Polls show that Florida voters as a whole like Crist better than any other candidate currently in the race.
And I'll bet that's maybe even true of people who identify as being Republicans; but is it true of the sort of GOP faithful who vote in primaries?
Yes, it's another turnout primary. As Senate Guru says,
Overwhelmingly, Republican Party activists in Florida prefer Marco Rubio to Charlie Crist, with disapproval for Crist and his policies being so strong that motions to censure Crist either succeed or only narrowly fail by the smallest of margins. These are the voters that know both Crist and Rubio best. Do you wonder why the Rubio camp is able to proceed with optimism in the face of statewide polls currently giving Crist a clear advantage?
The only question is whether or not the Rubio camp's organization will be effective enough to translate this clear-cut support (and broad discontent with Crist) into a sufficiently strong grassroots army to counter Crist's fundraising advantage and Washington D.C. establishment support. If Rubio does (and I think he can), a major upset may be in the works.
Actually, there's one other question: if Rubio starts looking really threatening, will he drive Crist so far to the right that his general election chances are harmed even if he wins?