Keep this very important tidbit in mind about the Mason-Dixon poll showing Crist & Scott tied

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Yesterday, the News Service of Florida released a poll conducted by Mason-Dixon Polling & Research showing Gov. Rick Scott and Democratic challenger Charlie Crist “knotted at 42 percent apiece” with Libertarian candidate Adrian Wyllie polling at 4 percent.

Here’s a very important tidbit to keep in mind as you read about this Mason-Dixon poll…

It’s not that Mason-Dixon was wwwaaayyy off in its forecast of how the 2012 presidential race would play out in Florida:

“Romney has pretty much nailed down Florida,” Brad Coker of Mason-Dixon Polling and Research said in October of 2012. “Unless something dramatically changes — an October surprise, a major gaffe — Romney’s going to win Florida. [… T]they should be able to call Florida as soon as the polls close in Pensacola if they do their exit polling right.” 

No, the tidbit to keep in mind is that the Tampa Bay Times and Miami Herald cancelled their relationship with Mason-Dixon Polling & Research after that debacle because its political analysts and reporters saw fundamental problems with MD’s methodology. It wasn’t just the presidential race forecast the Times/Herald had a problem with, it was Mason-Dixon’s entire operation.

But now Mas0n-Dixon has re-emerged in the state via the News Service of Florida showing the gubernatorial race tied … this on the same day the Republican-leaning Rasmussen Reports releases a poll showing Crist leading Scott by six points.

It would be best to take the Mason-Dixon poll with not just a grain of salt, but the whole damn salt shaker.

For example, its latest poll finds Scott getting 12% of the Democratic vote, but Crist only getting 9 (+3 crossover for Scott) and Scott securing 79% of the GOP vote and Crist only 74% of the Democratic vote. Only a poll commissioned by conservative media outlet Sunshine State News showed this similar level of crossover and intensity numbers.

Both of these pollsters were among the most biased and wrong during the 2012 election cycle.

Believe what you want. If you think Mason-Dixon’s sauce tastes good, then enjoy it with your pasta. But to my palette, the Mason-Dixon poll tastes funny.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including,,, 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.