Politico: Internal poll shows Bill McCollum down only six to Rick Scott

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Politico’s Morning Score (sorry, no hyperlink): Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum is six points back from former health care executive Rick Scott in the state’s Republican primary for governor, according to an internal poll conducted by McCollum consultants McLaughlin & Associates. Scott is currently taking 37 percent of the vote to McCollum’s 31 percent, with a full 32 percent of voters still undecided. The brutal campaign has driven up both candidates’ negative ratings: McCollum’s numbers stand at 36 percent favorable and 39 percent unfavorable, while Scott’s at 38 percent favorable and 32 percent unfavorable. Among undecided voters, Scott’s numbers are uglier: he has a net 23 percent negative rating to McCollum’s net 11 percent negative.

Pollster John McLaughlin notes in a memo to the campaign that the poll, taken July 22, represents a shift toward Scott since July 1, when his survey showed the race tied at 35 percent. That’s a result of Scott’s vastly more extensive television advertising, McLaughlin writes, arguing: “In the final four weeks Bill McCollum’s campaign, and their supporters, will return to the airwaves, rebut Scott’s attacks and give Republicans a reason to nominate Bill McCollum and win in November.” An automated Public Policy Polling survey released last week showed a less optimistic picture of the race for McCollum, giving Scott a 14-point lead. Read McLaughlin’s full memo here. http://politi.co/cPeGNz

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.