U. of North Florida Poll: Crist Has Razor-Thin Lead Over Gov. Scott

Monday, 17 Mar 2014 04:50 PM

By Cathy Burke

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Democratic gubernatorial candidate and former Republican Charlie Crist has a small lead over Florida's incumbent GOP Gov. Rick Scott, a new poll released Monday showed.

Voters in the University of North Florida survey gave Crist — who served as Florida's GOP governor from 2007 to 2011 — 34 percent, and Scott 33 percent, Sunshine State News reports.

Thirty-four percent of voters are on the fence, the survey noted; 17 percent said they'd back someone else besides Scott and Crist, and 17 percent said they were still undecided, the poll found.

UNF political science professor Michael Binder called the numbers "telling."

"If you add up the 'somebody elses' and the 'don’t knows,' that was almost as much as the other two candidates at 34 percent," he told WJCT News.

"So I think there’s certainly some ambivalence and some uncertainty about peoples' choices that they’re facing in November."

A January survey by Quinnipiac University found Crist ahead of Scott, 46 percent to 38 percent.

After losing a Senate seat bid to Marco Rubio, Crist quit the GOP and last November filed his official bid to run for governor.

The new UNF poll also found 45 percent of voters approve of Scott, while 39 percent disapprove. In an October UNF poll, Scott had a 49 percent approval rating, with 42 percent disapproving.

When asked about their support of a proposed constitutional amendment to legalize medical marijuana, 74 percent of voters said they backed the measure; 22 percent said they planned to vote against it, the UNF poll found.

A Florida state constitutional amendment needs the vote of 60 percent of voters.

The poll also showed voters support the state's controversial Stand Your Ground law, with 41 percent strongly backing the law and 22 percent strongly opposed.

The poll had a margin of error of plus or minus 4.35 percentage points.

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