With dramatic swing, Charlie Crist now leads Rick Scott 46%-40% in Survey USA poll

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Democratic candidate Charlie Crist dominated the news cycle last week by naming Miami Democrat Annette Taddeo-Goldstein as his running mate, in a move that seems to be resonating with likely Florida voters.

In the most recent WFLA-TV/SurveyUSA tracking poll, the former governor is now leading incumbent Republican Rick Scott by six points, with a 46-40 percent margin. Two weeks ago, Crist was trailing Scott by two points.

Crist, the likely Democratic nominee, has enjoyed five days of nonstop media attention, which coincides with the July 17-21 dates of the survey.

SurveyUSA found that since April 15, Crist has led in five separate surveys, but not by as much as he did in the latest polling. Scott has led in three of eight tracking polls but never by more than two points.

Compared to a similar survey taken two weeks ago, Crist now leads over Scott with women by 10 percent, a gain of seven points; he also ties with men, gaining seven points.

Among moderates, a valuable demographic for Democrats, Crist now leads by 22 points, up from 13 points two weeks ago. Scott and Crist effectively tie with independents, a 10-point upturn for Crist poll-on-poll.

Crist received 82 percent of Democrats overall and 16 percent of Republicans; Scott took 73 percent of Republican Party voters, and only 9 percent or Democrats. Only 5 percent of Republicans and 2 percent of Democrats say they are undecided.

Pollsters also asked about several hypothetical 2016 presidential matchups in the pivotal state of Florida: Hillary Clinton leads U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio by a margin of 53-39 percent; Rubio leads Vice President Joe Biden 46-43 percent; Clinton also leads former Gov. Jeb Bush 47-41 percent, and Bush leads Biden 47-38 percent.

In other non-Florida matchups, Clinton leads New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie 49-38 percent; Christie leads Biden 48-39 percent; Clinton leads U.S. Sen. Rand Paul 46-42 percent, and Paul leads Biden 47-39 percent.

SurveyUSA interviewed 950 Floridians, using a mix of landlines and mobile phones, from July 17-21.

Of 839 registered voters, pollsters determined 564 as likely to cast ballots in November. Respondents on a home phone made 74 percent of likely voters, with those not reachable on a home telephone making up the remaining 26 percent. Those people received a questionnaire on their smartphone, tablet or other mobile device. In most of the polls, the margin of error is +/-4.2 percent.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.