As I reported yesterday Republican Gov. Rick Scott and Democratic challenger Charlie Crist remain locked in a tight race for governor, with Scott holding a narrow 43%-41% lead statewide among likely Florida voters. It hasn’t changed much since April when the race was tied at 42%-42%.
Scott runs strong in North Florida (54%-32%) and Southwest Florida (52%-32%) and has a smaller lead in Central Florida (44%-38%). Crist has a wide lead in Southeast Florida (50%-35%) and a smaller one in his home Tampa Bay region (45%-38%).
Other results show that Scott continues to run stronger with Republicans, men, whites and voters over the age of 65. Crist leads among Democrats, women, blacks and voters under 35.
Voters between the ages of 35 and 64 are about evenly divided. Hispanics (44%-39%) and Independents (40%-37%) lean slightly to Crist. The number of undecided voters in these groups is high.
Both candidates have more voters saying they have an unfavorable view of them than a favorable view. This has been the case for Scott dating back to the 2010 gubernatorial race, which he ultimately won. However, this is the first time that Crist’s unfavorable ratings have been higher than Scott’s (44%-41%).
According to J. Bradford Coker, Managing Direct of Mason-Dixon Polling & Research, Inc., “With both candidates holding high negative ratings, this certainly isn’t a popularity contest. The outcome will be determined entirely by voter turnout. Scott is hoping to ride the typically higher mid-term Republican turnout, while Crist will have to mobilize Democratic constituencies that generally only vote in presidential elections – younger voters and black voters in particular.”
HOW THE POLL WAS CONDUCTED
The Mason-Dixon® Florida Poll was conducted by Mason-Dixon Polling & Research, Inc. of Jacksonville, Florida from September 2 through September 4, 2014. A total of 625 likely 2014 general election voters were interviewed statewide by telephone.
Those interviewed on land-lines were selected by the random variation of the last four digits of telephone numbers. A cross-section of exchanges was utilized in order to ensure an accurate reflection of the state. Those interviewed on cell phones were selected from a list of working cell phone numbers. Quotas were assigned to reflect voter turnout by county.
The margin for error, according to standards customarily used by statisticians, is no more than ±4 percentage points. This means that there is a 95 percent probability that the “true” figure would fall within that range if all voters were surveyed. The margin for error is higher for any subgroup, such as a gender or age grouping.