TAMPA — A second new poll now shows likely Democratic nominee Charlie Crist with a narrow lead over Gov. Rick Scott in the Florida governor’s race, but the good news for Crist is mixed.
The Quinnipiac University Polling Institute survey released today showed Crist leading Scott 45-40 percent in a two-way race. When Libertarian candidate Adrian Wyllie is added to the mix, however, the results narrow to a two-point Crist lead, 39-37 percent, with Wyllie taking 9 percent.
Meanwhile, a new SurveyUSA poll released Tuesday, not including Wyllie, also showed Crist leading 46-40 percent.
While the SurveyUSA results showed Crist moving up in his standings against Scott in the last two weeks, the Quinnipiac results show a decline in Crist’s standings since an April 30 poll, when he led 48-38 percent in a matchup that didn’t include Wyllie.
Quinnipiac spokesman Peter Brown said the new poll shows voters know almost nothing about Wyllie — 92 percent said they don’t know enough about him to express a favorable or unfavorable opinion — “but there are a lot of Floridians who aren’t keen on either of the major party candidates.”
Asked their opinion of Scott, 45 percent said it was unfavorable, compared to 40 percent favorable, and they also disapproved of his performance in office by 48-31 percent.
Crist did only a little better — 42 percent unfavorable to 40 percent favorable.
Crist has been the target of millions of dollars’ worth of negative advertising by Scott over the last several months. Last week, however, he got substantial news coverage for announcing his choice of Annette Taddeo of Miami as his running mate.
The Quinnipiac poll shows Crist performing substantially better than his opponent in the Democratic primary, former state Sen. Nan Rich, when matched against Scott.
Scott led Rich 41-34 percent in a head-to-head matchup without Wyllie.
Asked their opinions of Rich, 83 percent said they don’t have enough information to form an opinion.
The poll shows a large gender gap in the results, as Scott won 48-39 percent over Crist among male voters, but Crist won 49-34 percent among female voters.
Neither Crist nor Scott got good marks for character in the poll.
By 51-40 percent, respondents said Scott does not deserve to be reelected, and, by the same numbers, that Scott is not honest and trustworthy.
They said by 48-39 percent that Crist is not honest and trustworthy;
The July 17-21 Quinnipiac poll included 1,251 registered voters for an error margin 2.8 percentage points; the error margin would be larger for groups within the sample, such as male or female voters.
Quinnipiac Polling Institute uses traditional random-digit-dial survey methodology plus an additional cell phone-only sample.