Charlie Crist, Rick Scott Locked Tight in New Q-Poll as Adrian Wyllie Factors In

By: Kevin Derby | Posted: July 23, 2014 8:40 AM
Charlie Crist, Rick Scott, Adrian Wyllie

Charlie Crist, Rick Scott, Adrian Wyllie

A poll from Quinnipiac University released Wednesday shows a close race in the Florida gubernatorial contest with the Libertarian candidate proving to be a major factor. 

The poll shows former Gov. Charlie Crist, the favorite to win the Democratic primary next month despite spending most of his political life as a Republican, leading with 39 percent with Gov. Rick Scott right behind him with 37 percent. Libertarian Adrian Wyllie takes 9 percent. When Wyllie is left out of the poll, Crist’s lead increases. In that scenario Crist takes 45 percent while Scott garners 40 percent.

In both cases, Crist’s list has dwindled from a Quinnipiac poll taken at the end of April which found him beating Scott 48 percent to 38 percent. However, a majority of those surveyed in the new poll -- 51 percent -- say Scott does not deserve another term while 40 percent say he does.

"The campaign to be Florida's next governor tightens slightly and takes on a new dimension with a third candidate in the running," said Peter Brown, the assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll, on Wednesday. "Libertarian Adrian Wyllie is not, at this point, a serious contender to win the governorship. But he may have a great deal to say about who does win."

When former Florida Senate Democratic Leader Nan Rich replaces Crist in the poll, Scott leads 41 percent to to 34 percent.

The poll finds the two leading candidates are upside down. While 43 percent of voters view Scott favorably, 48 percent see him as unfavorable. Only 40 percent of those surveyed approve of Scott’s performance in Tallahassee while 45 percent disapprove of it. While 40 percent see Crist in a favorable light, 42 percent view him as unfavorable. Wyllie is largely unknown, with 92 percent of those surveyed saying they don’t know enough about him to have an opinion. Rich is also unknown, with 83 percent of those surveyed not knowing enough about her to have an opinion.

"Virtually no one knows much about Wyllie, but there are a lot of Floridians who aren't keen on either of the major party candidates, Gov. Rick Scott or former Gov. Charlie Christ," Brown said.

Despite having joined the Democrats in December 2012, Crist has the base rallied behind him, but his old colleagues in the GOP clearly have no use for him any more despite having been their statewide nominee four times. Republicans go for Scott 79 percent to 12 percent while Democrats break 78 percent to 10 percent for Crist. Wyllie draws from both parties when he is included in the mix. Republicans go 74 percent for Scott, 9 percent for Crist and 5 percent for Wyllie when the Libertarian is included. Democrats go Crist’s way 73 percent, to 9 percent for Scott and 6 percent for Wyllie.

Wyllie makes his mark with independents. Crist takes 36 percent of these voters while 34 percent go for Scott and 12 percent back Wyllie. When the Libertarian is taken out of the mix, Crist leads Scott, 45 percent to 38 percent.

Back in April’s poll, 52 percent of those surveyed saw Crist’s party-switching as positive while 40 percent said it was negative. Now 47 percent see it as positive and 45 percent view it as negative.

The poll shows voters have a low opinion of both of the leading candidates. A slim majority -- 51 percent -- say Scott is not honest while 48 percent say the same of Crist. Only 38 percent think Crist is honest and 40 percent say the same of Scott. A majority of voters -- 52 percent -- don’t think Scott cares about their problems while 47 percent say the same of Crist; 41 percent say the governor cares about their problems and 44 percent say Crist does. Scott is seen with strong leadership traits by 54 percent while only 38 percent say he doesn’t have them. Crist gets lower marks there, with 49 percent saying he has strong leadership qualities and 43 percent saying he doesn't. Voters think Crist is more compassionate than Scott, beating him 48 percent to 36 percent.

"Scott and Crist have been saturating the airwaves with negative ads about each other,” Brown said. "An old campaign maxim holds that you can't throw mud without getting dirty yourself and that seems to be what's happening here. Because Wyllie is so unknown and presumably unable to compete in the air war at this point, how he does may be a function of how unhappy voters are with the major party choices."

The poll of 1,251 registered Florida voters was taken from July 17-21 and had a margin of error of +/- 2.8 percent.

Reach Kevin Derby at kderby@sunshinestatenews.com. 

Comments (16)

12:33AM SEP 22ND 2014
No one is talking about how the Real ID is a Real Nightmare, how it violates the Constitution, and how it has increased identity theft and left us all more vulnerable to identity theft. No one is talking about freeing our highways from cameras and tolls, the abuse we sustain from hidden taxes and fees on utility and communication bills, what we pay for auto tag, dog tag, property taxes, etc., and how irresponsible and wasteful our government is with our monies. For one, only Adrian Wyllie has promised to at the very least repeal the real ID Law. He should be allowed to join the debates - it is only fair we listen to what he has to say.
6:50PM AUG 6TH 2014
Economic growth by removing obstacles from small businesses' way...
More individual liberty...
If you don't want that you don't want Wyllie.
1:38PM JUL 28TH 2014
Folks, it all comes down to recognition. We need to spread the word about Adrian Wyllie in order for him to win. I am very much behind the “super brochure” plan, so much so, that I personally have completely covered my entire precinct where I live. I think it’s the most affective and economical way to bring the super voters, attention to Adrian Wyllie. Most don’t even know there is another choice other than scott/christ. It only cost me $47.50 to cover my precinct. I urge others to do the same. If you want him elected, you must do something to make it happen. Just your one vote will not do it. Take advantage of this great opportunity we have to get a Libertarian in the Governor’s office. We (Floridians) desperately need this. I beg you to do what you can.
3:30PM JUL 26TH 2014
Enough is enough! Wyllie is brilliant and he will get my vote. Why?
Because he is a Constitutional and is not beholding to special interests.

