Making a hard push in the final weeks before the election, Rep. Kendrick Meek (D-FL) unleashed a potentially devastating political advertisement against opponent Gov. Charlie Crist (I-FL) in what has been a fairly quiet U.S. Senate race in the Sunshine State since the August primaries. Meek is seeking to galvanize the sleeping Democratic base in Florida, hoping to gain ground on Crist who is running second place behind Republican nominee Marco Rubio in the latest polls. The Congressman out of Miami-Dade County recently felt a five point bump in a recent Mason-Dixon poll, but he has not yet broken out of third place, sometimes double-digit distance behind Crist.
This recent attack ad could pose problems for Crist though, as it is a video collage of statements made by the Governor himself before he switched to the Independent party to avoid a costly defeat by Rubio in the Republican primary. “I’m a pro-life, pro-gun, anti-tax Republican,” asserts Crist at one point in the footage. “I think it’s important for people to understand who the true conservative is in this race. And it’s Charlie Crist.”
Such statements, courtesy of Crist, could cause a shift in Democratic voter support for the Independent, as Meek attempts to make this a two way race. The Meek campaign viewed the results of the Mason-Dixon poll as an indication that a late surge of Democratic voters could be leaning toward the Congressman. The key for Meek will be to paint Crist as a closet President George Bush/Sarah Palin ally, two highly unpopular and polarizing public figures that cause staunch Democrats to run the opposite direction in the polls.
Meek will need a bounce fast, especially if the latest Quinnipiac poll stands true into November. In that survey, Rubio takes a commanding lead at 46%, with Crist dropping to 33% and Meek garnering a mere 18% of the vote. Another key question in the poll regarding the level of voter satisfaction with the federal government could be driving Rubio’s number: 48% of respondents claimed they were angry at the government and 29% said they were dissatisfied.
“It is no coincidence that Rubio is getting 46 percent of the vote,” observed Quinnipiac’s Peter Brown. “[A]nd 48 percent of the electorate is angry at Washington.”
A new Rasmussen poll places Rubio at 41%, Crist at 30% and Meek at 21%. Another CNN/Time poll places Meek at 23%, while Rubio is at 42% and Crist at 31%.