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Rick Skeletor, err, Rick Scott beating Alex Sink in latest Rasmussen poll

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Millionaire health care executive Rick Scott has bombarded the airwaves to launch his out-of-nowhere bid for governor of Florida, while both the long-running gubernatorial candidates seem to be slipping slightly in the polls.

The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of Likely Voters in Florida finds Republican Attorney General Bill McCollum continuing to hold a modest 43% to 35% lead over Democrat Alex Sink. Eleven percent (11%) like some other candidate in the race, and another 11% are undecided.

The current results reflect the lowest level of support yet measured for McCollum and match the lowest total for Sink.

Last month, McCollum posted a 45% to 38% lead over Sink, who is currently Florida’s chief financial officer.

In all seven surveys conducted by Rasmussen Reports on the race, McCollum’s support has ranged from 44% to 48%. In those same surveys, Sink has earned 35% to 39% of the vote.

Scott, who is challenging McCollum for the GOP gubernatorial nomination, is already competitive with Sink. He picks up 41% of the vote to Sink’s 40%. Seven percent (7%) like another candidate, while 12% are undecided. However, it is difficult to project how a newcomer will perform as a campaign unfolds.

Republicans will choose their gubernatorial nominee in an August 24 primary.

This statewide telephone survey of 500 Likely Voters in Florida was conducted on May 16, 2010 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/-4.5 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

According to the Miami Herald, Scott spent $4.7 million in one month on radio and TV ads to introduce himself to Florida voters. His endorsement of Arizona’s new immigration law also appears to have prompted McCollum to reverse himself and support the law. Sink is opposed to the Arizona law.

Fifty-three percent (53%) of Florida voters favor the adoption of an immigration law like Arizona’s in their state. Thirty percent (30%) are opposed, and 16% more are not sure.

Sixty-five percent (65%) of those who favor a law like Arizona’s back both Republicans in their match-ups with Sink. The Democrat in turn gets 65% of the votes of those who oppose such a law when matched against McCollum and 77% of those voters if her opponent is Scott.

Scott also spent millions fighting the recently adopted national health care bill. Opposition to that bill is even higher in Florida than it is nationally. Sixty-two percent (62%) of Sunshine State voters favor repeal, while just 33% are opposed. Nationally, 56% of voters favor its repeal.

Male voters favor both Republicans. Female voters like Sink over Scott but divide almost evenly if McCollum’s in the race.

Scott runs slightly stronger among Republicans than McCollum does but is edged by the Democrat among voters not affiliated with either party. Those unaffiliated voters prefer McCollum over Sink by seven points.

Sink is viewed Very Favorably by 15% of Florida voters and Very Unfavorably by 10%.

For McCollum, Very Favorables are 15% and Very Unfavorables 13%.

Fourteen percent (14%) have a Very Favorable view of Scott, while 14% also view him Very Ufnavorably.

McCollum is the best-known of the candidates, but Scott now is only slightly less well-known than Sink. At this point in a campaign, Rasmussen Reports considers the number of people with a strong opinion more significant than the total favorable/unfavorable numbers.

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.

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