New poll gives Charlie Crist seven point lead over Rick Scott
Charlie Crist opens a seven-point lead over Gov. Rick Scott as most Florida voters look forward to the 2014 governor’s race, according to a University of Florida poll released today.
The same study finds that Scott does a little better when facing U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, which narrows the lead to only four points.
Nearly all voters — 95 percent — said they either have “a great deal of interest” (66 percent) or “a fair amount of interest” (29 percent) in the race.
Democratic candidate Crist received 47 percent of likely voters, compared to 40 percent for Republican incumbent Scott if the election were held today,
In a hypothetical match up with Democrat Nelson, 46 percent chooses the Florida Senator, with only 42 percent voting for Scott.
“For months now, political analysts have been describing Florida’s 2014 governor’s race as the top race in the nation,” said Susan MacManus, political science professor at the University of South Florida, in an interview with UF reporter Shelby Taylor.
“The only question has been whether Floridians are as interested in the race as national election forecasters are. Now we know they are, and it’s only February.”
The UF survey, also found that in a matchup with Democratic state Sen. Nan Rich, Scott gets 41 percent, while 36 percent would vote for Rich.
Former Republican governor Crist’s time in Tallahassee received a 63 percent approval rating and 27 percent said they were dissatisfied. In contrast, Scott’s performance received only 45 percent approval, and 46 percent disapproval.
As for other findings in the survey, Crist also takes a clear lead:
- 55 percent say Crist is honest and ethical; Scott gets 51 percent
- 53 percent say Crist understands the problems of people like them; Scott gets 39 percent
- 53 percent say Crist knows how to improve the state’s economy; Scott gets 52 percent
The UF survey was through the Bob Graham Center for Public Service in collaboration with the UF Bureau of Economic and Business Research. Results were based on 1,006 telephone surveys of registered voters between Jan. 27 and Feb. 1, with a +/- 3 percent margin of error.