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Crist and Scott Deadlocked at 42% in Latest Quinnipiac Poll as Early Voting Begins

| October 22, 2014

In sight. (© FlaglerLive and Facebook)

In sight. (© FlaglerLive and Facebook)

With early voting under way across Florida, Democrat Charlie Crist and Republican Rick Scott are locked at 42 percent each in the most-watched governor’s race in nation, according to the latest Quinnipiac University poll of likely voters 13 days from Election Day. Libertarian candidate Adrian Wyllie draws 7 percent, down a point from last month as more voters solidify their choice. Ninety percent of those polled say they have made up their mind, compared to 81 percent last month.


There were two suggestions of better news for Crist, who for most of the year had led Scott by comfortable margins–and by double digits six months ago. One is that Scott’s two-point advantage in the September poll was erased. But as in September, the late-October results are within the margin of error, which means that the margin separating the candidates could be up to six points. It’s just not certain who would be ahead. Another small bit of encouraging news for Crist: among those who have already voted, the poll found Crist leading by 5 points–42 to 38, with Wyllie getting just 3 percent.

That may be a reflection of the electorate’s mood after Crist and Scott tangled in two of three televised debates, including the second where Scott came off as the clear loser, although judging by the poll’s broader numbers, even that perceived damage appears limited. The third debate, held Tuesday, was too late to be reflected in Quinnipiac’s poll results. In Tampa Bay Times Political Editor Adam Smith’s analysis, “This has turned into the ultimate hold-your-nose election, and Tuesday’s debate confirmed it. Neither man has much interest in telling voters what he wants to do over the next four years, preferring to focus on how lousy Florida fared under his opponent’s four years.”

Scott draws a sizable advantage from men, who choose him over Crist by a 46-38 percent margin, but Crist reverses the advantage with women, drawing 45 percent of that vote, to Scott’s 39 percent. Crist still has the advantage with independent voters, drawing 41 percent to Scott’s 38 percent in a state where independents, whose ranks keep growing at the expense of both major parties, are increasingly  deciding close elections. There are 3.1 million independents in the state, representing 26 percent of the Florida’s electorate.

“When the campaign began, everyone talked about how unusual the Florida governor’s race would be,” because two governors were facing off, said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll. “But, as it enters the home stretch, it’s just like many other races across the country: There is a sizable gender gap; tens of millions are being spent on negative TV ads and there is a dead heat in which neither candidate has an edge.”

The two candidates so far have spent more than $70 million in television advertising statewide, with more yet to be spent: contributors have donated more than $90 million to either candidate, and Scott has no fears of running put of money, being ready to pump millions into the race if need be, from his own pocket. But money, which may have helped Scpott close the gap over the past six months, may no longer be a factor.

“For all the money spent on this race,” Brown said, “it now appears the winner will be the one whose organization excels at the blocking and tackling of politics – getting their voters to the polls.” To that extent, Crist may have a final trump card: getting younger people to vote because of Amendment 2, the proposed constitutional amendment to legalize medical marijuana. While the amendment appeared to be heading for victory by a large margin a few months ago, its chances of success have withered more recently. But it may still act as a magnet for younger voters.

The likability factor also swings slightly toward Crist: Likely voters dislike Crist a little less than Scott, while more than 80- percent still don;t know much about Wyllie. Crist gets a negative 42-47 percent favorability rating, compared to Scott’s negative 40-48 percent.

“According to voters, there are no nice guys in this race, since neither Scott nor Crist are viewed favorably,” Brown said. “The Florida governor’s race challenges the idea that voters won’t vote for a candidate they don’t like. In the Sunshine State this year, voters definitely are voting for the lesser of two evils.”

Quinnipiac University surveyed 984 likely voters from October 14 to 20, with a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.

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9 Responses for “Crist and Scott Deadlocked at 42% in Latest Quinnipiac Poll as Early Voting Begins”

  1. Sherry Epley says:

    Just voted for Charlie Crist. . . although he is certainly not perfect, he is most certainly preferable to Rick Scott.

    We quite simply should not be made to live with more cuts to education, environment and all social services while turning down federal money and extending tax cuts to the wealthy!

    RICK SCOTT IS TERRIBLE FOR FLORIDA!

  2. m&m says:

    Anybody then that egotisical and worthless CRIST..

