From Alexis Muellner: Looking at the results of our governor’s race poll, the findings emphasize the nonscientific quality of the data collected in our online survey.
State Sen. Paula Dockery, R-Lakeland, won the poll, taking 45 percent of nearly 3,400 votes cast. Fellow Republican and Attorney General Bill McCollum was seven points back at 38 percent, and Florida CFO Alex Sink, a Democrat, garnered just 8 percent from readers.
Dockery’s performance seemed to be bolstered by a viral effort, including messages at her Web site, urging supporters to join in on the Tampa Bay Business Journal poll. She surged way ahead on the second night after the poll was posted. Her overall numbers are far out of line with scientific surveys done recently by recognized scientifically valid pollsters such as Rasmussen Reports.
That said, Dockery’s numbers do imply that she has some growing support among people who know how to mobilize and spread the word through electronic and social media means, and that can help energize any campaign if recent national history is any example.
More startling on some accounts was the secondary question asking hypothetically if people would vote to re-elect Gov. Charlie Crist were he still in the race. Just 2 percent said yes, and nearly every posted comment was in response to that question.