More on Crist's base (or lack thereof)
Monday, January 4, 2010 at 10:39AM
steve

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.

 

Article originally appeared on Steve Schale -- Veteran Florida Man Politico (http://steveschale.com/).
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