New poll shows McCollum closing gap with Scott

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Less than three weeks before Florida’s August 24 Primary Election, a new poll indicates the crucial GOP race for Florida Governor may be tightening between Attorney General Bill McCollum and businessman Rick Scott.

The new Mason-Dixon poll commissioned by Leadership Florida and the Florida Press Association – the organizing partners of the statewide debate project Decision 2010: Before You Vote  – shows Scott leading McCollum 37 percent to 31 percent, with 29 percent still undecided. That result is closer than other polls have indicated in recent weeks, and the issue of immigration may be playing a factor.

“Hispanic Republicans favor McCollum over Scott by a 3-1 margin, which now is keeping McCollum in the race,” said Brad Coker, managing director of Mason-Dixon Polling & Research, which conducted the poll. “Perhaps Hispanic Republicans have been put off by

Scott’s use of immigration as a wedge issue in the primary, while McCollum has communicated a position quite similar to that of Marco Rubio, which gives him some cover among Florida’s Cuban Republican community.”

In the Democratic race for U.S. Senate, the poll also shows U.S. Rep. Kendrick Meek with a slight lead over real estate tycoon Jeff Greene, with Meek at 33 percent and Greene at 29 percent – just within the poll’s four-point margin of error.

In the Democratic primary race for Florida Attorney General, state Sen. Dan Gelber is edging Sen. Dave Aronberg by 23 percent to 21 percent.

In the Republican primary for Attorney General, prosecutor Pam Bondi narrowly leads Lt. Gov. Jeff Kottkamp and former legislator Holly Benson by 17 percent to 16 percent and 13 percent, respectively.

The poll of 625 likely Democratic primary voters and 625 likely Republican primary voters was conducted from August 2 to August 4. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.

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.