Florida Chamber poll gives Rick Scott lead over Charlie Crist

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Jobs and the economy continue to stay on the minds of Florida voters, according to latest polling from the Florida Chamber Political Institute (FCPI).

As likely voters also report feeling confident over Florida’s future, they correspondingly prefer incumbent Gov. Rick Scott to prospective Democratic nominee Charlie Crist in November’s gubernatorial race by a three-point margin – 44 to 41 percent.

“While top concerns for voters remain jobs and the economy, their support of Governor Scott is a signal they approve of his strong ability to create private-sector jobs,” said Marian Johnson, Florida Chamber Political Institute Senior Vice President. “This is evidenced by the fact that 43 percent of the voters believe Florida’s unemployment rate is lower since Rick Scott took office.”

In the Chamber poll of 627 likely Florida voters, 29 percent rank both job creation and the economy as top issues; 43 percent of respondents believe the state is headed in the right direction. Rounding out the top five voter concerns are education, healthcare, and immigration – with 19 percent, 6 percent and 6 percent respectively.

Florida voters also believe they are better off financially than they were a year ago, by 36-25 percent margin.

Scott’s job approval rating continues to improve, as 50 percent of likely voters approve of the job he is doing. On the other hand, Crist’s favorability continues to decline, down to 36 percent from 41 percent in June.

When asked about a three-way race – Scott, Crist and libertarian Adrian Wyllie— Scott receives 41 percent, Crist with 35 percent and Wyllie earns 4 percent.

“I believe a major reason Charlie Crist is visibly losing support is because voters are beginning to realize that Rick Scott’s private-sector pro-jobs plan is working and that Florida continues to move in the right direction,” said Chamber CEO Mark Wilson. 

As for the national level, President Barack Obama’s job approval also remains underwater; 41 percent approval, while 54 percent disapproved.

Cherry Communications conducted the poll on August 10-13 using live telephone interviews of likely voters, with a margin of error of +/- 4 percent.

Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing and management experience, Phil produced material for both print and online, in addition to founding HRNewsDaily.com. His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for Patch.com, technical articles and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine and advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as a contributor and production manager for SaintPetersBlog since 2013. He lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul and can be reached at phil@floridapolitics.com and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.