Contrasting New Poll: Rick Scott and Charlie Crist in Dead Heat
Around the State
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.
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.