Rick Scott Pulls Ahead as Charlie Crist Continues to Fall

By: Allison Nielsen | Posted: April 7, 2014 10:00 AM
Rick Scott Charlie Crist poll

SSN Poll

The tide continues to turn in the Florida governor’s race, as a new poll confirms former Gov. Charlie Crist is losing favor with Florida voters. 

Gov. Rick Scott has now surpassed Crist, as the former governor continues his downward slide, according to a poll conducted by the most accurate pollster in the 2010 Florida gubernatorial contest. 

Scott leads Crist 45 percent to 44 percent, in a new Voter Survey Service poll, commissioned by Sunshine State News. While Scott’s lead is within the margin of error, the poll reveals the Republican holds an important 5 point lead over Crist among Floridians more likely to cast votes in the November election.

“This race, in my opinion, looks very locked in. In other words, it almost looks like a repeat of what we had in the summer of 2010,” said James Lee, president of Voter Survey Service, who described the Scott versus Alex Sink race as a back and forth ping-pong match in polling. 

“I almost get the sense we’re headed toward a similar trajectory,” he added.

The VSS poll comes a little more than a week after a St. Leo poll showed Crist’s once-double-digit lead evaporating.

Although the overall VSS numbers show Scott and Crist neck-and-neck, the poll finds voter turnout is on Scott’s side. Scott leads 49-42 over Crist with respondents who say they have an excellent or good chance of voting in the November election -- numbers outside the margin of error.

SSN Poll

“The turnout in a year like this very much favors the Republican Party, and that’s a very big difference that cannot be overlooked in the polling,” said Lee, who noted Republicans turned out 6 points to 8 points higher than Democrats in the 2010 election.

“That, to me, is a very important piece of information, because it really does show the enthusiasm gap clearly favors the Republican Party in a nonpresidential year,” said Lee. “It’s very easy for me to make the case that this could be a 3- or 4-point lead for Rick Scott right now, not a 1 point lead.”

According to Lee, the weight of Crist’s support for President Barack Obama’s signature health-care law continues to drag him down. The VSS poll revealed 51 percent of Florida voters would be less likely to cast a ballot for a candidate that supports Obamacare. Only 39 percent of respondents said they would vote for a candidate that supports the law. 

“The campaigning that’s happening on the ground ... some of the TV wars have already kicked in,” he told Sunshine State News. “The impact of Obamacare and the linkage of Crist to Obamacare certainly is a very important reason why, in this poll, you see Crist losing ground.”

Scott received 83 percent of Republican votes, while Crist received 80 percent of Democrats. Crist leads among independent voters 40-34. Scott was more popular with male voters -- 46-43 -- while Crist led with women -- 45-44.

Both candidates are known commodities, so Lee says it’s difficult to see either one losing or winning big come November.

“We’re looking at a close race right to the end here,” he said.  

The poll was conducted March 31-April 3 with 800 registered Florida voters. The margin of error is +/- 3.46 percent.

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

For more on methodology, click here.


Comments (31)

6:04AM APR 17TH 2014
Charlie Chameleon? Three different parties in 3 years. A man who can't decide who or what he is? He's all sizzle and no steak. Just and empty suit with a nice tan. He stands for nothing.
3:12PM APR 9TH 2014
I did not vote in 2010. I was a typical Democrat...do not care so I do not vote mid-terms. Well...now I do care. Am a registered Independent who CARES now. What changed? Rick Scott put some real hurt on folks down here in Florida. The economic disaster here in Florida is no where over yet. The hardship from that, compounded with budget cuts and policy decisions directed towards poor and middle class is like getting kicked when your down. Alex Sink lost because voter turnout was so low by Democrats again. Vote Scott out!
Chastua Dubua
5:44PM SEP 22ND 2014
Wild horses couldn't keep me away. Come on Charlie!
4:08PM APR 11TH 2014
As a Florida born and raised graduated from FSU...please please VOTE! get rid of the thief RICK SCOTT...he's an embarassment to FL and it's like hiring the FOX to guard the hen house! UNSEAT SCOTT! please!
Ted Cory
9:45PM APR 10TH 2014
But Charlie Crist's number are worse when he was Governor. You need to pick the lesser of two evils here and if you want to go by numbers, Charlie clearly loses. Another Independent.
4:10PM APR 11TH 2014
TED you have got to be kidding! Are you an angry old white man? do you live in the redneck Riviera? You probably come from Ohio or Michigan..right? you're certainly not a Fl cracker like me..born and raised in Miami, grad from FSU...it's people like you that have made a mess things in FL.
Scott Wilhelm
1:22PM APR 15TH 2014
Nancy......bigot much?
Jo Vaccarino
12:53AM APR 9TH 2014
I am so disappointed. Here you go again - excluding candidates from your coverage. Adrian Wyllie is actively touring the state talking to people and you did not include him in your poll and subsequent coverage.

I read an article that fundraising is what determines media coverage. So, if Adrian focused on wooing big donors and ignored the people he would get more media coverage. How screwed up is that system?

Please stop choosing our candidates for ANY reason. When you exclude candidates it's like putting on a pageant where only 2 of the participants get on stage but in the end we vote on all of them. What chance do the backstage people have?

Why does the media insist on handicapping certain candidates? Your job is to report on ALL the candidates. You are cheating your audience even more than you're cheating the candidates because you are creating a fallacy of viability based on your criteria instead of letting the voters 'interview' all of their options.

