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In Sharp Turnaround, Scott Now Ahead Of Crist, With or Without Wyllie in the Race

| September 24, 2014

I've got your number, Rick Scott is telling Charlie Crist following today's release of the latest Quinnipiac poll, which favors Crist. (Facebook)

I’ve got your number, Rick Scott is telling Charlie Crist following today’s release of the latest Quinnipiac poll, which favors Crist. (Facebook)

It’s officially too close to call: the latest Quinnipiac poll, released this morning, has Rick Scott ahead of Charlie Crist, 44 to 42 percent. That’s within the 3 percent margin of error. But the shift is unmistakable. Scott has the decisive advantage, having erased a 10-point Crist lead in five months.

Andrew Wyllie, the Libertarian Party candidate, pulls 8 percent of voters’ preference in the latest poll, but Scott is ahead on the poll whether Wyllie is on the ballot or not: Absent Wyllie, Scott is ahead 46-44, which takes away any argument from Crist that Wyllie is somehow having a Nader effect on the race. (The U.S. Supreme Court’s five votes aside, Nader’s presence on the 2000 presidential ballot drained just enough votes to swing the election from Al Gore to George W. Bush. Wyllie had appeared poised to do the same in Scott’s favor. He began to make his presence felt in July, when Crist’s lead over Scott was halved to five points, with the erosion at the time attributed to Libertarian voters opting for Wyllie instead of Crist. But the latest poll appears to negates that analysis.)

More likely, Scott’s overwhelming money advantage is having an impact.

In a single week this month, the two candidates spent $10.4 million on television ads, for a total of $50 million so far. Scott’s share of the spending: 71 percent. There’s no let-up. The Scott campaign has $8 more million in spending planned for this week, according to the Tampa Bay Times, while Crist is planning just $2.5 million. The momentum is almost entirely in Scott’s favor, a remarkable turnaround for a governor who spent the majority of his first term with an approval rating in the 30s, and some of it as the least-liked governor in the nation.

But the Scott campaign has capitalized on Crist’s past, portraying his evolution from a Republican to an Independent to a Democrat as reason to mistrust him, and blaming the Great Recession, which hit Florida particularly hard, on Crist. That’s nonsense, of course: the recession was a national phenomenon, damaging states with a heavier reliance on real estate and construction more than others, but campaign narratives are seldom based on either reflection of perspective and more often based on the swaying, emotional, sometimes incendiary rhetoric that can be packed in a 30-second TV commercial–and how often those commercials can air. Scott’s campaign is in that regard the undisputed champion of this race, on e of the most-watched in the nation.

And Scott has benefited from the power of incumbency, using his pulpit recently to launch a new round of promises to cut taxes. Crist’s responses have been tepid.

Another significant shift for Scott: he’s won over the independent vote, without which no statewide candidate can win, and which he did not have six months ago. In the three-way matchup, Scott edges Crist 44-37 percent among independent voters, the Quinnipiac poll shows, with 11 percent for Wyllie. Scott leads 80-11 percent among Republicans, with 7 percent for Wyllie and Crist leads 83-7 percent among Democrats, with 6 percent for Wyllie. Women give Crist a slight edge.

But neither candidate gets good marks for honesty and character. Just 39 percent say Scott is honest, against 51 percent who say he’s dishonest. Crist does barely better, with 37 percent considering him honest and 49 percent calling him dishonest. Half the voters say Scott dpoesn;t care about them (46 percent say Crist doesn’t care), but Scott wins on leadership, with 58 percent giving him the nod and just 46 percent calling Crist a strong leader.

With six weeks until Election Day, 81 percent of voters say their mind is made up, while 17 percent say they might change their mind.

“When fewer than four in 10 voters think both the Democratic and Republican candidates for governor are honest, you know this has been one of the nastiest races in state history,” said Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll. “They have been throwing so much mud that they both are covered in it. The two voter groups that will tell the tale of the election are independent voters and those who are backing Libertarian candidate Adrian Wyllie. Gov. Rick Scott and former Gov. Charlie Crist are doing about the same with their respective party bases and former Republican Crist is not having any trouble being accepted by members of his new party. Wyllie voters are the bigger unknown because there is little way of predicting if they will stay with the third-party challenger or decide to switch to Scott or Crist in order to be with a winner.”

Brown added: “At this point, neither major party candidate is doing markedly better as a second choice of Wyllie voters. It is also worth considering that there is a consensus that negative campaigning tends to be a turnoff more to the very people who seem to hold the keys to the kingdom – independents and third-party voters.”

The poll was conducted from September 17 to 22, surveying 991 likely voters, with a margin of error of +/- 3.1 percentage points.

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12 Responses for “In Sharp Turnaround, Scott Now Ahead Of Crist, With or Without Wyllie in the Race”

  1. Nancy N. says:

    Scott is shoveling several particularly stinky pieces of crap that make me want to throw things at the tv every time the ads come on. First there’s the ads blaming Crist for the recession that was actually his fellow party man Bush’s fault! Then there’s the ads blaming “Obamacare” (a thing that doesn’t actually exist) for “raising our healthcare premiums” with a graphic of prices going up 13%. The problem with that is that they were going up at TWICE that rate BEFORE the ACA law – the law drastically reduced the rate of the increases, it just didn’t eliminate them entirely.

