Charlie Crist Crashes in the Polls Making Battle Against Scott a Tossup
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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 firstname.lastname@example.org.