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More on Crist's base (or lack thereof)

This weekend, both the Times/Herald bureau and the Sentinel papers tackled this issue of Crist and his base.  Now that this is the political question de jour, I wanted to see if the data backed it up.

Yesterday's dismal Jacksonville Jaguars game provided the perfect opportunity.

I went back and looked at the Rasmussen data, starting in April of 2008.  I chose Rasmussen because it provided the most easily accessible data set (While I am not a big fan of robo-polls, I don't care for the R vs D polling company question- data is data, as long as it is collected using scientific standards). 

If I could figure out how to insert a chart, I could show this visually (still working on this). But generally, Crist has generally maintained a wide delta between his overall favorables and his very favorables.  

While his overall favorables has ranged from a low of 49 (twice 7/22/08 and 10/21/09) to a high of 74 (on 12/15/08), with two exceptions, his very favorables have never moved outside of a range from 14-19%.  Even if you factor in the two spikes (in Oct 08, his VF was 22 and in Dec 08, his VF was 34), his "very favorable" average is only 22, certainly not bad, but not worthy of the untouchable status that the media has given him over the years.

Moreover, even if every single point of very favorable came from his own party (which we know is not true), Crist's historic very favorables among Republicans would still be under 50%.  Hence, he has never really had a base.   For Crist, it was only a matter of time before he faced a challenge like this.

Can he still win?  Absolutely.  He is still one of the most popular public officials in recent Florida memory.  But without a doubt, it is going to require mustering all of his political skill and motivation to reintroduce himself to GOP voters and remind them why they have stood with him so many times before. 

Then he has to do it all over again in the general.


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Reader Comments (2)

The one benefit Crist has - will be a financial advantage. Now, the last quarter was rough for him... and if Rubio was able to capitalize it could be closer.

But he had a five - to - one advantage in cash-on-hand-for-the-primary. That is a lot of ground to make up in less than 12 months.

We'll know in a few days if Rubio was able to match his 3rd quarter success (raising $1 million)... How much Crist suffered... and how much case both campaigns have left for the primary. If Rubio is still behind Crist by four-to-one, it could be a long 2010.

That is, until Jeb endorses him... if that ever happens.

January 4, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJim Johnson

No question, Jim. The money factor is one key reason why I think it is nuts to say its over for Crist, not to mention that no one really knows Rubio yet.

That being said, I am sure Marco is in much better shape today than even he could have dreamed in March.

Hope you had a great New Year!

January 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSteve

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