On Meet the Press, host Chuck Todd grossly misframed the state of Florida’s gubernatorial race by displaying and reporting about a poll that was only a snapshot of a single Florida House district, not a statewide survey.
Discussing the impact of independent and third-party candidates, Todd stood before a screen with a graphic showing Democrat Charlie Crist at 45%, Republican Rick Scott at 37%, and Libertarian Adrian Wyllie at 14%. The graphic attributed the poll to an October 6-7 survey from SEA Polling & Strategic Design.
That poll was not a statewide survey. That was a poll of Florida House District 36, SEA’s Tom Eldon confirmed. This was the poll at the heart of a well-trafficked blog post from the Adam Smith in which the Tampa Bay Times political editor suggests Crist is again the frontrunner in the governor’s race because the Pasco House seat is a bellwether for the rest of the state.
As a supporter of Crist, there’s nothing I’d like to see more than a poll with him leading Scott by eight points, but that’s just not reality. Nor is it likely that Wyllie is polling at 14%. But that big number is probably why Todd’s researcher was originally attracted to the poll results.
This may be a small gaffe, but Todd, who pays close attention to Florida politics, should somehow correct his reporting.