United States Senate election in Florida, 2010

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United States Senate election in Florida, 2010
Florida
2004 ←
November 2, 2010
→ 2016

  Marco Rubio, Official Portrait, 112th Congress.jpg Charlie Crist official portrait crop.jpg Kendrick Meek, official portrait, 111th Congress.jpg
Nominee Marco Rubio Charlie Crist Kendrick Meek
Party Republican Independent Democratic
Popular vote 2,645,743 1,607,549 1,092,936
Percentage 48.9% 29.7% 20.2%

Florida Senatorial Election Results by County, 2010.svg

County results

U.S. Senator before election

George LeMieux
Republican

Elected U.S. Senator

Marco Rubio
Republican

The 2010 United States Senate election in Florida took place on November 2, 2010 along with other elections to the United States Senate in other states as well as all elections to the United States House of Representatives and various state and local elections. Republican Marco Rubio, former Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives, defeated independent Charlie Crist and Democrat Kendrick Meek in a three-way race.

One term Senator Mel Martinez was elected in a very close race against Democrat Betty Castor in 2004 with 49% of the vote. Martinez announced on December 2, 2008 that he would not seek re-election to the Senate,[1] and would resign prior to the end of his term.[2] In August 2009, Governor Charlie Crist announced that he would appoint his former Chief of Staff, George LeMieux, a Republican, to the Senate seat being vacated by Martinez.

Governor Crist publicly announced he was running for the seat in mid-2009. At the time he received many Republican endorsements, such as the National Republican Senatorial Committee, Martinez, and the 2008 Republican presidential nominee John McCain. His support of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 hurt his popularity among conservatives, and candidate Marco Rubio surged. In April 2010 Crist announced he would drop out of the Republican primary and run as an independent. The National Republican Senatorial Committee withdrew its endorsement of Crist and demanded a refund of its campaign funds that it provided for the Crist campaign.[3][4][5] Congressman Kendrick Meek was the first Democrat to declare his intention to run. Alexander Snitker was the first member of the Libertarian Party on the ballot for senator in Florida's history.[6]

Democratic primary[edit]

Background[edit]

Many Democratic politicians were mentioned as potential candidates for the race. Representatives Debbie Wasserman Schultz[7] and Robert Wexler,[8] announced in 2008 that they would not run. Congressman Kendrick Meek was the first Democrat to declare his intention to run.[9] Upon Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink's decision to run for governor,[10] State Senator Dan Gelber formed an exploratory committee.[11] However, Gelber ultimately decided not to run, so as to avoid a divisive primary. Congressman Meek has enlisted the aid of former President Bill Clinton, who hosted a fundraiser for him in Jacksonville.[12] Term limited North Miami mayor Kevin Burns, also announced his candidacy for the Senate seat.[13] On April 30, 2010, Palm Beach billionaire Jeff Greene announced he was running.

The primary took place on August 24, 2010.[14]

Candidates[edit]

These candidates formally qualified to appear on the Florida Democrat Primary ballot.[15]

Endorsements[edit]

Polling[edit]

Poll Source Dates Administered Glenn Burkett Maurice Ferre Jeff Greene Kendrick Meek
Quinnipiac August 21–22, 2010 –– 3% 29% 39%
Public Policy Polling August 21–22, 2010 –– 4% 27% 51%
Mason-Dixon August 17–19, 2010 –– 5% 30% 42%
Quinnipiac August 11–16, 2010 –– 6% 28% 35%
Ipsos/Florida Newspapers August 6–10, 2010 –– 4% 35% 31%
Mason Dixon August 2–4, 2010 –– –– 29% 33%
Quinnipiac July 22–27, 2010 –– 4% 33% 23%
Public Policy Polling July 16–18, 2010 4% 6% 25% 28%
Quinnipiac June 2–8, 2010 –– 3% 27% 29%

Results[edit]

Democratic Primary results[22]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Kendrick Meek 522,942 57.4%
Democratic Jeff Greene 283,370 31.1%
Democratic Glenn Burkett 59,575 6.5%
Democratic Maurice Ferre 44,506 4.9%
Totals 910,393 100%

Republican primary[edit]

Background[edit]

Upon Senator Martinez's announcement that he would not run for reelection, early speculation surrounded former Governor Jeb Bush.[23] It was thought that if Bush decided to run, other potential Republican candidates would allow Bush to run uncontested. After consideration, Bush decided not to run.[24]

