Rasmussen has been tilted to the right all year, but the trend line is important.

Governor Charlie Crist and former state House Speaker Marco Rubio are now tied in the 2010 race for the Republican Senate nomination in Florida.

A new Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of likely GOP Primary voters finds Crist and Rubio each with 43% of the vote. Five percent (5%) prefer another candidate, and nine percent (9%) are undecided.

Crist’s support has fallen from 53% in August to 49% in October. Rasmussen Reports noted at the time, “The fact that Crist has fallen below 50% in a primary against a lesser known opponent suggests potential vulnerability.”

Rubio’s name recognition has grown in recent months and he is now viewed Very Favorably by 34% of Likely Primary Voters. That’s up from 18% in August. As his name recognition increased, Rubio’s support in the polls has jumped from 31% in August to 43% today.

If these two are tied already, and Rubio has plenty of name ID to go, then I don’t think Crist has much of a chance, actually.

It’s not that Crist would absolutely win a general election for Senate, and Rubio would definitely lose. But there’s certainly more of a chance for a Democratic victory with Kendrick Meek against someone who has support on the far right side of the spectrum, rather than Crist, who has support among independents in Florida and can point to a moderate record (at least up until the moment he decided to run for Senate, when he veered hard to the right).

David Dayen

David Dayen