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Crist stops in Pensacola, waves off Q poll

In Pensacola, Gov. Charlie Crist hit the tarmac at about 9:10 a.m. local time, meeting supporters and speaking to the assembled TV media for about 20 minutes. His closing argument, which he used on his bus tour as well, is centered around linking Republican frontrunner Marco Rubio with the tea party and controversial Republicans like Sarah Palin: "This race is about the mainstream versus extreme," said Crist.

Crist paid little attention to a new Q poll that has him trailing Rubio by 14 points. "The only thing I care about are the people," he said. And he told supporters, "We will shock the world when we all vote."

Included among the 30 or so who greeted him in Pensacola was 35-year-old substitute teacher and registered Republican Andrew Raines. Raines was supporting Crist for his veto of a controversial education bill linking pay to student performance: "That veto was remarkably bold, and impressive," Raines said.

-- Aaron Sharockman