Please - stop doing that.
6:38AM APR 12TH 2014
No one cares about the libertarian or any of the other minor candidates. They cause more problems then they're worth. If not for them, Alex sink would probably be governor right now.
12:53AM APR 9TH 2014
You really need to poll likely Dem. primary voters. You would be quite surprised to see the support for Nan Rich.
4:13PM APR 11TH 2014
STOP! with the Nan Rich..she has as much chance as Alex Sink who is NOT electable..forget them..they dilute the opposition to a very dangerous Rick Scott..VOTE FOR CHARLIE AND TAKE BACK FLORIDA FOR DECENT PEOPLE! As a FL born and raised I don't get why the Dems can't find an electable candidate..It makes me think they don't want to win..FORGET THESE LESSER THANS THAT THE DEMS PUT UP!
broward bob
10:55PM APR 8TH 2014
Look in the rear view mirror and squint hard, you might be able to see your credibility. Although the 1% for others (sorry Nan) is probably close.
12:48AM APR 9TH 2014
The question was between the two corrupt puppets. Nan and others was not an option.
7:40AM APR 8TH 2014
Just think how much better Scott's rankings would be if he completely dumped Common Core, and did not just rename it and choosing AIR for the assessment (testing) phase when they are complicit with liberals in biasing the tests. Dump both the renamed, doesn't fool anyone New Florida Standards and AIR completely and develop LOCAL standards without liberal bias and you might win easily.
4:16PM APR 11TH 2014
RICK SCOTT IS TAINTED..he's a thief..(stole $billions in Medicare fraud..)how blind can you be? You can put lipstick on that pig..but he's still a PIG!
6:49AM APR 8TH 2014
Politico reported this morning that Moveon.org/PPP shows Crist ahead by seven. Bottom line, with the SSN and Moveon polls is we have a race on our hands. The more polling out there the better
Pete Buttacavoli
4:35AM APR 8TH 2014
Charlie is in it for Charlie. He will do and say anything to win. He will jump from party to party. Yes he was a good Governor but he is not the same person.
4:17PM APR 11TH 2014
NO! Charlie is NOT the same person..he's smarter, better, will benefit Florida and ALL it's citizens...VOTE CHARLIE CRIST FOR GOVERNOR!
Ted Cory
9:48PM APR 10TH 2014
yes! Crist is a total power hungry loser that will do what ever he needs to get back into it. He has sold his soul to win and drink more power. His numbers did stink as a governor too!
4:19PM APR 11TH 2014
TED IS A GOP SHILL..do not take any of his comments seriously..these guys get on these posts and spout the party line..GO SOAK YOUR HEAD TED...
FLORIDA! take back our state and exile all these carpetbaggers! FSU graduated MIAMI born and bred...where you from Ted? Michigan? usually...
Scott Wilhelm
1:24PM APR 15TH 2014
Nancy....two words - Anger Management
Scott Wilhelm
1:24PM APR 15TH 2014
Nancy....two words - Anger Management
David Lauren
5:19PM APR 9TH 2014
Hi Pete - Interesting observation when you say that Charlie Crist will "do and say anything to win." If that was indeed the case, one could argue that he would be Florida's US senator today because he would have simply followed the Republican party line, rather than, as he did, taking positions that he believed were in Florida's best interest. If you feel that he was a good governor the only thing that has changed is he now has a "D" after his name, rather than an "R." I respect your point-of-view, but it does seem to be mainly "party-based."
5:26PM APR 7TH 2014
Time for a Nan Rich- Chicken Charlie poll of Democrats likely to vote in the primary.
4:21PM APR 11TH 2014
Get real Joe..she'll do as well as Alex Sink...who couldn't get elected in spite of her $$$$$$$$$
VOTE CHARLIE CHRIST AND TAKE FLORIDA BACK! away from the crazies who have polluted my beloved home state! FSU grad..where you from Joe?
Ken Willey
4:28PM APR 7TH 2014
Yet another poll leaves out Adrian Wyllie. Where is the breakdown of the data?
what difference does it make
11:13AM APR 7TH 2014
That's Hillary's favorite line..................

they can poll all they want too....

And the winner will be the candidate that gets to use those Clint Curtis vote fixer computer chips that Curtis swore before congress that he invented for Tom Feeney and Jeb Bush.

How do you think Jeb's buddie Obama got 141% of the vote in St. Lucie County, Fl and all those funky vote counts in Ohio in November 2012?

The winner is going to be Former Dallas Bush family oil and hospital lawyer Richard (Rick) Lynn Scott - Jeb has already got his man Lt Gov Carlos Lopez-Canterra (Born in Spain from Cuban Exiles) in place.
10:52AM APR 8TH 2014
Yes, yes, you must be right --> "Jeb's buddie Obama got 141% of the vote in St. Lucie County" . . . . . you just keep believing that nonsense . . . . that far right truthiness . . . . . and in frustration stay home . . . . .

Pathetic . . . .
Bill Stevenson
9:57PM APR 10TH 2014
Sad non sequitur ad hominem comment above. Attack the person (source) instead of challenging their facts. You need to get back to work Bill. Hilleary is running and having shoes throw at her. You legacy was an intern, Maybe she can due better.
Ted Cory
9:52PM APR 10TH 2014
Actually, there were some crazy numbers in Obama's race. Philly had a few 100% turn outs and a few 105% too. People went to jail there for voter fraud. One lady poll worker even said she voted 3 times on camera. Hello Felon, now. Google it.
4:46PM APR 11TH 2014
TED..you are delusional...or will say anything to press your agenda..voter fraud is a made up SCARE TACTIC by GOP OR it's their way of negating the bad news they will keep getting when the DEMS take it all..GOP will NEVER win the White House again..at least not in my lifetime..have a nice time in NOWHERE-VILLE TED..GOP banished from polite society...

Leave a Comment on This Story

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
To prevent automated spam submissions leave this field empty.