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Politics

Rick Scott Still Inches Ahead of Charlie Crist, New Poll Shows

August 17, 2014 - 6:00pm

A poll from the Florida Chamber Political Institute (FCPI) unveiled on Monday shows Gov. Rick Scott has taken a 3 percentage-point lead over former Gov. Charlie Crist -- the man who spent most of his political life as a Republican, yet is the favorite to win the Democratic primary next week.

Scott takes 44 percent in the poll of likely voters against Crist's 41 percent.

When Libertarian Adrian Wyllie is added into the mix,Scotts lead expands. In that scenario, Scott takes 41 percent, Crist gets 35 percent and Wyllie 4 percent.

While top concerns for voters remain jobs and the economy, their support of Gov. Scott is a signal they approve of his strong ability to create private-sector jobs, said Marian Johnson, the senior vice president of the Florida Chamber Political Institute. This is evidenced by the fact that 43 percent of the voters believe Floridas unemployment rate is lower since Rick Scott took office.

I believe a major reason Charlie Crist is visibly losing support is because voters are beginning to realize that Rick Scotts private-sector, pro-jobs plan is working and that Florida continues to move in the right direction, said Mark Wilson, president and CEO of the Florida Chamber.

The poll finds both candidates securing their bases. Despite having been a Democrat only since December 2012, Crist gets 70 percent of his new party while 11 percent of them go for Scott and 2 percent break for Wyllie. Scott gets 73 percent of Republicans while 8 percent back Crist and 3 percent support Wyllie. Voters outside the major parties go for Scott over Crist, 31 percent to 25 percent. But Wyllie does well with these voters, getting the support of 14 percent of them.

There is a gender gap, according to the poll. Scott takes 47 percent of men while 30 percent back Crist and 6 percent go for Wyllie. Crist leads with women taking 41 percent while Scott gets 35 percent and 2 percent support Wyllie.

Despite carrying the state twice, President Barack Obama is underwater in Florida, according to the poll. A majority of those surveyed -- 54 percent -- disapprove of Obama while 41 percent approve of him.

The poll of 627 likely voters was taken Aug. 10-13 by Cherry Communications and had a margin of error of +/-4 percent.

Reach Kevin Derby at kderby@sunshinestatenews.com or follow himm on Twitter: @KevinDerbySSN

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