Contrasting New Poll: Rick Scott and Charlie Crist in Dead Heat

By: Allison Nielsen | Posted: April 24, 2014 7:15 PM
Rick Scott and Charlie Crist

Rick Scott and Charlie Crist

Thursday was a battle of the polls in Florida's gubernatorial race, with a new Mason-Dixon survey showing former Gov. Charlie Crist and Gov. Rick Scott in a dead heat.

The poll of 700 likely voters showed Crist and Scott even among likely Florida voters, with both candidates taking 42 percent each. Only 4 percent of voters said they would vote for Adrian Wyllie. Twelve percent were undecided.

Scott pulled strong numbers in Southwest Florida, taking 54 percent of the vote in the area. The governor also polled well in North Florida, taking 53 percent of the vote.

Crist performed best with voters in the Southeast Florida area, taking 52 percent of the vote in this region, as well as in his home region of Tampa Bay, where he took 45 percent.

Republicans and Democrats mostly kept to party affiliation. Nearly 75 percent of Democrats said they would vote for Crist, while a slightly higher number of Republicans -- 79 percent -- said they would vote for Scott.

The poll found Scott performed better with men, whites and voters 50 and older, while Crist leads among women, blacks and voters under 50.

When it comes to the Hispanic vote, Crist leads Scott, 45 percent to 37 percent. Hispanics are a critical demographic for Scott. His team admits he needs their support to win re-election. The governor has already started familiarizing himself with issues that could be relevant to the Hispanic population, the most notable of which is coming out in favor of offering in-state tuition for the children of undocumented immigrants.

Each candidate has about an equal number of voters who have favorable and unfavorable views of them. Scott’s favorable and unfavorable ratings are both 35 percent.

An earlier poll released by Rasmussen Thursday found Scott trailing Crist by 6 percent, but Republican officials in Tallahassee disputed the poll’s demographics because they felt too many Democrats were surveyed.

Ryan Tyson of Associated Industries of Florida said the Mason-Dixon poll was more accurate than the Rasmussen Reports poll and would be a more realistic indicator of this year's election results.

“A review of their internals seems to show a more realistic picture of Florida’s likely general electorate in 2014,” he wrote. “While we do not know the counties that make up their regions, it would appear they have balanced their geography appropriately as well as their male/female splits.”

The Mason-Dixon poll virtually mirrors a Sunshine State News-commissioned Voter Survey Service poll released April 4. The VSS poll showed Scott leading Crist 45 percent to 44 percent. While Scott’s lead was within the margin of error, the poll revealed the Republican held an important 5-point lead over Crist among Floridians more likely to cast votes in the November election.

The Mason-Dixon® Florida Poll was conducted by Mason-Dixon Polling & Research Inc. of Jacksonville, Fla., April 15-17 and April 21-22, 2014. The margin for error is no more than +/- 3.8 percentage points with a 95 percent confidence level.


Reach Tampa-based reporter Allison Nielsen at Allison@sunshinestatenews.com or follow her on Twitter at @AllisonNielsen

Comments (8)

Steven Dorries
2:44PM MAY 1ST 2014
Did you notice that 79% responded that they didn't know who Adrian Wyllie is? So you know why?
Because he keeps being left out of coverage!
Start mentioning him in articles more than a single sentence and that 79% will start getting lower. Please, be the unbiased source of election coverage that I know you can be. Give Adrian equal coverage and you will have every Libertarian in the state shoving your articles into the face of every person they know.
3:07PM APR 25TH 2014
These polls are flawed, and probably commissioned by "Morgan & Morgan" ("the Tuna's" current employer and financier). ( NOT THIS TIME CHARLIE !) That would be like re-marrying the Wife you already divorced; and for all but a very few, Floridians are way too smart to 'sign up' for more years of lying, deception and almost daily aggravation of the sort you disperse.
and the winner is
1:44PM APR 25TH 2014
The one who pays for the polls! You don't think a pollster is going to take a pollie tician mullah in one hand and tell him he's unwated with the other do you.
11:22AM APR 25TH 2014
The biggest loser is going to be us the residents of Florida. I have not found anyone really excited about Scott or Crist. I am not excited about the Libertarian either. I may write in my dog.
3:09PM APR 25TH 2014
Then who will change the kids' diapers, sweep out your trailer and iron your 'camo' outfits?
8:32AM APR 25TH 2014
And why not a dead heat? Both candidates are NOT impressive, leaving voters to decide which one will do the least damage!
What a shame, this state has gone down the tubes.
Hillary is right about one thing
3:35AM APR 25TH 2014
What difference does it make? They both belong to the establishment and care not about the people! And Jeb Bush pulls both their strings!

The common demon-nominator is Mel Sembler and his $$$$$ that come from the abuse of children!
1:17AM APR 25TH 2014
All these polls are crap. There is a close democratic primary before the general election. What if Nan Rich wins. OR say she loses by single digits. How would that effect the election?

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