Much as it has been for months, Florida’s gubernatorial race remains locked in a virtual tie, according to a new statewide poll released Monday from StPetePolls.
It’s important to note that this may be one, if not the, most comprehensive polls of the governor’s race. It includes a mix of both robo-calls and email polling. The poll has also been rebalanced to reflect the three percent partisan advantage most forecasters give to the GOP.
Republican Rick Scott holds a one-point lead over Democrat Charlie Crist, 44 to 43 percent. Scott’s slim advantage is still within the poll’s margin of error.
In the survey taken Oct 8-11, Libertarian candidate Adrian Wyllie takes nearly 8 percent. Five percent of respondents are undecided.
The poll, commissioned by SaintPetersBlog, then asked those undecided respondents if they leaned toward a choice.
When adding undecided “leaners,” Scott remains about a point ahead at 45 percent, with just under 44 percent for Crist. Wyllie also stays at about 8 percent.
Gauging each candidate’s job approval, the survey of Florida registered voters found both Crist and Scott struggling with public appeal. Crist, a former Republican governor now running as a Democrat, fares the worst in approval rating; 52 percent of respondents view him unfavorably; nearly 40 percent approve.
Scott manages just a little better, as 51 percent of likely voters say they disapprove of the incumbent; 41 percent approve of the job he is doing.
As for the campaign itself, voters also gave Scott poor marks. When pollsters asked respondents who ran the most negative campaign so far, Scott took the lead with 34 percent saying his campaign was more negative; 30 percent said it was Crist. Slightly more than 30 percent said both campaigns were equally negative.
Also losing steam in the minds of voters is the push for Amendment 2, the referendum to allow marijuana for treatment of medical conditions. Polling found that only 52 percent of likely voters said they favor Amendment 2, with just under 39 percent saying “no” and 10 percent undecided. Those numbers are under the 60 percent approval needed for the referendum to pass.
Amendment 2 does fare slightly better when the poll added “leaning” voters. Then, 54 percent say yes, 40 percent say no and 6 percent remain undecided — still under the 60 percent threshold for approval.
A sample size of 3,128 came from randomly selected registered voters in every one of Florida’s 120 State House districts through voter registration lists supplied by the state as of Sept. 4.
StPetePolls used two different sources — an automated phone call polling system and a website-based email polling system — weighing the results according to several demographics: political party, race, age and gender.
The survey has a +/- 1.8 percent margin of error and 95 percent confidence level.