I have been following Wyllie efforts and he is amazing all over the state. His plans for fiscal sanity and a common sense approach to the proper authority and role of government is a new take that Crist and Scott would never even consider. I say that because the so-called economic development is corporate welfare and what right does government have to pick winners and losers on the backs of the taxpayers? Crist and Scott are promoting fascism using the Public Private Partnerships. Crist was beholding to the carbon tax and took the Race to the Top money on which Scott then added the mandate to the Common Core federal funds to top down education.
Without free market principles Florida will not be the freest state in America ever. It's time the good people of Floida recognize that government produces nothing but debt. And the debt government creates winds up draing the middle clas taxpayers,

Wyllie is not a politician, he's the wild card Florida needs to embrace for liberty and prosperity. The power of the veto pen will be his best tool in the toolkit!
Jo Vaccarino
3:45PM JUL 24TH 2014
If you think your vote counts at all, it counts WHEREVER you put it. If you vote for Wyllie your vote says "I don't want Scott or Crist". If enough of us #VoteOurVoice then we break the duopoly.

Have you seen the voter registrations? The Republicans and Democrats are each less than 1/3 of the Florida registrations. That means 1/3 PLUS some of the disgruntled D's and R's could get smart and vote their voice. In a 3 way race, you can't vote "against" anyone. You can only vote FOR someone.

Are you ready? I am.

I will NEVER be fooled by the lesser evil game because I know I'm not placing a bet. I'm placing a VOTE that says "I want this".

Why would I say "I want that" when I really DON'T WANT THAT?
12:52AM JUL 24TH 2014
Wyllie only needs 34% in a 3-way race. He is at 9% without any previous media exposure. Now the media is calling and that number will rise. Just wait until he gets in the debates and wipes the floor with Scott and Crist. There is no "lesser of the evils" in the race between Scott and Crist. I mean, HOW DID WE GET IN OUR CURRENT SITUATION? HERE’S HOW:

When the Democrats showed their true colors, you got angry and elected Republicans.
When the Republicans showed their true colors, you got angry and elected Democrats.
When anyone suggested to you that both parties were corrupt and that neither side were looking out for your interests, you acted like they
were crazy.
But the real definition of crazy is doing the same thing
over and over again hoping for a different result.
Wake up Florida!

Check out Wyllie at:

search his name on youtube[dot]com

COME OUT TO AN EVENT NEAR YOU! wyllieforgovernor[dot]com/events

Check the page often as new events are added often!

He is doing a "Craft Beer Tour" across the state during the month of August. The concept behind the "craft beer tour" is to show support for a small business industry that has come under attack by the legislators in Tallahassee this past session.

You probably don't know, but in the 2014 Legislative Session, new regulations were passed in the Florida Senate that would greatly interfere with the craft brewery industry, forcing it out of state of be shut down. Luckily, this legislation was not voted on in the Florida House and did not become law; however, this will be an issue early in the 2015 Legislative Session.

Adrian Wyllie opposes new regulations for this booming and growing industry and is touring to the state of Florida to support Florida’s craft brewers. These events are public meet and greets in microbreweries and craft brewer’s pubs throughout the state and are all within 30 days.
12:43AM JUL 24TH 2014
Denise Smith
6:33PM JUL 23RD 2014
Adrian Wyllie got this, we have a ground force like no other, he's in the live debates which will make his polls go up higher.... Go Wylie !
Rick Adams
12:37AM JUL 24TH 2014
Can't wait for that bloodbath!
Ken Willey
5:19PM JUL 23RD 2014
8% know Adrian Wyllie
9% voted for Adrian Wyllie

A poke in the eye with a sharp stick would get votes in a race between Crist and Scott.
11:51AM JUL 23RD 2014
Rick Scott should be well ahead by now with all that money spent. Looks like the big money is not helping Rick. His handlers tried to keep him from answering questions, but that has back fired. Hey Rick here is some advice. How about actually answering a question when asked. That is what leadership is about. Unfortunately you are ill equipped to lead anyone.
11:25AM JUL 23RD 2014
Despite the polls not showing Rich and Crist head to head and the biased and condescending reporting from the media, Nan Rich is within striking distance. People don't like being lied to and Crist and Scott trying to buy the election. Vote for Nan Rich in the Primary. democrats you do have a choice.
Kathleen McCook
9:28AM JUL 23RD 2014
If Crist continues to ignore Rich it is likely that Democratic primary voters for Rich will stay home or vote for Wylie. Would be good now for Crist to show respect by debating Nan Rich as it looks looks like Crist will need Rich supporters if he is the Democratic candidate in November.
9:08AM JUL 23RD 2014
God forbid Chris is elected... he is the biggest hypocrite. Scott is a decent man.
Alexander Snitker
4:29PM JUL 23RD 2014
A Governor who refuses to answer questions and had a Florida Sheriff removed because that Sheriff was defending the 2nd Amendment is not a decent man. He is a despicable politician.
9:41AM JUL 23RD 2014
I agree. Crist didn't do much for FL before. I believe he switched parties just to re enter politics. Shameful

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