January 26, 2010 - Rubio Edges Crist In Florida Gop Senate Race, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; President Obama Under Water As Voters Disapprove

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Former State House Speaker Marco Rubio has squeaked past Gov. Charlie Crist in the race for the Republican U.S. Senate nomination, leading 47 - 44 percent and topping Gov. Crist on trust, values and conservative credentials, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.

Rubio beats the leading Democrat, South Florida Congressman Kendrick Meek, 44 - 35 percent in a general election matchup, the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University poll finds. Crist leads Meek 48 - 36 percent.

President Barack Obama is under water in Florida as voters disapprove 49 - 45 percent of his job performance, down from a 48 - 46 percent approval rating October 21.

Rubio's lead over Crist in the horse race represents a major reversal from October when the Governor led 50 - 35 percent; from August's 55 - 26 percent Crist lead and from June's lead of 54 - 23 percent.

"Who would have thunk it? A former state lawmaker virtually unknown outside of his South Florida home whose challenge to an exceedingly popular sitting governor for a U.S. Senate nomination had many insiders scratching their heads. He enters the race 31 points behind and seven months later sneaks into the lead," said Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. "And, the horse race numbers are not a fluke. Rubio also tops Crist on a number of other measurements from registered Republicans, who are the only folks who can vote in the primary. Rubio's grassroots campaigning among Republican activists around the state clearly has paid off.

"President Obama, who enjoyed a 64 - 23 percent approval rating in Florida in the first post-inaugural poll last February, is now under water."

"It is a reasonable assumption that the anger towards incumbents we are seeing around the country has hurt the Governor, who is the virtual incumbent in this race," Brown added.

Taking a more in-depth look at the two U.S. Senate candidates, Republican voters split 43 - 42 percent on whether Rubio or Crist is more likely to keep his campaign promises. But these voters say 45 - 40 percent that Rubio rather than Crist shares their values and 48 - 34 percent that Rubio is more consistently conservative.

Rubio gets a 32 - 14 percent favorability rating among Florida voters, with 53 percent who don't know enough about him to form an opinion. Republicans give him a 53 - 4 percent favorability, with 42 percent who don't know enough. Although Democrats view him negatively 25 - 7 percent, 34 percent of independent voters rate him favorably, with 13 percent unfavorable and 52 percent who don't know enough about him.

Crist is viewed favorably among Republicans 64 - 27 percent, 46 - 42 percent among Democrats and 51 - 36 percent among independents.

Meek is not nearly as well known as either Republican, as 72 percent of all voters, including 60 percent of Democrats, don't know enough about him to form an opinion.

Crist's job approval rating as Governor is 50 - 38 percent, down from 59 - 31 percent in an October 21 Quinnipiac University poll and his lowest grade ever.

"In order to defeat Rubio, Gov. Crist is going to have to turn around a perception that he is not as much the true-blue, or true-red, conservative as Rubio," Brown said. "That probably means lots of TV commercials attacking Rubio's conservative credentials."

Sen. Bill Nelson gets a 46 - 29 percent approval rating, while his colleague Sen. George Lemieux gets a 21 - 21 percent split, with 58 percent undecided on the recently appointed Senator.

From January 20 - 24, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,618 Florida voters with a margin of error of +/- 2.4 percentage points. The survey includes 673 Republicans with a margin of error of +/- 3.8 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.

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......................
                                          Lib/          WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Men    Wom    Mod    Con    Evnglcl
Rubio                47%    56%    39%    36%    52%    44%
Crist                44     37     51     55     39     48
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       -      -      -      -      -      -
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      -      -      -      1      -      -
DK/NA                 8      7     10      8      9      7
 
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.................................
                     Jan 26  Oct 21  Aug 19  Jun 10  Apr 16  Feb 18  Jan 21
                     2010    2009    2009    2009    2009    2009    2009
Rubio                47      35      26      23      11       6       6
Crist                44      50      55      54      na      na      na
Bense                na      na      na      na       3       4       2
Buchanan             na      na      na      na      16      11      10
McCollum             na      na      na      na      na      na      22
Mack                 na      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                 8      12      18      21      66      38      40
 
 
5.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                 36%     8%    69%    33%    32%    39%    20%
Crist                48     80     19     48     53     43     65
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       1      1      -      2      2      1      1
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      3      2      -      2      4      1      1
DK/NA                12     10     11     15      9     15     12
 
                     North/
                     PnHnd  Bay    Cntrl  SthW   SthE
Meek                 33%    34%    36%    23%    44%
Crist                51     52     45     55     42
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       2      1      1      2      -
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      2      2      4     10      -
DK/NA                13     10     14     11     13
 