Former House Speaker Marco Rubio was the first Republican to enter the race back in May but the National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman John Cornyn announced the NRSC's endorsement of Charlie Crist.[25] Other Republicans mentioned as potential candidates include Florida House Majority Leader Adam Hasner,[8] Representatives Connie Mack IV, and Dr. Belinda Noah, a prominent lawyer and adjunct law professor. Bob Smith, a former United States Senator from New Hampshire, announced he was running for the seat.[26] Joe Scarborough, a former Congressman and current MSNBC TV host, told the Sarasota Herald-Tribune that he may run for office again, and was considering running for this seat,[27] though an MSNBC spokesman refuted that Scarborough might run.[28] On the air, while interviewing White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs, Scarborough dismissed the idea that he would run.[29]

Mel Martinez retired before the end of his term, leaving Crist in the position to appoint a replacement, George LeMieux, a Republican regarded as a placeholder for Crist. Democrat, Kendrick Meek expressed disappointment, asserting that Crist should have appointed someone qualified rather than the top names "in his cell phone." The Democratic Party of Florida issued an email the same day titled, "George LeMieux (R-Cronyism)", echoing the disapproval of Crist's choice, who was the Deputy Attorney General under Crist, and his Chief of Staff.

After being behind in the polls, Rubio began to cut into Crist's lead, mostly as a reaction to Crist's support of the stimulus bill, which Rubio opposed.[30] Crist subsequently fell behind Rubio by over 20 points. On April 16, Crist's campaign manager, Connie Mack, resigned. Ostensibly as a reaction to Crist's veto of a controversial education bill that tied teacher's pay to their students' test scores, Crist's increasingly poor showing in the polls was widely speculated to have been a factor in Mack's decision.[31] Speculation began that Crist would drop out of the Republican primary and run as an independent before April 30, the Florida filing deadline. Polling showed that although Crist was trailing Rubio considerably in the Republican primary, were he to run as an independent, the three-way race would become more competitive; Rubio was currently leading Meek and Crist in aggregate three-way polling as of June 2010.[32]

On 28 April, Crist campaign officials confirmed that Crist would be running as an independent and planned to drop out of the Republican primary.[33][34]

The primary was held on August 24, 2010.[14] Running virtually unopposed, Rubio won with almost 85% of the vote.

Candidates[edit]

These candidates formally qualified to appear on the Florida Republican Primary ballot.[15]

Endorsements[edit]

All made while Crist was running as a Republican

Crist

All made while Crist was running as a Independent

Crist
Rubio

Polling[edit]

Poll Source Date(s)
administered
Sample
size
Margin
of Error
Charlie Crist Marco Rubio Other Undecided
Research 2000 January 26–28, 2009 600 ± 4.0% 57% 4% 11% 28%
Quinnipiac University June 2–7, 2009 486 ± 4.5% 54% 23% 1% 21%
Quinnipiac University August 12–17, 2009 446 ± 4.6% 55% 26% 1% 18%
Rasmussen Reports August 19, 2009 470 ± 5.0% 53% 31% 5% 11%
Quinnipiac University October 12–18, 2009 396 ± 4.9% 50% 35% 1% 12%
Rasmussen Reports October 20, 2009 466 ± 4.5% 49% 35% 4% 12%
Research 2000 November 16–18, 2009 600 ± 4.0% 47% 37% –– 16%
Rasmussen Reports December 14, 2009 431 ± 5.0% 43% 43% 5% 9%
Quinnipiac University January 26, 2010 673 ± 3.8% 44% 47% –– 8%
Rasmussen Reports January 27, 2010 449 ± 5.0% 37% 49% 3% 11%
Rasmussen Reports February 18, 2010 442 ± 5.0% 36% 54% 4% 7%
Public Policy Polling March 5–8, 2010 492 ± 4.4% 28% 60% –– 12%
The Florida Times Union March 9, 2010 512 ± 4.0% 26% 60% 4% ––
Rasmussen Reports March 18, 2010 494 ± 4.5% 34% 56% 1% 8%
Rasmussen Reports April 8, 2010 500 ± 4.5% 28% 57% 3% 12%
Quinnipiac University April 8–13, 2010 497 ± 4.4% 33% 56% 1% 10%

Results[edit]

Republican Primary results[22]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Marco Rubio 1,059,513 84.6%
Republican William Kogut 111,584 8.9%
Republican William Escoffery 81,873 6.5%
Totals 1,252,970 100%

General election[edit]

Candidates[edit]

Major[edit]

These candidates have gotten at least 5% in pre-election polling

Minor[edit]

qualified with the 112,446 signatures to appear on ballot.

