MIAMI- Only 20 days remain until the November 2nd election for the nationally-critical Florida Senate seat, and it looks like Republican Marco Rubio is maintaining his double-digit lead over his competitors in the race, and strongly solidifying his position as front-runner.
Two new polls show Rubio leading both independent candidate Gov. Charlie Crist, and Democrat Rep. Kendrick Meek of Miami by a significant amount. According to the latest Quinnipiac survey among likely Florida voters, Rubio is ahead of Crist, 44% to 30%, while Meek trails at 22%.
"As the clock ticks down to Election Day, there is no evidence that Marco Rubio's lead is narrowing. Anything is possible since there are still three weeks left in the campaign, but it appears Rubio's opponents will need an earth-shaking development to deny him the U.S. Senate seat," said Peter A. Brown, of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. "Crist's best chance for victory all along required that he outpoll Meek among Democrats and get half the independent vote. He is doing neither."
Yesterday, the Democratic pollsters at Public Policy Polling, respected on both sides of the aisle, released their survey also showing Rubio up in double-digits. However, the Republican would be tied with Crist in a head-to-head match up (with no Meek), 46-46, and inversely, the same setting with Meek (with no Crist) would see him trailing Rubio by only 7 points, according to the PPP poll.
"Crist would have an overwhelming 66-31 lead with independents, but would win the Democratic vote by only a 69-20 margin", said Tom Jensen Executive Director of the PPP said in an email." That 20% of Republicans for Rubio suggests that some segment of Meek's supporters would be none too pleased about him being forced out of the race and would not gravitate toward Crist."
However, the Florida governor-who still remains popular in the Sunshine State-Tuesday received the endorsement of another Republican governor who has made in-roads with Democrats, and independents alike. The California Governator himself, Arnold Schwarzenegger, endorsed him on the social media network, Twitter.
"I endorse Gov @charliecristfl for Senate," Governor Schwarzenegger tweeted his support, using Crist's Twitter handle." (He's a) Great leader, works with both parties, and our country needs someone like him in DC right now."
The Rubio camp wasted little time in firing back a heavily-punned statement, focusing on Schwarzenegger's movie star background:
"When it comes to inflicting ‘Collateral Damage' on the economy, Charlie Crist and Arnold Schwarzenegger are definitely ‘Twins.' Charlie's flip-flops have made him a master at telling ‘True Lies.' ," wrote Rubio communications director, Alex Burgos. " We all know the only thing Charlie cares about is the next election. But this year, Florida will take an ‘Eraser' to ‘The Running Man.'"
And just announced, Crist will receive another significant endorsement Wednesday morning at an event in Deerfield Beach, Florida. Robert F. Kennedy Jr., the son of the former Democratic presidential candidate, and member of one of the most prominent Democratic families in America will endorse Crist over Meek, the elected Florida Democratic nominee in the Senate race.