Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity

The most important number in politics today

10

That's the number of points separating Florida Gov. Charlie Crist and former state House Speaker Marco Rubio in their Republican primary fight for the seat of retiring Sen. Mel Martinez (R), according to anew survey conducted by Research 2000 for the liberal Daily Kos blog.

Crist leads Rubio 47 percent to 37 percent in the survey, a huge change from January when Crist held a wide 57 percent to 4 percent edge over Rubio (state Attorney General Bill McCollum took 11 percent) in a similar Research 2000 poll.

A Quinnipiac University poll released in late October showed a similarly rapid narrowing of Crist's margin from 29 points in August to just 15 last month.

That Rubio has made up so much ground without spending any real money on voter contact -- television or radio ads, direct mail etc. -- should be very worrisome to Crist as it seems to suggest considerable softness in his numbers. In other words, the more Republicans look closely at Crist, the less they like what they see.

Crist has struggled mightily over the past month or so to square some of the positions he has taken as governor -- particularly his support for President Barack Obama's economic stimulus package -- with the prospect of a serious primary challenge from his ideological right in the form of Rubio.

These numbers will almost certainly aggravate those problems for Crist while simultaneously handing even more momentum to Rubio who, by all reports, is raking in money hand over fist in recent weeks as he capitalizes on his newfound status as a conservative cause celebre.

While the race is clearly moving in the wrong direction for Crist, assuming all is lost for the governor is an overreaction.

"We are confident that as we start a dialogue with voters
about Charlie Crist's vision of less government and more freedom that he will take to Washington, and, as voters learn who the real Marco Rubio is, Charlie Crist will undoubtedly be the next U.S. Senator from Florida," said Crist communications director Andrea Saul.

Adam Smith, ace reporter for the St. Pete Times, penned a fascinating column offering Crist five pieces of advice on how to battle back against Rubio. Among them: "govern", "aggressively start questioning Rubio's record" and "Lay off the 'I'm more conservative' stuff, because nobody buys it."

Smith's most important piece of advice to Crist? "Show some principle." Crist's life in electoral politics reveals a desire to try to be everything to everybone. He has largely avoided taking on controversial fights for fear that they would impact his sky-high approval ratings. But, voters don't like politicians when they act like politicians and so the best thing Crist can do is decide what he believes in and talk about that relentlessly between now and the Aug. 24, 2010 primary.

Will he do it? The Kos numbers show that if Crist doesn't start making some changes soon, he is in real danger of being washed away by Rubio's momentum.

By Chris Cillizza  |  November 19, 2009; 2:30 PM ET
Categories:  Most Important Number  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: The "Going Rogue" tour -- by the numbers
Next: Senator Giuliani?

Comments

Crists problems stem from Bailouts. Not the Washington ones but the ones he has created right here in florida. First he engineers a Bailout for Big Sugar by forcing Florida Taxpayers to "buy their poisoned polluted land" for 2 Billion and paying the full ocsts of cleaning it up for them. THen to top it off the Sugar Industry gets to keep the buildings and continue to operate as usual on the land ( ie continue ollouting the everglades). THen theres an upcoming special session to Bailout freight and Developers with a 3 billion doallrs " mass transit " program called sun rail. THe DOT reports no new mass transit users will be added by the so called rail program. LOL!! Then theres his many ties to convicted fundraisers. Now theres a Lans Scam known as Stanaki where Charlie arranged for a developer donor to get 5.9 million of State preservation funds. Problem is the land it bouhgt was appraised a 3.4 million by the FDEP. He is toast here. Most poltical experts here believe he will switch parties and run as a democrat as his chances of beating Rubio in a Primary are slim.

Posted by: jpoole11 | November 20, 2009 1:03 PM | Report abuse

It's too late for Charlie. He's done.

And that comment from Andrea Saul - things will turn around when Crist starts talking about his vision of less govt and more freedom...WHAT A JOKE!!!