Write-Ins[edit]

These candidates have qualified for the General Election as Write In Candidates.[15]

  • Piotr Blass
  • George Drake
  • Howard Knepper
  • Carol Ann Joyce LaRosa
  • Richard Lock
  • Robert Monroe
  • Belinda Quarterman-Noah

Campaign[edit]

Charlie Crist has argued "If you want somebody on the far right, you get Marco Rubio. If you want someone on the far left, you have Kendrick Meek. If you want someone who will fight for you and apply common sense, you have me." [73][74] Meek argued "Marco Rubio has always been the Tea Party candidate and yesterday Charlie Crist says he wants to crash the Tea Party, too. I'm the only candidate who's fighting for the middle class."[75] Rubio argued "If you like 'Obamacare,' if you like the stimulus plan, you can vote for Charlie Crist or Kendrick Meek."[76]

It was reported that former President Bill Clinton attempted to convince Meek to drop out of the race in October while they campaigned together, as Meek and Crist appeared to be splitting the Democratic vote, allowing Rubio to win.[77] Meek has denied the report.[78]

In the final week of the campaign, a close advisor to Crist confirmed that Crist would caucus with the Democrats if elected to the Senate.[79]

Debates[edit]

Friday, September 17 WLTV-Univision 23 Debate Miami, FL

Tuesday, September 28 WTVT-FOX 13 Tampa Bay Debate Tampa, FL

Wednesday, October 6 ABC News, WFTV-ABC 9 Orlando & WFTS-ABC 28 Tampa Moderated by George Stephanopoulos and two local media panelists Orlando, FL

Wednesday, October 20 Leadership Florida Debate Ft. Lauderdale, FL

Sunday, October 24 CNN/St. Petersburg Times Debate Moderated by Candy Crowley Tampa, FL

Tuesday, October 26 NBC News & WESH-NBC 2 Orlando Debate Moderated by David Gregory Orlando, FL

Predictions[edit]

Source Ranking As of
Cook Political Report Safe R[80] October 29, 2010
Rothenberg Solid R[81] October 28, 2010
RealClearPolitics Safe R[82] October 29, 2010
Rasmussen Reports Solid R[83] October 27, 2010
Sabato's Crystal Ball Solid R[84] October 28, 2010
CQ Politics Likely R[85] October 29, 2010

Polling[edit]

