With conservative voters abandoning his campaign, Florida Gov. Charlie Crist now finds himself trailing former state Speaker Marco Rubio in the Republican Senate primary by 32 points, according to a new survey by Public Policy Polling.Rubio led Crist 60 percent to 28 percent, according to the new poll of 492 likely primary voters. Among those who describe themselves as conservative, Rubio was ahead of Crist 71 percent to 17 percent. Self-described moderates picked Crist by 13 points. The North Carolina-based firm, which has a stable of Democratic clients, conducted the survey March 5-8. It had a 4.4-point margin of error.Tuesdays poll numbers come one day after National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman John Cornyn (Texas) tried to distance himself from the NRSCs early endorsement of Crist last year, before Rubio was a factor in the race.As Crists numbers have plummeted, many insiders have begun to wonder whether the governor will leave the GOP and run as an Independent to improve his chances this fall. PPP found that just 43 percent of likely GOP voters say Crist should remain a Republican while 41 percent say he should run as a Democrat or Independent.General election numbers will be released by PPP on Wednesday.
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.