Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Republicans won't work with Obama . . .

. . . because voters don't want them to.

His past support for Obama's economic policy is killing Charlie Crist's political career.

Gov. Charlie Crist's popularity among Republicans has dropped "significantly" over the past year, leaving him 11 points behind Marco Rubio among Republican primary voters, a new poll shows.

The former House speaker holds a 48-37 percentage point lead over Crist among likely GOP primary voters, while 15 percent remain undecided, according to the poll released Friday by Mason-Dixon Polling & Research, Inc.

It tracks a stunning reversal for Crist who led Rubio - - 53 points to Rubio's 47 points - - in a similar poll in May 2009. But that poll showed Crist's lead was based on name recognition. The two were tied last June among GOP voters who were familiar with both candidates, pollster Brad Coker said.

Rubio's rise, he said, has been accompanied by a major boost in name recognition among Republicans: 10 months ago, only about half of the GOP primary electorate had heard of Rubio. Now his recognition is up to 87 percent among those surveyed.

And his favorable rating has nearly doubled, from 24 percent to 42 percent, with a negative rating of 10 percent.

. . . Coker said centrist Crist's favorable rating with Republicans had consistently hovered around 50 percent since he began running for governor in 2005.

But it has dropped to 37 percent, while his unfavorable rating has shot up from single digits to 32 percent.

. . . Statewide, Crist tops Meek 50 percent to 26 percent and Rubio is ahead 44 percent to 29 percent. Meek in May 2009 was unknown to 67 percent of voters and Coker said he still is unknown to more than half the voters.

Think about it - - past rumors about Crist's sexual orientation hurt Crist less among conservative voters in past elections than current talk of Crist's support for Obama. And, Rubio's absolute uncompromising rejection of Obama's policies doesn't appear to be hurting him among all voters.

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