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Crist 7 Points Ahead of Scott in Latest Quinnipiac Poll; Floridians Overwhelmingly Favor Medical Marijuana

| November 21, 2013

One of them has more reasons to smile than the other.

One of them has more reasons to smile than the other.

If the election for Florida governor were held today, Charlie Crist would be the likely winner over Rick Scott by a 47 to 40 percent advantage, a Quinnipiac University poll released this morning found.

The seven-point lead is down from 10 points when Quinnipiac last polled in June, before Crist’s announcement that he would run as a Democrat. Crist had a 50-34 percent lead in March, strongly suggesting that the trend, at least for now, is not in his favor, especially as the powers of incumbency can always favor Scott with additional exposure.

On the other hand, after Scott’s approval rating topped out at 43 percent in June (against a 44 percent negative rating), that approval has slipped again, to 42, while his negative rating has risen to 47. In comparison, voters approve of the job Crist did as a Republican governor from 2007 to 2011 by a 53-36 percent margin, even though his tenure straddled the worst of the state’s and nation’s Great Recession.

Crist chose not to run for a second term, announcing instead a run for the U.S. Senate. After falling behind Marco Rubio, he became an Independent, but lost in the general election, with just 30 percent of the vote. Rubio won with 49 percent. Democrat Kendrick Meek took 20 percent.

Crist would defeat fellow-Democrat Nan Rich 60-12 percent in a primary, but Scott would beat Rich in a general election, 43-35, the Quinnipiac poll found.

“Former Gov. Charlie Crist remains ahead in the race to be the state’s next governor, but his lead over incumbent Gov. Rick Scott has narrowed since March,” said Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. “But Crist still does better among Democrats than Scott does among Republicans and holds his own among independents. The winner will be the one who does best among his own partisans and carries independents.”

Crist gets 11 percent approval from Republicans, as opposed to just 4 percent approval from Democrats for Scott. In a close race, numbers like that will matter greatly in a state where Democrats still have a 500,000 voter advantage in registration. Independents, who would normally decide the race, break 44 percent for Crist and 41 percent for Scott. Scott cannot win the election without turning Independents around.

Scott will have several weapons at the ready, not least the fact that Crist has changed parties. But for now that issue appears to have been neutralized: Florida voters are divided 46-46 percent on whether Crist’s party shifts are positive or negative. These same voters say 49-38 percent that Scott is not honest and trustworthy, a negative that does not attach as heavily to Crist.

Scott has few numbers he can seek comfort in: he does not deserve to be reelected, voters say 53-37 percent. Saying no to four more years are Democrats, 83-9 percent, and independent voters, 56 – 36 percent. Republicans say yes 70-20 percent. Women say no, 57-32 percent, and men agree, 49-43 percent.

Voters disapprove 46-36 percent of the way Scott is handling the state budget, but they are divided 43-44 percent on whether the budget is fair to them.

“Voters currently think Crist was a good governor and are evenly split on whether they see his party switching as evidence he is a pragmatist or lacks core beliefs,” Brown said. “To catch Crist, Scott is going to have to convince Florida voters that Crist was a bad governor and a political opportunist.

“And he is planning on spending tens of millions of dollars on television adds to make that argument. This will be an intensely negative campaign on both sides. The survivor will be the candidate voters dislike least on Election Day.”

The Quinnipiac poll also asked voters about marijuana use, now that a proposed constitutional amendment to legalize medical marijuana will be either approved for the November 2014 ballot or rejected by the Supreme Court, which hears arguments in the case in early December.

Florida voters support 82-16 percent allowing adults to legally use marijuana for medical use if it is prescribed by a doctor. Support is overwhelming among every group surveyed, ranging from 70-26 percent among Republicans to 90-10 percent among voters 18 to 29 years old. Republican Attorney General Pam Bondi and the Scott administration are battling the initiative to keep it from reaching voters.

Voters also favor allowing adults to legally possess small amounts of marijuana for personal use, but by a far smaller margin of 48-46 percent. There is a gender gap as men support so-called “recreational use” 52-44 percent, while women are opposed by a small 49-44 percent margin.

“If the folks who want to legalize medical marijuana in Florida can get their proposal on the ballot, they are overwhelmingly favored to prevail next November,” Brown said.

Florida voters continue to support the “Stand Your Ground” law 60-34 percent. Support is 66-29 percent among white voters and 56-36 percent among Hispanic voters, with black voters opposed 56-35 percent.

Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,646 registered voters From November 12 to Nov. 17. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.4 percentage points. The survey includes 544 Democrats with a margin of error of plus or minus 4.2 percentage points.

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19 Responses for “Crist 7 Points Ahead of Scott in Latest Quinnipiac Poll; Floridians Overwhelmingly Favor Medical Marijuana”

  1. The Truth says:

    This isn’t saying much, Dora the Explorer would be favored over Gov. Rick Scott. Please vote this man out!

  2. Reaganomicon says:

    ‘Florida voters support 82-16 percent allowing adults to legally use marijuana for medical use if it is prescribed by a doctor. Support is overwhelming among every group surveyed, ranging from 70-26 percent among Republicans to 90-10 percent among voters 18 to 29 years old. Republican Attorney General Pam Bondi and the Scott administration are battling the initiative to keep it from reaching voters.’

    82% in favor, as prescribed medicinally by someone with a medical degree, with the opposition being an Attorney General that knows nothing about medicine and probably nothing about ethics either. But hey, at least she’s good at attending fundraisers.

  3. Just Another Opinion says:

    Medical marijuana..but of course! Gives the kids easy access to it from their parents or friends parents, or better yet another good reason to break into someones home..
    Wii it be regular and also a menthol choice?

    Sure is going to put for one hectic day in for the police..who’s telling the truth…why someone has it..

    Next it’ll be cocaine so people that have to work late or pull an all nighter can stay awake… This is just the start…sad when society has to bow down to the drug heads..HELLO it IS called a drug..

    Poor excuse for a “pain” killer…

    • Geezer says:

      I’m waiting for Marlboro Marijuana, and Camel Cannabis 100’s.
      In menthol we’ll have Salem Sensimilla, and Kool Sweet-Leaf.
      How about some Doral Doobies! Winston Wowie!

      By prescription of course.

    • Mario says:

      We are way overdue with legalizing pot. We should not have one person in jail for pot use. If you don’t want to use it fine, you can stick with drinking your booze. Another drug by the way. Doesn’t beer lead to whisky?

  4. Gracile says:

    Vote Scott out with the 5 Palm Coast City Council members in due time.

  5. Jackie stout says:

    Please let me know where I can sign the poll to legalize marijuana. I would love to see it in my life!!

  6. Sea Snake says:

    All Hail Charlie (The Crispy) Crist….TRAITOR to his Republican party. And now we got a Republican ” Coke Head ” sorry for buying 3 grams of “nose candy” from an undercover (low life) narc . Everyday a NEW and EXCITING scandal that brings America one step closer to COLLAPSE !…………Oh boy, 82% of Floridians want to legalize marijuana for medical conditions. Ouch, I think I have back pain from all these political scandals..How about it doc, write me up a script for 1 ounce of some “Colombian Kickazz” and a buy one, get one free Silver Surfer Vaporizer…Whoopie, I can sit home collect welfare, get high, play violent video games and eat junk all day ………

  7. Ben Dover says:

    well since so much of it grown illegally here and Scott refuses to take any federal help for those of us who lost our jobs and houses , it would be a big money maker for the state, it will make people drive slower , pay more attention to their surroundings, and won t lose their temper when some idiot cuts them off, it helps cancer patients, glaucoma patients and is so much safer then alcohol, it cut down on crime, drug dealing, they`d be complete idiots not to legalize it , but then we are in Floriduh

  8. truth monitor says:

    Dear Bondi and Scott you two are fighting a battle that you can’t possibly win. The so called National Drug War is a failure and will only gain more support. I agree that more stringent jail time for heroin and cocaine use must is warranted. Look at the other states that have decriminized the use of marijuana and follow their footsteps. Too much wasteful tax dollars are wasted on the weed issue. Tax the stuff and,monitor the dispensing of it and there tax stream will be returned to the state for better uses.

  9. confidential says:

    Keep up those polls in your favor Charlie!

  10. Linus says:

    Crist……Once a TRAITOR always a TRAITOR…………Sorry Charlie !!!!

  11. Mike says:

    What scares me most is that there are still 40% of people dumb enough to re-elect Rick Scott. They must be on pot…

  12. Marissa says:

    Just Great! A Nation of Mush Heads.

  13. Genie says:

    Quinnipiac didn’t poll me. Somehow they never do. So, for my two cents worth: I will support Scott over the liar and I do NOT favor legalizing pot.

  14. m&m says:

    I can see why Crist is favor of this because John Morgan is pushing it. I think they are both users the way they flip-flop..

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