A candidate’s internal polling, more often than not, skews favorably; the poll referred to in a memo from Tony Fabrizio, Gov. Rick Scott’s pollster, should be no different.
After all, the survey shows Scott beating likely Democratic opponent Charlie Crist by 5 points, contrasted by another SurveyUSA poll taken yesterday showing Crist up by 6 percent. In addition, a Quinnipiac University report issued today has Crist winning by 5 points, although it is still within 2 points of the margin of error. In that poll, Libertarian Adrian Wyllie figures in the race.
However, Marc Caputo of the Miami Herald notes that Fabrizio was the architect behind Scott’s implausible 2010 wins in the primary and general election. He got the margins right in the special election in Florida’s 13th Congressional District between Democrat Alex Sink and then-GOP candidate David Jolly, who won by 2 points.
Fabrizio was also a leading advisor for Tim Pawlenty in his 2002 win for Minnesota governor. In that three-way contest, Fabrizio masterfully won an election with less than 44 percent of the vote.
That could be the scenario with Scott in Florida; Fabrizio’s poll has the incumbent topping off at 45 percent, with 50 percent in a direct matchup against Crist – the highest ever for Scott.
According to the memo, “Let’s Get to Work” found very significant changes in the Florida’s political environment after Crist and supporters spent more than $2 million on ads. There is a sharp turn towards Republicans with voters, with a generic ballot giving the GOP a 10-point advantage.
Continuing to erode are President Obama’s numbers, Fabrizio writes, with only 41 percent approval, and 55 percent disapproving. ObamaCare continues to be unpopular — 39 percent approving of the Affordable Care Act, with 55 percent disapproval.
At the same time, the poll shows Scott’s ratings strengthening, particularly on issues. On most important metrics, Scott leads: respondents say he is best able to create jobs, improve education and turn Florida’s economy around. Fifty-one percent of Florida voters approve of the job Scott is doing as governor, while only 41 percent disapprove.
The same internal survey has Scott leading Crist 45 to 41 percent in a 3-way ballot. In a head-to-head matchup with Crist, Scott also reached the all-important 50 percent threshold, by 50 to 45 percent margin.