Miami's Rubio Storms Into Senate Lead - NBC 6 South Florida

Miami's Rubio Storms Into Senate Lead

Huge Turnaround for Marco as Governor Crist trails in latest poll



    Miami's Rubio Storms Into Senate Lead
    Marco Rubio

    As one of the most popular politicians in Florida history, Governor Charlie Crist was considered a lock for the U.S. Senate when he entered the race less than a year ago.

    But now, a dramatic swing in the polls has underdog Marco Rubio ahead of Crist. 

    A new poll from Quinnipiac University shows Rubio, a Miami Native and former House Speaker for the State of Florida, with a three percent lead over Crist. Rubio leads 47-44 percent among Republican voters, a 34 point swing from just eight months ago.

    "It's now a statistical dead-heat," said Quinnipiac Pollster Peter Brown.

    "That's pretty remarkable, really in my experience in politics in Florida I haven't seen this previously to date," said Justin Sayfie, a former top aide to Gov. Jeb Bush and the founder of popular political website

    "Marco Rubio is a full-time candidate, he's meeting people all across the State of Florida," said Sayfie. "Gov.Crist is not a full-time candidate, doing what governors do, but he is well liked in Florida."

    In June 2009, a Quinnipiac poll showed that Rubio trailed Crist by 31 percent. That lead shrunk to 15 in October, and as of today, it's gone.

    Gov. Crist said the results are a result of "a tough economy."

    Rubio's surge also comes after a push to remind voters that Crist was with President Obama when he promoted the stimulus package in Southwest Florida.

    Sayfie said a Rubio win in the August primary would be a significant upset. But as we've seen, a lot can change in eight months.

    "The polls being as close as they are, it's going to be a battle royale," Sayfie said.