Former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist is miles ahead of other Democratic challengers in a hypothetical gubernatorial primary, according to a new private poll of Democratic voters.
The poll, conducted Dec. 4-9 for a client of the Tallahassee-based ClearView Research firm, also gave Christ a 25-point lead in a test matchup with Alex Sink, the 2010 nominee, the Tampa Bay Times reports
The study found that 79 percent of Democrats have a somewhat or very favorable view of Crist, compared with 58 percent for Sink, the Times reports.
Neither Crist nor Sink has announced plans to run for governor.
Crist is far better known than Sink — and the survey indicates that 75 percent of Democrats believe he could beat Republican Gov. Rick Scott in 2014, the Times reports.
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But, in a timing coincidence, about half of the poll was done before Crist's Dec. 7 switch to the Democratic Party and half was conducted afterward.
The move helped Crist increase his lead over Sink, from 17 points to 25, the survey found.
ClearView, which conducts marketing research, is managed in part by Screven Watson, a former executive director of the Florida Democratic Party. He said he has no connection to Crist, the Times reports.
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