Rick Scott, Charlie Crist Can Rely on Support of Their Parties
Around the State
As they get ready for the 2014 gubernatorial race, both Gov. Rick Scott and former Gov. Charlie Crist can count on the support of their respective parties.
The University of North Florida (UNF) released a poll last week which found Crist taking 44 percent while Scott was running right behind him at 40 percent -- within the margin of error. "Other candidates" took 2 percent while 14 percent of those surveyed remained undecided.
The poll found 74 percent of Democrats supported Crist while 10 percent of them favored Scott. Crist had been a Republican until 2010 when he was caught by Marco Rubio in the GOP U.S. Senate primary. Crist continued his Senate bid with no party affiliation and lost to Rubio in the general election. After endorsing President Barack Obama in the presidential election, Crist joined the Democrats in December.
The poll also showed Scott can count on the support of the GOP. The poll found 77 percent of Florida Republicans favored Scott while 12 percent were behind Crist. Scott burst onto the political scene in 2010 and clashed with then-Attorney General Bill McCollum in a vicious primary fight. After losing to Scott, McCollum sulked in his tent and refused to endorse his fellow Republican.
There appears to be a major racial divide shaping up in the gubernatorial election. Almost half the white voters surveyed -- 49 percent -- backed Scott while 37 percent supported Crist. Despite Crist’s GOP past, African-American voters heavily broke his way with 74 percent backing the former governor and only 8 percent favoring Scott. Crist got a majority of Hispanic voters surveyed -- 52 percent -- while 19 percent were for Scott. The governor led Crist with other voters, 40 percent to 29 percent.
The poll found Crist carried a majority -- 51 percent -- of voters between the ages of 18-to-24 while Scott got the support of 30 percent of these voters. Scott did better with voters between 25 and 44, though Crist still led him there, 39 percent to 36 percent. Voters between 45 and 64 broke for Scott with 44 percent, though Crist garnered the support of 41 percent of them. Among voters 65 and older, Crist had a healthy lead, beating Scott 49 percent to 40 percent.
The UNF poll of 526 registered Florida voters was taken from Sept. 30-Oct. 8 and had a margin of error of +/- 4.27 percent.
Reach Kevin Derby at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter at @KevinDerbySSN.