The first Rasmussen Reports post-primary survey of the Florida governor’s race finds Republican Rick Scott and Democrat Alex Sink in a close contest.
Scott, the winner of Tuesday’s bruising GOP Primary, earns the support of 41 percent of likely voters in the state, while Sink picks up 36 percent of the vote. Independent Bud Chiles runs a distant third with 8 percent. Five percent prefer some other candidate, and 9 percent are undecided.
Before the primary, Scott posted a 35-to-31-percent lead over Sink, the state’s chief financial officer who faced only token opposition in Tuesday’s Democratic Primary. Chiles, who has worked in the nonprofit sector and is the son of a former Democratic governor, picked up 16 percent support at that time.
The Florida race is rated a tossup in the Rasmussen Reports Election 2010 Gubernatorial Scorecard.
When leaners are included in the new totals, the race is even tighter, with Scott barely ahead of Sink 45 percent to 42 percent. Chiles’ support drops to 4 percent. This suggests that the Florida contest could follow the general pattern of three-way races with support drifting away from the third-party candidate toward one of the major party nominees as Election Day approaches.
Leaners are those who initially indicate no preference for either of the candidates but answer a follow-up question and say they are leaning towards a particular candidate. Early in any campaign, the numbers without leaners are generally more significant. Later in a campaign, the numbers with leaners matter more. After Labor Day, Rasmussen Reports will report the numbers with leaners as the primary indicators of the campaign.
Almost three-fourths of those who favor Sink say they are certain how they will vote in November. Just 55 percent of Scott’s voters and 36 percent of those who support Chiles say the same.
The first Rasmussen Reports post-primary look at the Florida Senate race shows Marco Rubio attracting 40 percent of the vote, while Charlie Crist picks up 30 percent. The new Democratic nominee Kendrick Meek earns 21 percent support.
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