Charlie Crist leads incumbent Rick Scott by six points in Rasmussen Reports’ first look at Florida’s 2014 gubernatorial race.
The latest statewide telephone survey of likely Florida voters shows Crist, who served as governor from 2007 to 2011, picking up 45% of the vote to Scott’s 39%. Six percent (6%) prefer some other candidate, while 10% are undecided.
Forty-seven percent (47%) of Florida voters approve of the job Scott is doing as governor, but just as many (47%) disapprove. Only 16% strongly approve of Scott’s job performance, however, while 32% strongly disapprove.
Both candidates have popularity problems at this stage of the campaign. Seventeen percent (17%) of voters have a very favorable impression of Scott, while 30% view him very unfavorably. Crist is viewed very fvorably by 18% and very unfavorably by 26%. Both are well known in the state, but at this early point in an election cycle, Rasmussen Reports considers the number of people with a strong opinion more significant than the total favorable/unfavorable numbers.
Scott is backed by 75% of Florida Republicans, while Crist draws support from 77% of Democrats. The two men are tied among voters not affiliated with either major party, but 26% of these voters prefer another candidate or are undecided.
The survey of 750 likely voters in Florida was conducted on April 21-22. The margin of sampling error is +/- 4 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence.
Twenty-seven percent (27%) of Florida voters prefer a more active government with more services and higher taxes over a smaller government with fewer services and lower taxes. Fifty-nine percent (59%) favor a smaller government instead. Fourteen percent (14%) are undecided. These numbers are identical to those measured nationwide.
Crist draws support from 81% of voters who prefer a more active government, while Scott is supported by 58% of the larger group that likes a smaller government.
Scott has strongly opposed the new national health care law, and voters in his state dislike the law more than voters do on the national level. Thirty-nine percent (39%) of Florida voters view the law favorably, while 55% have an unfavorable opinion of it. This includes 19% with a very favorable view and 43% with a Very Unfavorable one.
Crist picks up the vote from 95% of voters with a very favorable impression of Obamacare, while Scott is backed by 72% of those with a Very Unfavorable opinion of it.
Twenty percent (20%) of all Florida voters rate the economy as good or excellent, while 36% describe it as poor. But 35% consider their own finances to be good or excellent, compared to 24% who say their personal finances are poor.