Crist has been the architect for creating the largest govt run insurer in the US. If he wasn't getting hammered by Rubio, he would be out there endorsing the Obama-Pelosi health plan right now. Crist can start talking about less govt, but his track record says something else, and it will be more evidence that he is a master of talking out of both sides of his mouth.

More freedom??? Will Crist be talking about his decision to set restore the civil rights of thousands of convicted felons prematurely? Or will he be referencing an amnesty deal for his buddy, Scott "Mr Ponzi" Rothstein? Or will he be talking about the freedom he had as governor to force the state to buy a bunch of land from one of his developer buddies at overinflated prices?

Some people want to make this Crist-Rubio thing about who is more conservative. That's not it. I think most peolle can see the difference between a sleazy poltician and someone who appeasr to truly have convictions, like Rubio.

Crist deserves to lose. He's the poster child for what is wrong with politicians and politics in America. Americans are tired of empty suit, self-promoting, poll watching panderers like Charlie Crist. He's done.

Posted by: Artist4 | November 20, 2009 9:18 AM | Report abuse

Odd how WaPo's and Chris Cillizza's schtick for poll numbers becomes the main talking points only when there's good news for the Democrap Socialists, but disapears and gets censored when it's not.
Both trumpeded that the Gallup polls had their Fuehrer Barack Obama's Presidential approval numbers at 53%, but never mentioned that the Rasmussen Poll (Nov.19, 2009--which has been the most accurate poll of all in all elections for the past couple of years) has Fuehrer Obama at 46% somewhat approve, while 53% disapprove of his performance.

Posted by: armpeg | November 20, 2009 12:09 AM | Report abuse

drindl writes
"The FCC should really begin an investigation into the role that global industry-backed AM radio, cable TV and other 'free,' radical rightwing media are having on our electoral system."

broadwayjoe responds
"I thought Mark Lloyd at FCC was going to take care of this but I guess not."

How much jurisdiction does FCC have over cable TV? Almost none, which is how HBO et al make their money. Fox, CNN, MSNBC aren't broadcast, so don't have the same oversight as the traditional broadcast networks.

Posted by: bsimon1 | November 19, 2009 11:09 PM | Report abuse

Libs are running scared, and they should be.

==

(shades eyes, rotates head)

Not on this planet, sonny.

We're wolfing down popcorn with ringside seats the the self-immolation of the GOP.

As for the two races you mentioned it seems to have escaped your notice that both men won by masquerading as moderates. While the one Palinite of the day, running in the safest Republican district anyone can name and with boxcars of corporate money to back him, went down in flames.

Yeah we're really "running scared."

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | November 19, 2009 10:15 PM | Report abuse

"scandles"

moron

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | November 19, 2009 9:33 PM | Report abuse

Broadway Joke and the Gold Digger.

Your comments are LAUGHABLE with the Acorn scandles and Credit card scams by the Chicago Obama Scammming machine of 2008.

Corzine+, McDonnell by 18. Americans are already sick of it! Your Buddy Crist losing by 10 pts with no money spent by Rubio.

Libs are running scared, and they should be.

Posted by: dmadigan | November 19, 2009 9:18 PM | Report abuse

Rubio has the full rightwing media machine behind him -- more than money could ever buy.

That is the one element that CC is overlooking. The FCC should really begin an investigation into the role that global industry-backed AM radio, cable TV and other 'free,' radical rightwing media are having on our electoral system.

Posted by: drindl | November 19, 2009 3:07 PM
_____________

Co-sign. I thought Mark Lloyd at FCC was going to take care of this but I guess not.

Posted by: broadwayjoe | November 19, 2009 7:40 PM | Report abuse

Rubio has the full rightwing media machine behind him -- more than money could ever buy.

That is the one element that CC is overlooking.

==

I don't think he's overlooking it .. it doesn't fit his "grass roots Palinite surge" meme so he just ignores it.

