Rubio Secretly Hoping Crist Declares as Independent?

A pollster's analysis of Florida's Senate race suggests that if Charlie Crist declared as an independent candidate, he would be doing adversary Marco Rubio a big favor. Public Policy Polling found that while Rubio has flipped the race in the Republican primary, he may be a tad too conservative to win in a general election.

But the poll found that as an independent, Crist would steal more Democrat votes from Kendrick Meek than Republican votes from Rubio. According to the analysis:

In a hypothetical three-way contest, Rubio leads with 34 percent to 27 percent for Crist and 25 percent for Kendrick Meek.

That's based on Crist's relatively high approval rating from Democrats. Crist has steadfastly denied that running as an independent is an option. But according to the poll, that path gives him the best chance of winning the Senate, though it's still a long shot.

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