TREND: 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?
                     Jan 26  Oct 21
                     2010    2009
Meek                 36      31
Crist                48      51
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       1       1
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      3       2
DK/NA                12      14
 
 
6. 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                 35%     4%    77%    27%    33%    36%    15%
Rubio                44     82     10     41     47     41     59
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       1      -      -      1      1      1      1
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      2      -      1      2      3      1      -
DK/NA                19     13     12     30     15     22     26
 
                     North/
                     PnHnd  Bay    Cntrl  SthW   SthE
Meek                 41%    28%    28%    26%    44%
Rubio                44     48     47     45     36
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       1      -      1      1      -
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      -      2      2      6      2
DK/NA                14     22     21     22     17
 
TREND: 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?
                     Jan 26  Oct 21
                     2010    2009
Meek                 35      36
Rubio                44      33
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       1       2
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      2       2
DK/NA                19      28
 
 
7. 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            18%     5%    34%    17%    18%    19%     6%
Unfavorable           8     12      5      9     12      5     10
Hvn't hrd enough     72     82     60     74     69     75     83
REFUSED               1      1      1      1      1      1      -
 
                     North/
                     PnHnd  Bay    Cntrl  SthW   SthE
Favorable            15%    14%    13%    11%    32%
Unfavorable           6     11      7      3     11
Hvn't hrd enough     79     73     79     86     56
REFUSED               -      1      1      -      1
 
TREND: Is your opinion of - Kendrick Meek favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                                                            FAVORABLE.....
                                                             High    Low
                     Jan 26  Oct 21  Aug 19  Jun 10  Apr 16  Oct 21  Apr 16
                     2010    2009    2009    2009    2009    2009    2009
Favorable            18      20      14      12      11      20      11
Unfavorable           8       8       5       7       6       8       6
Hvn't hrd enough     72      71      80      80      82      71      82
REFUSED               1       1       1       1       1       1       1
 
 
8. 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            32%    53%     7%    34%    38%    26%    35%
Unfavorable          14      4     25     13     17     12      5
Hvn't hrd enough     53     42     66     52     44     61     58
REFUSED               1      -      1      1      1      1      1
 
                     North/
                     PnHnd  Bay    Cntrl  SthW   SthE
Favorable            26%    37%    31%    31%    32%
Unfavorable           8     11     10      8     27
Hvn't hrd enough     67     50     57     61     39
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)
                     Jan 26  Oct 21  Aug 19  Jun 10  Apr 16  Feb 18  Jan 21
                     2010    2009    2009    2009    2009    2009*   2009*
Favorable            32      24      15      14      10      12      13
Unfavorable          14      11       9      11      11      18      17
Hvn't hrd enough     53      64      74      73      78      69      69
REFUSED               1       1       1       1       2       1       -
 
 
9. 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            52%    64%    46%    51%    53%    51%    58%
Unfavorable          36     27     42     36     39     33     33
Hvn't hrd enough      8      6      8      9      5     11      6
REFUSED               3      3      4      3      2      5      3
 
                     North/
                     PnHnd  Bay    Cntrl  SthW   SthE
Favorable            60%    48%    45%    64%    53%
Unfavorable          28     40     42     27     36
Hvn't hrd enough     10      8     10      5      7
REFUSED               2      4      3      3      4
 
TREND: Is your opinion of - Charlie Crist favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                                                             FAVORABLE.....
                                                             High    Low
                     Jan 26  Oct 21  Aug 19  Jun 10  Apr 16  Feb 19  Jan 26
                     2010    2009    2009    2009    2009    2009    2010
Favorable            52      58      60      60      64      68      52
Unfavorable          36      30      27      28      22      21      36
Hvn't hrd enough      8      10       9       9      10       9       8
REFUSED               3       2       3       3       3       3       3
 
 
13. 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              50%    62%    40%    51%    51%    48%    58%
Disapprove           38     32     43     36     41     36     34
DK/NA                12      7     17     13      8     17      8
 
                     North/
                     PnHnd  Bay    Cntrl  SthW   SthE
Approve              55%    51%    45%    61%    46%
Disapprove           31     39     44     30     39
DK/NA                15     10     11      9     15
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Charlie Crist is handling his job as Governor? (*High approve also 73% Mar 2007)
                                                     APPROVE.......  DIS....
                                                     High    Low     High
                     Jan 26  Oct 21  Aug 19  Jun 10  Jul 19  Jan 26  Jan 26
                     2010    2009    2009    2009    2007*   2010    2010
Approve              50      59      60      62      73      50      50
Disapprove           38      31      30      28      11      38      38
DK/NA                12      11       9      10      16      12      12
 