Sorta like Bush/Cheney and the WMD inspectors' reports.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | November 19, 2009 7:26 PM | Report abuse

Research 2000 also polled a scenario wherein Crist changed parties and ran as a D and there results were a little surprising:
Rubio (R) 34
Crist (D) 45

http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2009/11/19/806058/-FL-Sen:-Bombshell-results

Posted by: mkopans | November 19, 2009 6:36 PM | Report abuse

sveri -- Lieberman will run as an R this next time. That was who elected him in CT, after throwing their own candidate under the bus.

Posted by: drindl | November 19, 2009 5:35 PM | Report abuse

"Congrats cc. You made the transition to the Jerry springer blog complete with all the loony liberal freaks you can stomach. But reading their tripe empties the brain and drags the intellect down to their level, that is, absolute zero
Posted by: snowbama"

And yet he's on here every day. Hmmm....

Posted by: drindl | November 19, 2009 5:34 PM | Report abuse

Look for FAUX News to do some photoshopping of Rubio campaign rallies.

Posted by: koolkat_1960 | November 19, 2009 4:47 PM | Report abuse

AndyR3's point is very well taken. Although it's unlikely that Crist will go down without a fight, IF Rubio wins the GOP primary, it's very likely Meeks will win (depending on his turnout operation).

One thing about the Lieberman/Lamont scenario: The election laws vary state by state (I confess I haven't had time to look up the FL laws governing the rules for Independent candidates).

Incidentally, how many think Lieberman will run again as an Independent? I catch a whiff of Zell Miller in the air here.

Posted by: sverigegrabb | November 19, 2009 4:46 PM | Report abuse

Congrats cc. You made the transition to the Jerry springer blog complete with all the loony liberal freaks you can stomach. But reading their tripe empties the brain and drags the intellect down to their level, that is, absolute zero

Prattle on moonbats.

Posted by: snowbama | November 19, 2009 4:10 PM | Report abuse

"Crist's problem hasn't changed: as moderates leave his party, how does he win a primary as a moderate? Smith's advice is probably Crist's best strategy: don't change to appease primary voters, prove to them why your way is better.

Posted by: bsimon1"

This strikes me as his best option, but not one that is likely to be effective. These people just don't listen.

Posted by: DDAWD | November 19, 2009 3:36 PM | Report abuse

Crist's problem hasn't changed: as moderates leave his party, how does he win a primary as a moderate? Smith's advice is probably Crist's best strategy: don't change to appease primary voters, prove to them why your way is better.

Posted by: bsimon1 | November 19, 2009 3:30 PM | Report abuse

It's like the GOP is reenacting the Salem Witch Trials. Maybe they could just throw Crist in a jacuzzi: if he floats it means he's a RINO, if he drowns then he's a real Republican.

Posted by: nodebris | November 19, 2009 3:27 PM | Report abuse

Rubio has the full rightwing media machine behind him -- more than money could ever buy.

That is the one element that CC is overlooking. The FCC should really begin an investigation into the role that global industry-backed AM radio, cable TV and other 'free,' radical rightwing media are having on our electoral system.

Posted by: drindl | November 19, 2009 3:07 PM | Report abuse

"But, voters don't like politicians when they act like politicians"

Then why do we keep electing them into office???

I must say the numbers for Crist are looking really troubling, which I never thought would happen. Rubio was an afterthought and now this is starting to look like a Ned Lamont situation. I wonder if Crist could just change to an independent run and split the middle. He could say something to the effect that Meeks and Rubio represent the extreme ends of the right and left. It may not work since Liebermann was only able to pull it off because the GOP candidate was a joke, which Meeks is not.

I would be willing to bet that Meeks campaign is going to multiply the money they take in this quarter by ten times. If the GOP nominates Rubio they can kiss this seat good-bye.

Posted by: AndyR3 | November 19, 2009 2:46 PM | Report abuse

Let me just beat the loons to the punch. how dare you call Kos liberal when he is to the right of everyone on this blog.

It shouild read: the ultra conservative Daily Kos blog.

got to keep your local morons slurping the serum.

Posted by: ZOUK | November 19, 2009 2:36 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company