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Politics

Allies Rick Scott and Rick Perry Get Different Results in Florida Poll

August 5, 2014 - 6:00pm
Gov. Rick Scott, R-Fla., and Gov. Rick Perry, R-Texas, have been longtime allies, expressing their admiration for each other and engaging in mock competition between their states over job creation. But a poll released this week shows the two Republican governors are facing different races in the Sunshine State as they look ahead to 2014 and 2016.

Scott bounced back against former Gov. Charlie Crist, his leading Democratic challenger, in a Survey USA/WFLA poll released on Tuesday. Two weeks ago, Crist had established a lead over Scott but the governor roared back in the latest poll.

In the new poll, Scott leads 45 percent to 43 percent while 8 percent support other candidates and 4 percent remain undecided. In the last Survey USA/WFLA poll, Crist led 46 percent to 40 percent.

The poll finds a bit of a gender gap in Florida with Scott getting 50 percent of men while Crist garners the support of 41 percent of them. Women lean Crists way with 45 percent backing him and 41 percent supporting Scott.

Crist does better with younger voters, leading Scott 47 percent to 41 percent with voters younger than 50. Voters 50 and older go Scotts way, 48 percent to 41 percent.

The poll shows both candidates have done well in securing their respective bases. Scott takes 80 percent of Republicans while Crist gets 78 percent of Democrats despite being a member of the party only since December 2012. Independents go Scotts way, 45 percent to 33 percent.

But while Scott can take some solace in the poll, it gives Perry less reason to smile as he contemplates making a second bid for the Republican presidential nomination. Perry has increasingly shown signs of running again for the presidency in 2016, hitting the campaign trail in Iowa, home of the first caucus, in recent days.

Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the heavy favorite for the Democratic nomination, leads Perry 50 percent to 40 percent in Florida.

Clinton leads Perry with both sexes, edging him with men, 44 percent to 43 percent, and blowing him out with women, 55 percent to 37 percent. Both candidates keep their bases behind them with 78 percent of Republicans behind Perry and 84 percent of Democrats rallying behind Clinton. Independents are divided, with 41 percent for Perry and 40 percent for Clinton.

The poll shows Perry does much better when paired up against Vice President Joe Biden. Perry beats Biden 44 percent to 43 percent, taking the lead among men and closing the gap with women voters. Both candidates keep their parties behind them, with 84 percent of Republicans for Perry and 74 percent of Democrats backing Biden. Perry beats Biden among independents 44 percent to 36 percent.

The gubernatorial poll consisted of 576 likely voters was taken from July 31-Aug. 4 and had a margin of error of +/- 4.2 percent. The presidential poll of 859 registered voters was taken during the same time period and had a margin of error of +/- 3.4 percent.

Reach Kevin Derby at kderby@sunshinestatenews.com.

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