Florida’s gubernatorial race may have grown a bit more competitive this month. State Attorney General Bill McCollum now attracts support for 45% of voters statewide, while Democrat Alex Sink earns the vote from 38%.
The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of likely voters in the state finds seven percent (7%) prefer some other candidate, while 10% are undecided at this point.
While support for McCollum is down slightly from 47% last month, his numbers have held relatively steady since last October. Over the past six surveys, support for the Republican has ranged from a low of 44% to a high of 48%.
Support for Sink has ranged from 35% and 39% during the same period.
“These numbers suggest that there has been little or no substantive movement in the race and that McCollum enters the campaign season with a consistent but modest lead,” says Scott Rasmussen. “In short, this race is still up for grabs.”
Over the past month, Sink, currently Florida’s chief financial officer, has called for an investigation of alleged financial improprieties within the the state Republican Party, prompting McCollum to agree to a federal probe.
Separate recent polling in the state finds 40% of voters say the Justice Department should investigate allegations of financial wrongdoing within the Florida Republican Party.
One of those Republicans whose spending on a party credit card has been questioned is former House Speaker Marco Rubio, Governor Charlie Crist’s opponent for the state’s Republican Senate nomination. Rubio has denied wrongdoing and said he has repaid any personal expenses on the card.
The scandal does not seem to have hurt Rubio, who is currently leading Crist 57% to 28% in the latest survey on the race. Crist, whose numbers have been trending down in recent surveys, is reportedly poised to quit the GOP race and run as an independent for the Senate.
The Republican leads among both male and female voters, but the candidates are running neck-and-neck among Florida voters not affiliated with either major political party.
McCollum is viewed very favorably by 10% of Florida voters and very unfavorably by 15%. Another 18% of voters are not sure what they think of the Republican. McCollum’s very favorable rating is down eight points from last month.
Sink is viewed very favorably by 12% and very unfavorably by 15%. Another 21% are undecided on the Democrat. Sink’s ratings are largely unchanged from the previous survey.
Sixty percent (60%) of Florida voters believe it would be better for their state if most incumbents up for re-election were defeated this November. Just 28% believe their local representative deserves re-election, while 40% disagree.