    Perhaps the most puke-inducing ad however is the one showing him with all sorts of blue collar people, with them giving testimonials about how the state is getting “back to work” under his policies. SERIOUSLY? He has sold that segment of the work force UP THE RIVER. Unemployment and underemployment is horrific, and he refuses to offer any benefits at all to those people to help them transition to a new life as he has destroyed the economic opportunity and jobs they once had. The only economic opportunity he cares about is making sure there is a steady supply of gardeners and chauffers for his mansion at dirt cheap wages.

    • Fed Up says:

      Yea, just what Florida needs…..”a traitor” as governor…”a coward” as governor….”a loser as governor”. Stay away Charlie, America has enough traitors and cowards in government now !!!

    • I/M/O says:

      How was the “Recession” President Bush’s fault? It was Mario Cuomo Jr. the current democrat Governor of New York who invented the sub prime mortgage after being appointed Director of HUD.

      President Bush twice sent letters to Congress, once in his first term and immediately after his reelection warning that Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae were out of control, corrupt and that congress needed to stop Freddie Mae and Freddie Mac or their would be a catastrophic housing bubble.

      Both times democrats in Congress led by Maxine Waters and Barney Frank vehemently defended Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae practices stating President Bush’s warnings were without any merit. You can see Barney Frank and Maxine Waters’ Congressional hearing defense of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac by simply going to YouTube and re-watching them attack Bush’s two requests for Congress to act.

      By the way Barney Frank’s live in boyfriend received 4 “Special Friends Mortgages” from CountryWide while Barney was advising Congress President Bush did not know what he was talking about as to the Housing Industry and the sub prime mortgage disaster.

      Today Palm Coast is still reeling from the Foreclosure Crisis and has been listed by many media outlets and real estate websites as the #1 victim of the Housing Foreclosure Crisis.

  2. Bob Z. says:

    Are you kidding me…4 more years of Scott are on the way?! Boy, people forget real soon…

    • OrlandoChris says:

      Tell me about it. They do this same dance every election.
      Both Scott & Crist are horrible, to say the least. Our best choice is Adrian Wyllie.

  3. m&m says:

    Crist is crispy, a turn coat and supported by the push to legalize drugs in Florida. Him and his supporters are BAD NEWS….

  4. Outsider says:

    I don’t pay attention to the commercials; the attack ads are pretty much cow dung. I look at facts. When the recession hit, Scott cut state spending, including education, because revenues dropped and he had to balance the budget. That makes sense to me. When the recession subsided, revenues increased and he restored spending in the areas cut. That makes sense to me; it sounds like someone is steering the ship through turbulent waters. A recent issue of CEO magazine ranked Florida second best in the nation as a place to start a business, outdone only by Texas. Also, a local friend of mine recently requested help from the governor’s office regarding a local issue, and his office responded and got answers within days for her. That certainly showed me he cares about “the little guy.” Go Rick Scott!

  5. I/M/O says:

    Crists’s negative campaign commercials tell you h already knows he is going to lose. His ads saying nothing positive or what plans he has. They are simply vicious personal attacks. His campaign is in panic and he has become a candidate of “Hostility.”

    Florida does not need Charlie Crist’s “Hostility.”

  6. I/M/O says:

    Charlie Crist on ObamaCare. “I think it’s great!” Really Charlie? How great will it be in 2015 when it devastates Medicare denying Seniors access to quality health care? Or when working families premium skyrocket so the Democrats can pay off the deal they made with private insurance companies. Now that deal Charlie is without any doubt the largest taxpayer funded subsidy of private companies by government ever passed by an all democrat vote Congress.

    Crist/Obama one in the same. Take our money and benefits and REDISTRIBUTE them to those who don’t work.

  7. Carl says:

    Scott took school lunch vouchers from public schools and gave them to private school`s where the teachers and parents said they did not want or need them , especially if it was taking food out of the mouths of the poor , Scott said oh well your getting them anyway , he blew over 100,000 jobs by vetoing the high speed rail system , its not this new train we got now , it would of been a single rail high speed rail train that would have saved people time and money commuting to and from work , allowing them to spend more time with their families and cutting fuel costs , but Scott is in bed with oil companies, he also blew 63,000 jobs when he denied medicaid expansion , denying insurance to the people who needed it most , not to mention drove up rate for everyone in state because the more in the plan the cheaper the rates , he has 172 million dollars and would euthanize the elderly , the sick , the disabled and the poor , he is a horror of a human being , and anyone who votes for him is a brainless moron….. he helps no one but the super rich!!!!!!

  8. Sherry Epley says:

    Right ON Carl! Please get out the vote. . . our citizens simply cannot endure 4 more years of such a horrible governor!

    Scott also is PERSONALLY responsible for removing the power of the insurance commissioner to regulate insurance premiums in Florida. He used it as a poison pill, hoping rates would rise, and hoping to turn people against the ACA for nothing but political reasons. He cares nothing for the hard working citizens of Florida!


  9. Citizen says:

    Rick’s got my vote. Friends don’t let friends vote Dummocrat.

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