Charlie Crist Crashes in the Polls Making Battle Against Scott a Tossup

By: Kevin Derby | Posted: June 10, 2014 12:30 PM
Charlie Crist and Rick Scott

Charlie Crist and Rick Scott

A poll released on Tuesday shows the Florida gubernatorial race is entirely up for grabs, with the two leading candidates in a dead heat. 

Public Policy Polling (PPP), a firm with connections to prominent Democrats, released a poll Tuesday which finds Gov. Rick Scott has caught former Gov. Charlie Crist and the race is now a dead heat with both candidates garnering 42 percent. An April poll from PPP had Crist leading 49 percent to 42 percent.

In the new poll, Scott does better against former Florida Senate Democratic Leader Nan Rich, beating her 40 percent to 34 percent.

The poll finds Crist has collapsed with the Florida public. While a PPP poll from last fall showed Crist above water with 43 percent seeing him favorably and 42 percent unfavorably, his numbers have dropped sharply. Only 32 percent in the new poll see Crist as favorable while 48 percent view him as unfavorable.

Scott is also upside down, with 39 percent approving of him and 48 percent disapproving of him.

“Rick Scott’s early ad blitz has taken a big toll on Charlie Crist,” said Dean Debnam, the president of PPP, on Tuesday. “Although Scott himself remains unpopular, he’s driven down Crist’s negatives high enough to make this into a tossup race.”

Despite being in the race for more than two years, only 10 percent view Rich as favorable while 16 percent see her as unfavorable. Almost three quarters of those surveyed -- 74 percent -- are unsure of what they think of Rich.

While he had been a Republican for most of his political life, Crist has the support of most members of his new party, with 55 percent of them viewing him favorably while only 22 percent see him as unfavorable. Rich remains largely unknown with fellow Democrats with only 15 percent seeing her favorably and 14 percent see her as unfavorable.

Scott wins the approval of 61 percent of Republicans while 26 percent disapprove of him. The governor also has made inroads with independents with 43 percent approving of him while 42 percent disapprove of him.

Independents have helped get Scott back in the race. The poll shows Scott beating Crist with independent voters by 4 percent while routing Rich with them by 10 percent.

The poll of 672 Florida voters was taken from June 6-9 and had a margin of error of +/- 3.8 percent.

Reach Kevin Derby at kderby@sunshinestatenews.com.

Comments (23)

Barbara Vaughn
9:05PM JUN 13TH 2014
With the job situation in Florida improving dramatically and the unemployment rate down to just over 5% why would anybody want to make a change?! Every aspect of our Florida economy is improving while the national economy is still struggling in virtually every area. Even the stock market which has been the one bright light is now falling badly at the prospect of renewed war in the Middle East and our completely lame response to it. I want Gov Scott to keep up the good work and help keep Florida one of the best places in the country to live!
John Swinger
5:12PM JUN 21ST 2014
Where did you get your stats Barbara? Rick Scott has done nothing to improve Florida's struggling economy but rather the opposite by turning away federal money that would have created jobs. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics Florida's unemployment rate stands at 6.3% for May 2014. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is at nearly 17,000 up about 2,300 points from a year ago and has more than doubled from 7,949 the day Obama took office. It was last administration that got us into the mess in Iraq so now that it has come back into the news you and Dick Cheney want to rewrite history and somehow blame Obama for it? You need to lay of the Fox News Barbara and stop drinking their Koolaid!
Michael McHugh
7:25PM JUN 12TH 2014
As one of the most unpopular governors in the country, there is no way that Scott should be winning this race and in the end I doubt that he will.
Barbara Vaughn
9:06PM JUN 13TH 2014
read my comments above, Michael, for all the good reasons Gov Scott should and will remain governor of Florida!
9:58AM JUN 11TH 2014
Bring back Walkin' Lawton!! These two are terrible, each in their own specific way!!
John Brewer
9:27AM JUN 11TH 2014
Why are you not counting Adrian Wyllie?
10:04AM JUN 11TH 2014
Because a Libertarian win will upset the balance of power with which the RNC/DNC controls the press. The press once a strong,investigative, respectable watchdog for the people have become as tired, fat, lazy, and corrupt as the politicians. Look up:wyllieforgovernor dot com
Esther Rachwal
12:37AM JUN 11TH 2014
The reason for Scott's unpopular vote is because of all the negative stories made by the Herald Tribune's reporters. Yet isn't it odd that they are
silent about most of the unpopular decisions made by the Obama administration? But look at the facts: Unemployment has gone way down.
He eliminated our debt and gave us a surplus. He brought in jobs, etc.
He even returned some of our tax money when renewing our license
plates. Too bad this doesn't get the publicity it deserves so people can
see the difference in how Florida has gone from one of the worst in the states when the economy dies, to one of the best in all the states!
William Dail
10:32PM JUN 10TH 2014
So how is Public Policy Polling not including the best candidate in this race? No mention of Wyllie who was invited to the debates? Really?

