Apropos of that comment, there’s a new poll from the St. Petersburg Times showing that Crist’s popularity is falling:
A new St. Petersburg Times/Miami Herald/Bay News 9 poll finds only 42 percent of likely Florida voters think Charlie Crist is doing a good or excellent job as governor, by far the worst approval rating of Crist’s 34 months in office. Thirty-nine percent said he was doing a fair job and 16 percent poor.
Even most fellow Republicans don’t like the job he’s doing. That 51 percent of them rate Crist’s performance as fair or poor is particularly ominous for someone facing an aggressive U.S. Senate primary challenge from former state House Speaker Marco Rubio of Miami.
At the same time, though, Crist still seems to be holding onto his lead over Rubio:
In the Senate race, the poll found 50 percent of Republicans backing Crist, 28 percent Rubio, and 22 percent undecided. Even little-known and 22 points behind, however, Rubio poses a real threat to the self-described “people’s governor” no longer appreciated so much by people who overwhelmingly see Florida headed in the wrong direction.
Both men seeking the Republican nomination to become Florida’s next U.S. senator lead their likely Democratic opponent by double digits.
Former Florida House Speaker Marco Rubio leads Meek by a similar margin, 46% to 31%. In August, Rubio led by 13 percentage points.
I’m not sure I agree with Will’s prediction just yet, but a Rubio victory certainly seems more possible today than it was a few months ago, and there nine months to go before the August 31, 2010 primary date, so keep an eye on this one.