Poll Numbers Cause for Worry for the Tan Man
Charlie Crist can’t be pleased about these poll numbers. Yes, he’s got a solid lead. Yes, it’s much better, right now, to Charlie Crist than it is to be Marco Rubio. But…
There’s always a “but.”
The popular, sitting governor is barely over fifty percent against a man who is currently out of office and represented less than 1% of the voting population when he was in office (yes, yes – I know he was Speaker of the Florida House, but let’s be honest – no one in Florida would even know who Sasnom and Cretuel are, if a grand jury hadn’t indicted Sansom).
What Charlie doesn’t want is a spirited and moderately well funded campaign by Rubio that forces him to veer to the right in order to get through the Republican primary. He will always be a strong favorite in the general, but he knows that his support among independents and even Democrats is dependent upon his moderate image. If he has to tack right, that moderate image is going to take a hit and he’s going to find himself in much closer race in the general election.
The poll also makes clear something that has been true for a long time – Crist’s support has never been very fervent. It is more of the “a mile wide and inch deep” variety. He simply does not inspire the devotion and strong feelings that Jeb did. Voters like Charlie – they like him a lot. But they don’t “like like” him. And if someone sexier comes along, well… Charlie was always just a friend, so voters feel ok dumping him for someone else. Up until now, the tan man has always been sexy enough that this wasn’t a problem. But Rubio is young, charismatic, and his ideology is a lot more in line with the average Republican primary voter.
Now, I’m not taking my money out of t-bills and putting it all down Rubio at a Seminole Indian casino. I’m just saying that things have gotten tricky for man who, over the last few years, has become used things coming easily to him.