Channel 13 Orlando polling results:
Who would you vote for in the 2014 race for Governor?
Rick Scott (REP)(20%)
Charlie Crist (DEM)(14%)
Nan Rich (DEM)(2%)
Adrian Wyllie (LPF)(62%)
other candidate(2%)
Paul Cajka Sr
10:05PM JUN 10TH 2014
Charlie Crist is Obama's chosen Commissar for Florida. He needs to take a fall.
Ron R
8:30PM JUN 10TH 2014
Wonder when public policy will include Wyllie in their polls? They promised the last time. I guess only if you've got the money they will include you. Bought & sold services.
Jim Burkiewicz
6:54PM JUN 10TH 2014
You forgot about the only honest man in this race Libertarian candidate for Governor Adrian Wyllie. What is the difference between the BIG spending Republican Rick Scott and the BIG spending Republican Charlie Crist. NOTHING. Neither Scott nor Crist is worthy of my vote. The last poll fair enough to include Adrian Wyllie has 16% of Florida voters choosing him. That's a phenomenal starting point for a third party candidate. He's got a real shot at winning. When it's just you and God in that polling booth remember this: When you vote for the lesser of two evils, you are voting for evil.Adrian Wyllie is the best man in the race hands down. The only way to get real change is to vote for the best man in the race, not a bought and paid for corrupt politician!
10:07AM JUN 11TH 2014
Right spot on, Jim!
the ever changing polls
5:00PM JUN 10TH 2014
Crist has retaken the lead in Survey USA, the polls they are ever changing.
Barbara Vaughn
9:08PM JUN 13TH 2014
right.....check out the polls in the Cantor/Brat race in Virginia!
Harold Monoginslogin
4:39PM JUN 10TH 2014
The reason Scott will lose is the fact only 61% of republicans support him!! That is not going to change! One of his many, many mistakes was vetoing the alimony reform bill, the most ridiculous public policy veto in his first term.
3:22PM JUN 10TH 2014
Scott wins if Democrats, Independents and moderate Republicans do not vote. That is what happened in 2010, no one voted, including myself. Did not think it mattered, it does. Has nothing to do with money at this point. Floridians know Scott now and have personally felt the pain he has caused in so many ways. He goes after the poor, unemployed and the sick. The man is reprehensible. I am not a fan of Crist but Nann Rich has no chance to beat Scott and Scott has to go.
Tom Bryson
2:24PM JUN 10TH 2014
Nan Rich was first elected to the State Senate in 2004 after serving 2 terms in the House of Representatives. She was the first woman to be elected leader of the Senate Democrats – a position she held from 2010 until she was term-limited in November, 2012. More at the web site nanrich2014.com

Nan was a leading progressive advocate for children, women, seniors, and social justice issues. Among her lasting accomplishments is her role as a founder of the Guardian ad Litem Program of Dade County in which trained volunteers act as advocates for abused and neglected children in court proceedings.

Nan has been an outspoken, effective defender of women’s health and reproductive rights.
Harold Monoginslogin
4:28PM JUN 10TH 2014
Right, but she can't win!!
Tom Bryson
2:00PM JUN 10TH 2014
It is refreshing to see Senator Rich getting copy in your article. The media obsession with the romance of a Scott versus Crist contest explains why 74% are unsure of what they think of Senator Rich.
Tom Bryson
1:49PM JUN 10TH 2014
Ignoring Senator Rich and Refusing to debate, may be a good strategy to win the Democratic nomination but it is a bad strategy for Charlie to get his old job back.

One consequence of the Charlie Crist created chaos of 2010 concerns the little mentioned Democratic Candidacy of Congressman Kendrick Meek. When Charlie abandoned his bid for the Republican nomination and turned the Senate contest into a three way race it opened the door for the wealthy political neophyte Jeff Greene to challenge Congressman Meek. Like Charlie, Greene was a newly minted Democrat. Unlike Charlie, Greene had no record as a public servant, no record of restricting abortion, of being anti gay or pro gun. He had no record of giving public money to private schools and he hadn't sponsored legislation to allow using chain gangs to manicure Florida highways.

In that low turnout off year primary election over 528 thousand hard core pay attention Democrats came out to vote for Congressman Meek and in November, 1.1 million voters rejected Charlie for Congressman Meek. Charlie can't give up the 528 or the 1.1 and have any hope of winning. Debating Senator Rich would help him earn those votes.
David M. Lane
1:21PM JUN 10TH 2014
very small sample and a margin of error of plus/minus 3.8 suggest it is not reliable. Would you go on an airplane that had a 3.8 percent margin of crashing? I sure wouldn't. Its all gonna boil down here in Florida to who votes and whether Scott puts in millions more of his HCA settlement.
1:21PM JUN 10TH 2014
We sure have a hard time finding an HONEST candidate. Maybe we should have a debate at the High school level and then get behind the winner of the debate. That way the candidate will not come in office with a ton of baggage. and will take several years to become CORRUPT!!!!

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