A new poll released Monday from the Florida Chamber of Commerce Political Institute finds Gov. Rick Scott ahead of former Gov. Charlie Crist, his leading Democratic opponent.
The poll of likely voters shows Scott, who is backed by the Florida Chamber, ahead with 41 percent, Crist right behind with 38 percent and Libertarian Adrian Wyllie taking 4 percent.
The poll finds 43 percent of those surveyed think Florida is heading in the right direction and 41 percent think the Sunshine State is going the wrong way and thats helping Scott. A majority -- 52 percent -- of those surveyed approve of Scott while 42 percent disapprove of him. While 43 percent see Scott as unfavorable, 45 percent see him as favorable.
Crist is upside down in the poll with 45 percent seeing him as unfavorable and 41 percent viewing him in a favorable light.
Ive been saying for a long time the voters of Florida appreciate leadership and the Florida Chambers poll is an indicator voters believe our state is headed in the right direction again, Mark Wilson, president and CEO of the Florida Chamber, said on Monday. Gov. Rick Scotts favorability numbers are increasing, voters recognize more jobs and opportunities are being created for Floridians and they are feeling more confident.
The poll shows the economy and jobs remain on Florida voters minds with 29 percent of those surveyed saying those are the most important issues while 14 percent say education is the most important issue and 13 percent say its health care. A near-majority -- 46 percent -- are aware that the unemployment rate has dropped during Scotts tenure and more than a third -- 37 percent -- say they are better off now than last year.
While these numbers are encouraging for Gov. Scott and Floridas economy, its important to remember this is the time of the year when we would expect the opposition to try and change the subject, said Marian Johnson, the Florida Chambers senior vice president of political strategy.
The poll finds both Scott and Crist do well keeping their party base intact with 75 percent of Republicans backing Scott and 71 percent of Democrats staying behind Crist. Scott edges Crist with other voters 34 percent to 33 percent, while Wyllie takes 8 percent of this group.
There is a gender gap in the poll. Scott takes 45 percent of male voters while 35 percent of them back Crist and 5 percent support Wyllie. Crist leads with female voters with 42 percent followed by Scott with 38 percent of them and 3 percent of them supporting Wyllie.
The poll of 806 likely voters was taken by Cherry Communications for the Florida Chamber on June 11 and had a margin of error of +/- 3.5 percent.
Reach Kevin Derby at firstname.lastname@example.org.