Poll source Dates administered Margin of
error
Independent Republican Democratic
Charlie Crist Marco Rubio Kendrick Meek
Miami Herald January 31, 2010 ± 3.46% 26% 31% 24%
Public Policy Polling March 5–8, 2010 ± 3.4% 27% 34% 25%
Research 2000 March 15–17, 2010 ± 5.0% 29% 32% 27%
Rasmussen Reports March 18, 2010 –– 22% 42% 25%
Quinnipiac April 8–13, 2010 ± 4.4% 32% 30% 24%
Rasmussen Reports April 21, 2010 ± 4.5% 30% 37% 22%
McLaughlin & Associates April 24–25, 2010 –– 33% 29% 15%
Rasmussen Reports May 3, 2010 ± 4.5% 38% 34% 17%
St. Petersburg Times/Miami Herald/Bay News 9 May 14–18, 2010 ± 4.0% 30% 27% 15%
Rasmussen Reports June 7, 2010 ± 4.5% 37% 37% 15%
Quinnipiac June 1–7, 2010 ± 4.7% 40% 33% 14%
Florida Chamber of Commerce June 9–13, 2010 ± 4.0% 42% 31% 14%
Ipsos/Reuters July 9–11, 2010 ± 4.0% 34% 29% 18%
Public Policy Polling July 16–18, 2010 ± 3.26% 38% 29% 13%
Quinnipiac July 22–27, 2010 ± 3.2% 39% 33% 13%
The Florida Poll/NY Times July 24–28, 2010 ± 4.0% 41% 30% 12%
McLaughlin & Associates July 31-August 1, 2010 ± 4.0% 38% 36% 16%
Rasmussen Reports August 9, 2010 ± 4.0% 33% 38% 21%
Ipsos/Florida Newspapers August 6–10, 2010 ± 4.0% 33% 29% 17%
Mason Dixon August 9–11, 2010 ± 4.0% 33% 38% 18%
Quinnipiac August 11–16, 2010 ± 3.0% 39% 32% 16%
Public Policy Polling August 21–22, 2010 ± 3.0% 32% 40% 17%
Rasmussen Reports August 25, 2010 ± 4.0% 30% 40% 21%
CNN September 2–7, 2010 ± 3.5% 34% 36% 24%
Sunshine State News September 1–7, 2010 ± 3.0% 29% 43% 23%
FOX News September 11, 2010 ± 3.0% 27% 43% 21%
Reuters/Ipsos September 10–12, 2010 ± 4.0% 26% 40% 21%
Rasmussen Reports September 14, 2010 ± 4.0% 30% 41% 23%
Mason-Dixon September 14, 2010 ± 4.0% 28% 40% 23%
RCP Average September 21–22, 2010 ± 4.0% 29% 40% 22%
Rasmussen Reports September 28, 2010 ± 4.0% 30% 41% 21%
TCpalm.com/ Zogby September 27–29, 2010 ± 3.5% 33% 39% 18%
CNN/Time September 30, 2010 ± 3.5% 31% 42% 23%
Quinnipiac University September 30, 2010 ± 2.9% 33% 46% 18%
Public Opinion Strategies September 27–30, 2010 ± 3.46% 33% 40% 16%
Mason Dixon October 4–6, 2010 ± 4.0% 27% 42% 21%
Rasmussen Reports October 7, 2010 ± 4.0% 25% 50% 19%
Quinnipiac University October 6–10, 2010 ± 3.0% 29% 45% 22%
Sunshine State News/VSS October 6–10, 2010 ± 4.6% 33% 44% 21%
Public Policy Polling October 9–10, 2010 ± 4.6% 33% 44% 21%
Suffolk University October 14–17, 2010 ± 4.4% 31% 39% 22%
Rasmussen Reports October 18, 2010 ± 4.0% 32% 43% 20%
CNN/Time/Opinion Research October 15–19, 2010 ± 2.5% 32% 46% 20%
St. Petersburg Times/Miami Herald/Bay News 9 October 15–19, 2010 ± 4.1% 26% 41% 20%
Zogby October 18–21, 2010 ± 3.5% 33.3% 39.6% 18.1%
Quinnipiac University October 18–24, 2010 ± 3.5% 35% 42% 15%
Mason-Dixon October 25–27, 2010 ± 4.0% 28% 45% 21%
Sunshine State News/VSS October 26–27, 2010 ± 2.47% 27% 47% 23%
Rasmussen Reports October 27, 2010 ± 4.0% 30% 50% 16%
Quinnipiac University October 25–31, 2010 ± 3.2% 31% 45% 18%
Sunshine State News/VSS October 30–31, 2010 ± 2.49% 31% 48% 20%
Public Policy Polling October 30–31, 2010 ± 3.5% 30% 47% 21%

Fundraising[edit]

Candidate (Party) Receipts Disbursements Cash On Hand Debt
Marco Rubio (R) $21,231,831 $21,024,726 $207,105 $938,803
Charlie Crist (NPA) $13,655,044 $13,504,327 $150,715 $42,271
Kendrick Meek (D) $8,704,516 $8,083,976 $63,628 $96,507
Alexander Snitker (L) $42,014 $37,500 $5,008 $0
Bernie DeCastro (C) $51,886 $18,596 $33,270 $0
Source: Federal Election Commission[86]

Results[87][edit]

United States Senate election in Florida, 2010
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Marco Rubio 2,645,743 48.89% -0.54%
Independent Charlie Crist 1,607,549 29.71% +29.71%
Democratic Kendrick Meek 1,092,936 20.20% -28.12%
Libertarian Alexander Snitker 24,850 0.46% N/A
Independent Sue Askeland 15,340 0.28% N/A
Independent Rick Tyler 7,394 0.14% N/A
Constitution Bernie DeCastro 4,792 0.09% N/A
Independent Lewis Jerome Armstrong 4,443 0.08% N/A
Independent Bobbie Bean 4,301 0.08% N/A
Independent Bruce Riggs 3,647 0.07% N/A
Write-ins 108 0.00%
Majority 1,038,194 19.19%
Total votes 5,411,106 100%
Republican hold Swing

External links[edit]

Debates
Official campaign websites

References[edit]

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