, waging an independent campaign for Senate in Florida, is probably crossing his fingers for billionaire Jeff Greene
in Tuesday's primary to choose the Democratic candidate because that's the outcome best for Crist in the three-way general election contest that includes Republican Marco Rubio
If Democratic Rep. Kendrick Meek
emerges as the party's nominee, Rubio leads Crist 40 percent to 32 percent with 17 percent for Meek, 3 percent for Libertarian Alex Snitker
and 8 percent undecided, according to a Public Policy Polling survey
conducted Aug. 21-22.
But Crist is significantly more competitive with Greene in the race. In that scenario, Rubio is statistically tied with Crist, leading him 37 percent to 36 percent with 13 percent for Greene, 4 percent for Snitker and 10 percent undecided.
The margin of error is 4.1 points.
PPP's result is consistent with a Rasmussen Reports poll
conducted Aug. 9.
The conventional wisdom has been that Democrats are far more likely to coalesce around Meek than Greene, the controversial outsider, and gives them less cover to support Crist.
The PPP survey supports that view. Crist gets 48 percent of the Democratic vote with Greene in the race but a lesser 38 percent with Meek in it. Greene gets 24 percent of the Democratic vote in the three-way contest while Meek would get 39 percent.
Crist gets about half of the independent vote in either match-up, but PPP expects their turnout to be low and made them only 14 percent of the sample.
One of the questions about Crist, should he win the general election, is whether he would caucus in the Senate with the Democrats or Republicans. While Florida voters are disenchanted with either alternative, more (57 percent) say they would not vote for Crist if he committed to join with the Republicans while 47 percent said they wouldn't vote for him if he were to choose the Democrats.
"Charlie Crist had been looking good after switching parties, but Republicans are ginned up by Marco Rubio, hardly any independents plan to show up, and Kendrick Meek's likely victory tonight could kill the tri-partisan coalition Crist had been building," said PPP's Dean Debnam.
Follow Poll Watch on Twitter
Tagged: 2010 Election Polls
, 2010 Elections
, 2010 Senate Elections
, 2010 Senate Races
, Charlie Crist
, Florida Elections
, Florida Senate Races
, Jeff Greene
, Kendrick Meek
, Marco Rubio