That Survey USA poll should be setting off alarm bells in Charlie Crist’s campaign

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Last week, I wrote about an under-reported reason why Governor Rick Scott may have closed the gap with/overtaken Charlie Crist in recent polls.

Based on what I was reading from a poll commissioned by a statewide business group, Scott’s rise in the polls has taken place at the same time an increasing number of Floridians believe the state is heading in the right direction.

Forty percent of Floridians think the state is on the “right track,” up from just 34 percent in the February poll. Mind you, 47 percent of Floridians think the state is headed in the wrong direction. But it’s hard to separate Scott’s improvement in this poll from the increased number of Floridians who believe the state is moving in the right direction.

At the time of that writing, the crosstabs for a separate poll from Survey USA showing Scott leading Crist by two points were not available. They have since been released and, reading them, the Survey USA poll shoud be setting off alarm bells in Crist’s campaign.

Unlike the poll from the statewide business group — which offered the possibility that Scott’s improved numbers were related to the state’s improving economy — the Survey USA makes it clear that Scott’s rise is coming at the expense of Crist.

According to the crosstabs, where there is positive movement for Scott: in Central Florida, which includes 19 counties surrounding Orlando, the governor has gained ground in each of 4 tracking polls and today leads there 47% to 34%. (See the track here.)

Among moderates, Crist had a 25-point advantage two weeks ago; that lead has now been cut in half. (See the track here.) Among males, Crist has been steadily losing ground, and now trails by 14 points; the gender gap is today 26 points.

Crist’s support is down among whites, down among blacks. Among Cubans, Scott now leads two-to-one.

Those alarm bells at Crist campaign headquarters going off yet?

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including,,, 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.