Poll: Rubio Inching Closer to Crist in Primary, but Can He Beat Meek?

The big news in the latest Quinnipiac poll is that conservative wonder boy Marco Rubio has cut Charlie Crist's lead in the Republican primary in half. But the poll also has the first theoretical head-to-head matchup of Democrat Kendrick Meek against Rubio in the general election, and Meek wins. I'm sure Rubio supporters are savoring their polling gains, but perhaps not as much as Democrats.

In August, 55 percent of registered Republicans favored Crist, while only 26 percent lined up behind Rubio. Today, the numbers are Crist with 50 percent and Rubio with 35 percent -- effectively cutting Crist's lead from 29 points to just 15, but even a 15-point lead is still quite healthy.

Meanwhile, Crist continues to crush Meek in general election polling, 51 to 31 percent. Meek beats Rubio by a less dramatic but still significant 36 to 33 percent.

Crist is able to garner the support of 28 percent of Democrats against Meek, but Rubio gets the support of only 5 percent of (probably very confused) Democrats. Crist also polls at 58 percent among Independents against Meek, while Rubio appeals to only 31 percent of Independents in the general.

Of course, these numbers might be meaningless right now because the majority of voters still don't know much about either Meek or Rubio. Sixty-four percent hadn't heard enough to have an opinion about Rubio, and 71 percent hadn't yet heard enough about Meek.

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Kyle Munzenrieder