Rasmussen has Rubio ahead in Florida

It appears that the candidacy of Marco Rubio, the former Florida Speaker of the House and darling of conservatives in that state, has really taken off.

Almost an asterisk in the polls a few short months ago, Rubio has vaulted in front of Governor Charlie Crist in a new Rasmussen poll:

Former state House Speaker Marco Rubio has now jumped to a 12-point lead over Governor Charlie Crist in Florida's Republican Primary race for the U.S. Senate.A new Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of likely GOP Primary voters in the state finds Rubio leading Crist 49% to 37%. Three percent (3%) prefer another candidate, and 11% are undecided.

The new numbers mark a stunning turnaround. Crist was the strong favorite when he first announced for the Senate seat, and Rubio was viewed as a long-shot challenger.

But Crist's support fell from 53% in August to 49% in October. By December, the two men were tied at 43% apiece.

Rubio leads Crist by 17 points among men and by seven among women. He also carries 52% of the conservative GOP vote, while moderates prefer Crist.

Crist's embrace of President Obama and his support for the stim bill last February is coming back to haunt him. That act alienated many conservatives who may have been inclined to vote for the popular incumbent governor.

But let's give Rubio an enormous amount of credit. He has a run a smart, upbeat, campaign, tapping a wellspring of support among the tea party movement as well as the Christian right. He is an attractive, articulate spokesman for conservatism who is outhustling Crist and building an organization that will make his challenge all the more credible.

The primary is scheduled for August 24. Both candidates have double digit leads over the likely Democratic nominee Rep. Kendrick Meek which means it is likely that the winner of the GOP primary will have a strong chance in November.

It appears that the candidacy of Marco Rubio, the former Florida Speaker of the House and darling of conservatives in that state, has really taken off.

Almost an asterisk in the polls a few short months ago, Rubio has vaulted in front of Governor Charlie Crist in a new Rasmussen poll:

Former state House Speaker Marco Rubio has now jumped to a 12-point lead over Governor Charlie Crist in Florida's Republican Primary race for the U.S. Senate.

A new Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of likely GOP Primary voters in the state finds Rubio leading Crist 49% to 37%. Three percent (3%) prefer another candidate, and 11% are undecided.

The new numbers mark a stunning turnaround. Crist was the strong favorite when he first announced for the Senate seat, and Rubio was viewed as a long-shot challenger.

But Crist's support fell from 53% in August to 49% in October. By December, the two men were tied at 43% apiece.

Rubio leads Crist by 17 points among men and by seven among women. He also carries 52% of the conservative GOP vote, while moderates prefer Crist.

Crist's embrace of President Obama and his support for the stim bill last February is coming back to haunt him. That act alienated many conservatives who may have been inclined to vote for the popular incumbent governor.

But let's give Rubio an enormous amount of credit. He has a run a smart, upbeat, campaign, tapping a wellspring of support among the tea party movement as well as the Christian right. He is an attractive, articulate spokesman for conservatism who is outhustling Crist and building an organization that will make his challenge all the more credible.

The primary is scheduled for August 24. Both candidates have double digit leads over the likely Democratic nominee Rep. Kendrick Meek which means it is likely that the winner of the GOP primary will have a strong chance in November.