Rick Scott Still Has Work to Do,Trailing Charlie Crist by 6 Points
Around the State
A new Rasmussen Reports poll of the 2014 gubernatorial election shows former Gov. Charlie Crist leading Gov. Rick Scott by 6 points, 45 percent to 39 percent.
The poll of 750 likely voters has Crist with a slight lead over Scott among male voters, with 43 percent saying they would support him, versus Scott’s 42 percent.
When it comes to the two front-runners of the gubernatorial campaign, more women -- 47 percent -- support Crist’s bid to take back his old job. Thirty-eight percent of women said they support Scott.
The Rasmussen Reports survey also found Scott’s favorability rating split among voters, with 47 percent rating the governor as “very favorable” or “somewhat favorable,” while 46 percent viewed Scott as “somewhat unfavorable” or “very unfavorable.”
Crist’s favorability was close to Scott’s, with 48 percent rating him either “very favorable” or “somewhat favorable.” Forty-two percent viewed Crist as “somewhat unfavorable” or “very unfavorable.”
Scott’s overall approval rating took a hit in the poll, with over a third of voters -- 32 percent -- saying they strongly disapprove of Scott’s job as governor. Nearly the same amount, however (31 percent), said they somewhat approve of Scott.
Sixteen percent strongly approved and 15 percent said they somewhat disapprove of Scott.
One of Scott’s major talking points in his re-election campaign has been Florida’s improving economy. The governor has traversed the state touting a shrinking unemployment rate and a growing number of jobs as success stories during his time as governor.
But poll respondents aren’t so convinced on the prosperity of Florida’s economy. Forty-three percent rated the economy as “fair” and more than a third -- 36 percent -- rated it as “poor.” Only 20 percent said they would rate the Sunshine State’s economy as “excellent” or “good.”
The Rasmussen Reports survey polled a slightly higher percentage of Democrats, with 37 percent identifying with the party. Thirty-three percent identified as Republicans and 30 percent identified as “other.”
A senior Republican official in Tallahassee told Sunshine State News they did not expect Democrats to turn out at a higher rate than Republicans in this year's election. Instead, they explained they expected 2014's gubernatorial voter turnout to be somewhere between 2010 and 2012's turnout rate. In 2010, Republicans turned out 4 points higher than Dems -- in 2012, Dems turned out just a point higher than Republicans.
Twenty-four percent of respondents were between the ages of 18-39. In 2010, this age demographic had a turnout rate of 12-13 percent. Similarly, 29 percent of respondents were aged 65 or older. In 2010, 42 percent of voters fit in this age demographic.
The survey of 750 likely voters was conducted April 21-22 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of error is +/- 4 percentage points with a 95 percent level of confidence.
Reach Tampa-based reporter Allison Nielsen at Allison@sunshinestatenews.com or follow her on Twitter at @AllisonNielsen.