 
14. Do you approve or disapprove of the way the state legislature is handling its job?
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
Approve              36%    53%    26%    31%    37%    34%    46%
Disapprove           46     28     59     48     51     42     36
DK/NA                18     20     15     20     12     24     18
 
                     North/
                     PnHnd  Bay    Cntrl  SthW   SthE
Approve              45%    35%    32%    41%    31%
Disapprove           40     46     48     37     51
DK/NA                15     19     20     22     18
 
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
                     Jan 26  Oct 21  Aug 19  Jun 10  Sep 23  Oct 21  Apr 10
                     2010    2009    2009    2009    2004    2009*   2008
Approve              36      32      34      35      51      32      32
Disapprove           46      47      47      45      34      47      48
DK/NA                18      21      18      20      15      21      20
 
 
15. 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              46%    38%    59%    43%    43%    48%    41%
Disapprove           29     39     18     30     37     22     37
DK/NA                25     22     23     27     19     30     23
 
                     North/
                     PnHnd  Bay    Cntrl  SthW   SthE
Approve              44%    40%    44%    42%    53%
Disapprove           31     38     30     24     23
DK/NA                25     21     26     34     24
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Bill Nelson is handling his job as United States Senator?
                                                     APPROVE.......  DIS....
                                                     High    Low     High
                     Jan 26  Oct 21  Aug 19  Jun 10  Feb 6   Aug 12  Oct 21
                     2010    2009    2009    2009    2007    2004    2009
Approve              46      45      47      49      54      42      45
Disapprove           29      31      28      22      18      18      31
DK/NA                25      24      25      28      28      40      24
 
 
16. 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              21%    29%    17%    19%    24%    18%    21%
Disapprove           21     14     26     21     27     15     18
DK/NA                58     57     57     61     49     67     61
 
                     North/
                     PnHnd  Bay    Cntrl  SthW   SthE
Approve              22%    25%    21%    19%    19%
Disapprove           23     22     17     12     23
DK/NA                54     53     62     69     58
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way George LeMieux is handling his job as United States Senator?
                     Jan 26  Oct 21
                     2010    2009
Approve              21      16
Disapprove           21      18
DK/NA                58      66
 
 
19. 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              45%    13%    82%    44%    41%    48%    19%
Disapprove           49     82     11     51     53     45     76
DK/NA                 6      6      6      5      5      6      5
 
                     North/
                     PnHnd  Bay    Cntrl  SthW   SthE
Approve              38%    44%    43%    35%    56%
Disapprove           57     52     52     56     36
DK/NA                 5      3      5     10      8
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Barack Obama is handling his job as President?
                     Jan 26   Oct 21  Aug 20  Jun 10  Apr 16  Feb 19
                     2010     2009    2009    2009    2009    2009
Approve              45       48      47      58      60      64
Disapprove           49       46      48      35      32      23
DK/NA                 6        6       5       7       8      13
 
 
20. (If registered Republican) Regardless of how you intend to vote, Who do you trust more to do in office what they say they will do during the campaign; Marco Rubio or Charlie Crist?
                     REGISTERED REPUBLICAN......................
                                          Lib/          WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Men    Wom    Mod    Con    Evnglcl
Rubio                43%    52%    34%    27%    51%    40%
Crist                42     36     48     55     35     46
NO DIFF(VOL)          5      5      5      3      5      4
DK/NA                10      8     13     15      8     10
 
 
21. (If registered Republican) Regardless of how you intend to vote, Who do you believe most shares your values - Marco Rubio or Charlie Crist?
                     REGISTERED REPUBLICAN......................
                                          Lib/          WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Men    Wom    Mod    Con    Evnglcl
Rubio                45%    56%    35%    31%    52%    39%
Crist                40     34     46     52     35     45
NO DIFF(VOL)          2      1      3      1      3      3
DK/NA                13      9     17     17     10     14
 
 
22. (If registered Republican) Regardless of how you intend to vote, Who do you see as more consistently conservative - Marco Rubio or Charlie Crist?
                     REGISTERED REPUBLICAN......................
                                          Lib/          WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Men    Wom    Mod    Con    Evnglcl
Rubio                48%    59%    37%    34%    55%    44%
Crist                34     29     40     46     29     33
NO DIFF(VOL)          1      1      1      -      2      2
DK/NA                17     12     22     20     15     21
 
 
23. (If registered Republican and voting for Rubio in q2) If you were convinced that Charlie Crist would definitely win the general election in November, but Marco Rubio might not win the general election in November, would that change your vote in the Republican primary for Senator?
                     RUBIO VOTERS Q2
Yes                  20%
No                   74
DK/NA                 6