn't hrd enough     70     58     70     76     71
REFUSED               1      -      1      -      1
 
TREND: Is your opinion of - Alex Sink favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about her? (*Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink)
                     Oct 21  Aug 19  Jun 9   Jan 21  Nov 18
                     2009    2009    2009    2009*   2008*
 
Favorable            23      23      25      24      27
Unfavorable           8       8       7       5      13
Hvn't hrd enough     68      68      66      70      59
REFUSED               1       1       1       1       1
 
 
11. Is your opinion of - Paula Dockery favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about her?
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Favorable             5%     7%     3%     7%     6%     5%     7%
Unfavorable           3      6      3      2      5      2      5
Hvn't hrd enough     91     87     93     90     88     93     88
REFUSED               1      -      2      1      1      1      -
 
                     North/
                     PnHnd  Bay    Cntrl  SthW   SthE
 
Favorable             3%     8%     4%     1%     8%
Unfavorable           2      5      5      3      1
Hvn't hrd enough     95     87     90     91     91
REFUSED               -      -      1      4      1
 
 
12. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Charlie Crist is handling his job as Governor?
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Approve              59%    62%    54%    65%    61%    57%    59%
Disapprove           31     30     34     27     29     32     31
DK/NA                11      8     12      8     10     11      9
 
                     North/
                     PnHnd  Bay    Cntrl  SthW   SthE
 
Approve              57%    60%    53%    75%    59%
Disapprove           28     28     38     18     33
DK/NA                14     12     10      7      9
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Charlie Crist is handling his job as Governor? (*High approve also 73% Mar 2007, **Low approve also 59% Apr 2008)
                                                     APPROVE.......  DIS....
                                                     High    Low     High
                     Oct 21  Aug 19  Jun 10  Apr 15  Jul 19  Oct 21  Oct 21
                     2009    2009    2009    2009    2007*   2009**  2009
 
Approve              59      60      62      66      73      59      59
Disapprove           31      30      28      23      11      31      31
DK/NA                11       9      10      11      16      11      11
 
 
13. Do you approve or disapprove of the way the state legislature is handling its job?
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Approve              32%    40%    25%    33%    31%    33%    39%
Disapprove           47     40     55     47     51     44     38
DK/NA                21     19     20     19     18     23     23
 
                     North/
                     PnHnd  Bay    Cntrl  SthW   SthE
 
Approve              38%    32%    31%    27%    30%
Disapprove           45     44     46     54     51
DK/NA                17     24     23     19     19
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way the state legislature is handling its job? (*Low approve also 32% Apr 2008)
                                                     APPROVE.......  DIS...
                                                     High    Low     High
                     Oct 21  Aug 19  Jun 10  Apr 15  Sep 23  Oct 21  Apr 10
                     2009    2009    2009    2009    2004    2009*   2008
 
Approve              32      34      35      40      51      32      32
Disapprove           47      47      45      42      34      47      48
DK/NA                21      18      20      18      15      21      20
 
 
14. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Bill Nelson is handling his job as United States Senator?
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Approve              45%    33%    56%    47%    43%    48%    46%
Disapprove           31     40     22     31     37     25     34
DK/NA                24     27     22     22     20     27     19
 
                     North/
                     PnHnd  Bay    Cntrl  SthW   SthE
 
Approve              42%    45%    50%    55%    41%
Disapprove           39     26     29     24     33
DK/NA                19     30     21     21     26
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Bill Nelson is handling his job as United States Senator?
                                                     APPROVE.......  DIS....
                                                     High    Low     High
                     Oct 21  Aug 19  Jun 10  Apr 16  Feb 6   Aug 12  Oct 21
                     2009    2009    2009    2009    2007    2004    2009
 
Approve              45      47      49      52      54      42      45
Disapprove           31      28      22      24      18      18      31
DK/NA                24      25      28      24      28      40      24
 
 
15. Do you approve or disapprove of the way George LeMieux is handling his job as United States Senator?
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Approve              16%    17%    19%    14%    18%    15%    10%
Disapprove           18     19     20     15     19     17     23
DK/NA                66     63     61     71     63     68     67
 
                     North/
                     PnHnd  Bay    Cntrl  SthW   SthE
 
Approve              17%    13%    15%    22%    17%
Disapprove           22     13     16     21     19
DK/NA                61     73     69     57     64
 
 
16. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Bill McCollum is handling his job as Florida's Attorney General?
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Approve              53%    65%    49%    52%    57%    50%    56%
Disapprove           19     12     24     20     21     18     16
DK/NA                27     22     27     28     21     32     28
 
                     North/
                     PnHnd  Bay    Cntrl  SthW   SthE
 
Approve              47%    49%    57%    69%    54%
Disapprove           21     17     18     14     23
DK/NA                32     34     25     17     24
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Bill McCollum is handling his job as Florida's Attorney General? (*High approve also 53% Aug 2009)
                                                             APPROVE.......
                                                             High    Low
                     Oct 21  Aug 19  Jun 9   Apr 15  Feb 18  Oct 21  Oct 24
                     2009    2009    2009    2009    2009    2009*   2007
 
Approve              53      53      51      48      48      53      44
Disapprove           19      16      16      18      17      19      17
DK/NA                27      31      33      34      35      27      39
 
 
17. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Alex Sink is handling her job as Florida's Chief Financial Officer?
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Approve              38%    33%    45%    34%    40%    35%    31%
Disapprove           23     24     16     28     25     22     22
DK/NA                39     43     39     38     35     43     48
 
                     North/
                     PnHnd  Bay    Cntrl  SthW   SthE
 
Approve              38%    41%    28%    54%    39%
Disapprove           25     23     27     13     21
DK/NA                37     36     46     33     40
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Alex Sink is handling her job as Florida's Chief Financial Officer? (*High approve also 39% Jan 2009)
                                                             APPROVE.......
                                                             High    Low
                     Oct 21  Aug 19  Jun 9   Apr 15  Feb 18  Jun 9   Feb 18
                     2009    2009    2009    2009    2009    2009*   2009
 
Approve              38      37      39      33      32      39      32
Disapprove           23      21      17      22      22      17      22
DK/NA                39      42      44      46      46      44      46
 
 
18. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Barack Obama is handling his job as President?
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Approve              48%    13%    81%    41%    43%    51%    21%
Disapprove           46     82     15     50     51     42     69
DK/NA                 6      5      4      9      6      7     10
 
                     North/
                     PnHnd  Bay    Cntrl  SthW   SthE
 
Approve              47%    48%    39%    61%    51%
Disapprove           44     46     52     36     45
DK/NA                 8      6      9      2      4
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Barack Obama is handling his job as President?
                     Oct 21  Aug 20  Jun 10  Apr 16  Feb 19
                     2009    2009    2009    2009    2009
 
Approve              48      47      58      60      64
Disapprove           46      48      35      32      23
DK/NA                 6       5       7       8      13
 
 
19. Do you approve or disapprove of Charlie Crist's selection of George LeMieux to replace Mel Martinez in the United States Senate?
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Approve              34%    40%    29%    36%    39%    30%    46%
Disapprove           32     28     37     32     32     33     23
DK/NA                34     31     34     32     30     37     31
 
                     North/
                     PnHnd  Bay    Cntrl  SthW   SthE
 
Approve              37%    32%    34%    34%    33%
Disapprove           28     29     30     38     39
DK/NA                34     38     36     28     29