An interesting poll from Public Policy Polling, a Democratic-affiliated but usually accurate firm: If Kendrick Meek dropped out of the senate race, Charlie Crist and Marco Rubio would be in a dead heat. If Crist dropped out, Rubio would have a seven point lead over Meek. Meek says he won't drop out (and probably shouldn't), but it's interesting data.
The problem for both Meek and Crist is that they're almost evenly splitting the Democratic vote. It's quite rare that a candidate in a general election actually comes in second amongst voters in his own party, but that's what's happening to Meek. Crist gets 42 percent of likely registered Democrats, while Meek gets 41 percent.
If Meek were to drop out, Crist and Rubio would be tied at exactly 46 percent each. Though, in that case Rubio would somehow get 20 percent of the Dem vote, indicating that the Meek faithful may be ready to cast a protest ballot.
If Crist were to drop out, Rubio would hold a lead over Meek, 48 to 41 percent.
As the three-way race stands now, Rubio leads with 44 percent of the vote. Crist is at 33 percent, and Meek is at 21 percent.
Interestingly, Meek is also the only candidate now who is viewed by more voters unfavorably than favorable.
Meek has denied that he's dropping out, and in the long run that may be what's best for the Florida Democratic party.
The reason Meek is doing so poorly in the first place is because ever since Crist jumped into the race, Democrats have looked at it as a guaranteed loss. Things may have played out differently than expected, but at no point in any part of the race has a Meek win seemed remotely possible, let's be honest here.
Why drop out now, and risk pissing off the small but significant base of Meek devotees? Besides, his name would be on the ballot regardless.
Let's remember that the Dems also have several other races to win, including the Governor's seat, and a Meek drop-out could cause many Democrats, especially African-Americans, not to go to the polls at all. That could spell doom for Democrats all over the ticket.
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