Tags: | Rubio | Leads | Crist | Florida

Rubio Leads Crist by 7 in Florida

Thursday, 28 Oct 2010 09:28 AM

In the Florida U.S. Senate race, Republican Marco Rubio leads Gov. Charlie Crist, who is running as an independent, 42 – 35 percent among likely voters, while Democratic U.S. Rep. Kendrick Meek gets 15 percent, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.

In the hotly-contested governor’s race, State Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink, the Democrat, has 45 percent to 41 percent for Republican Rick Scott, the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University survey, conducted by live interviewers, finds. Another 11 percent are undecided and 9 percent of those who name a candidate say they might change their mind in this final week before Election Day.

Today’s results compare with Quinnipiac University’s October 13 survey showing Rubio with 44 percent, followed by Crist with 30 percent and Meek with 22 percent.

An October 12 poll of the governor’s race showed Scott with 45 percent and Sink with 44 percent.

“Although the governor’s race remains very close, CFO Alex Sink has had a good week,” said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. “But with one in eight voters still in play and Scott’s supporters slightly more solid in support, this race looks like it will go to the finish line as a dead heat.

“Gov. Charlie Crist has cut into Rubio’s margin, but the former state House speaker remains the clear favorite to become Florida’s next U.S. senator,” said Brown. “With his supporters less likely to change their minds than those of his two opponents, Marco Rubio is in the driver’s seat with only five days to go until Election Day. Most of the closure came not from Rubio voters deserting him, but from Congressman Kendrick Meek’s voters moving to Crist.”

In the Senate race, Rubio is carrying 77 percent of Republicans, 6 percent of Democrats and 38 percent of independent voters. Crist receives 19 percent of Republicans, 51 percent of Democrats and 43 percent of independents. Meek gets just 1 percent of Republicans, 36 percent of Democrats and 9 percent of unaffiliated voters.

“Gov. Crist has pulled within hailing distance of Rubio, but there are a couple of unique factors that probably work against him in the home stretch. First of all, he is listed at the bottom of the ballot below a number of unknown independent and minor party candidates. And, since he is without a party, he lacks the ground operation that the Democrats and Republicans have to turn out their voters,” said Brown.

Sink gets 16 percent of Republicans, 85 percent of Democrats and 42 percent of independent voters. Scott wins 74 percent of Republicans, 8 percent of Democrats and 37 percent of independents.

There is a relatively small gender gap in both races. Rubio gets 45 percent of the male vote and 39 percent of the female vote. Crist gets 40 percent of men and 30 percent of women, while Meek gets just 9 percent of men and 22 percent of women.

In the race for governor, Ms. Sink gets 44 percent of men and 46 percent of women. Scott wins 45 percent of men and 38 percent of women.

“Given that Ms. Sink would become Florida’s first female governor, the lack of a larger gender gap is perhaps surprising,” said Brown. “She has some momentum, but anything can happen in the final days before Election Day.”

Also in Ms. Sink’s favor is that she is viewed more positively by the likely electorate. Among likely voters she is seen favorably by 43 percent and unfavorably by 39 percent, while Scott is viewed favorably by 34 percent and unfavorably by 50 percent.

“The relatively wide gap between Scott’s unfavorable rating and his support in the horse race against Ms. Sink is unusual and probably reflects the Republican leaning of the electorate,” said Brown.

From October 18 – 24, Quinnipiac University surveyed 784 Florida likely voters with a margin of error of +/- 3.5 percentage points.

The Quinnipiac University Poll, directed by Douglas Schwartz, Ph.D., conducts public opinion surveys in Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Florida, Ohio and the nation as a public service and for research.

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