  3. Groot says:

    This is how a poll is taken: “Quinnipiac University surveyed 984 likely voters from October 14 to 20, with a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points”. The Flagler straw poll never did explain their methodology and error margin for a poll taken at a community festival on one day. It did, however, make front page news on several local websites for days and in a community paper.

  4. Bill says:

    really don’t like either one BUT don’t like the one who only wants to be a politician and move on to the next “bigger” elected office. Hold my nose and vote for Scott

  5. confidential says:

    Charlie got mine and of my family, friends and work buddies VOTE!

  6. Susan says:

    I voted for Rick……. I put Charlie in the same group as Disney characters….with a strong resemblance to “Goofy”.

  7. I/M/O says:

    10/25/14…”Charlie Crist, the Democratic candidate for governor in Florida, refused to give about $90,000 he received from strip club owners during a preview of an interview on CBS Miami’s “Facing South Florida” set to air Sunday.
    When Crist was asked if why he had not returned the money by anchor Jim DeFede, Crist responded “because we got it from a management company.” After DeFede pressed Crist, asking if now that he knew the source of the money, he thought it should be returned, Crist responded “no, I don’t.”

  8. Seminole Pride says:

    I voted for Scott. I have to stick to the Good Ol’ Boy Network.

  9. Sherry Epley says:

    WOW! I/M/O is that all you’ve got? Least we forget about the MONSTER Scott. . . this from the Daily Kos:

    So… did we all forget this happened?

    Florida Gov. Rick Scott ordered deep cuts Thursday to programs that serve tens of thousands of residents with Down syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, Autism and other developmental disabilities.
    Though a range of state services face cuts from this year’s Legislature, the governor invoked his emergency powers to order the state Agency for Persons with Disabilities to immediately roll back payments to group homes and social workers by 15 percent — an amount providers say could put them out of business and threaten their clients’ safety.

    The cuts went into effect immediately. No provider was given notice. As the article says they learned from the headline the next morning.

    I remember the picture of the young disabled child that accompanied the story. She depended on the aides for basic tasks, like eating and bathing. The workers made minimum wage working around the clock–their pay literally couldn’t be cut any less. No health insurance, no sick leave, no retirement, but tons and tons of love and patience. Florida’s budget for the disabled was already at the bottom in the nation, but it wasn’t enough for Rick Scott. He kicked them to the curb like his rescue puppy.

    Rick Scott didn’t show an ounce of heart or soul. After all, disabled kids could be dumped into adult nursing homes. Which they were. Pam Bondi would defend it. Evil.

    Oh… and in case you think he just hates disabled, helpless children, that’s not true. He showed that he hated disabled, helpless seniors that year as well.

    Did he at least save any money? Nope. Their small budget was cut by a whopping 15%, which was only a few million. But Rick Scott combined this with 1.3 Billion in cuts to education. (This was, mind you, after he swore he wouldn’t cut education, but as usual, no one calls him on this.) At least, you would think, that would go a long way helping somebody in Florida.

    And it did.

    2.5 BILLION IN TAX BREAKS FOR BIG, POWERFUL, WELL-CONNECTED CORPORATIONS.

    Rick Scott’s donors and friends weren’t the only ones to cash in. So did Rick Scott.

    Remember in 2010, when Rick Scott spent $75 million to get the governorship? Remember in 2013 when he introduced a state law that allowed elected officials to keep assets in a so-called “blind trust” instead of disclosing investments as required by Florida’s Constitution? There is a reason Rick Scott failed to disclose how much he has made the past few years. He is now the wealthiest governor in history, raking in almost half a billion dollars: and “forgetting” to claim $340 million of it.

    This original post was quite long documenting and linking travesty after travesty, and each time Rick Scott has profited off of our misery. But you know what, I’m TIRED OF IT! This post is ONE FREAKING EXAMPLE out of many.

    I remember the outrage when it happened. Now it’s never mentioned. NONE of these are. My state party is treating me to the same tired Medicaid scandal as back in 2010, even though Rick Scott’s Medicaid privatization district scheme makes that scandal look like a Sunday drive. Rick Scott isn’t just a horrible politician, he is a horrible person. Lest you think that I would say that about any GOP governor, I wouldn’t–and haven’t. I didn’t say that about “JEB” (John Ellis Bush) or Tom Corbett or Rick Perry or what have you. But I will say that about Rick Scott.

    When the hell did this state become an abused spouse that tries to convince itself things weren’t so bad?

    You know what Florida, THIS IS AN INTERVENTION! Kick him out, or we’re through here.

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