What a poll of House District 21 tells us about Crist vs. Scott

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Over the last two days, St. Pete Polls has been surveying the voters of House District 21. And while the results of the ballot test between District 11’s Debbie Boyd and Republican incumbent Keith Perry are interesting, what’s more interesting is what this poll tells us about Charlie Crist versus Rick Scott.

Boyd and Perry aren’t exactly household names, but neither of them is an unpopular politician. Boyd has a 18%/15% favorable/unfavorable ratio; Perry has a 31%/26% ratio. 

When asked “if the election for the Florida House were held today, would you vote for a Democrat or a Republican”, 47% of respondents said they would vote for a Democrat, while 41% said they would vote for a Republican. That’s not exactly good news for Rep. Perry. Neither is the statistic that voters said they would vote for Boyd over Perry 47% to 38%.

Putting together the favorable/unfavorable numbers and ballot tests, it’s pretty clear this district wants to lean Democratic, even if it did elect a Republican. But it’s not a slam dunk for the Democrats either, especially if you factor in the significant resource advantage the Republicans will likely have.

But take a look at the Crist and Scott numbers.

Crist’s favorable rating is 42% favorable/40% favorable, meaning Crist is a polarizing figure in this lean-Democrat seat that’s represented by a Republican. Yet Scott’s numbers are upside down by twenty-four points at 31% favorable/55% unfavorable. 

In this possible battleground seat, where neither Charlie Crist nor Debbie Boyd nor Keith Perry elicit an overwhelming response in either direction, Rick Scott is disliked by a majority of the district?

This poll is just a snapshot of one of 120 House districts, so it’s not fair to extrapolate any broad conclusions. But these numbers do reinforce the conventional wisdom about Scott: He just may be too unpopular to be re-elected, no matter what’s the unemployment rate.

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.