Kendrick Meek has opened up a "commanding" 45-to-30 lead over Jeff Greene in the Democratic Senate primary contest, a new Sunshine State News Poll reports.
Meek's margin in the Aug. 9-12 survey of likely voters is even bigger than the 8-point spread he enjoyed in his own internal poll conducted Aug. 10.
"Meek's margin is broad-based and includes leads with most key voter groups, including those who say they have an 'excellent' chance of voting -- 46to 30 percent over Greene," said Jim Lee, president of Voter Survey Service, which conducted the statewide poll for Sunshine State News (see methodology below).
The Miami congressman also holds substantial leads in two other key voter demographics: up 8 points among senior citizens and up 19 points among "super voters" who cast ballots in both the 2006 and 2008 Democratic primaries.
Greene, a billionaire businessman, led earlier polls --riding on the strength of a TV advertising blitz. A Quinnipiac poll conducted July 22-27 showed Greene over Meek 33-to-23.
But Greene's advantage appears to have evaporated amid contentious TV debates with Meek and more aggressive campaigning by the four-term congressman. In fact, considered key to Meek's upward reach is former President Bill Clinton, who joined him on the campaign trail last week.
A third candidate, former Miami Mayor Maurice Ferre, continues to trail in the contest, polling at 8 percent in the latest survey.
"Given these (demographic) advantages for Meek, it seems unlikely that Greene or Ferre can pull off an upset given the depth of Meek's support, but with Meek still not over 50 percent, the remaining 17 percent of undecided voters will determine who wins the race," Lee said.
Lee said Meek's lead is firmed up and driven by the "super voters" represented in the VSS survey. While other polling companies, such as Quinnipiac, purport to track likely voters, Lee said Quinnipiac "doesn't specify vote history."
Greene campaign spokesman Luis Vizcaino was unfazed.
"Polls fluctuate," he said, suggesting that previous leads for Greene mean a "statistical tie" in the race.
"Meek is not as viable a candidate as the Democratic Party believes. He hasn't been able to raise the money he needs to be competitive," Vizcaino said.
"We are positioned to win not only the nomination, but to beat the Republicans and Charlie Crist in November."
While Greene has poured millions of dollars of his own money into the campaign, Meek has outraised him on the donor front. The latest reports show Meek collecting $7,060,269, with $4,056,804 cash on hand. Greene raised $5,870,595, with just $13,239 cash on hand.
Lee said Greenes best chance for an upset would be a strong showing in both North and Central Florida where the percentage of undecided voters is highest, at 21 percent and 19 percent respectively. Collectively, those two regions account for 78 percent of all undecided voters.
Meek's campaigners said Sunday evening they would not comment on yet-to-be-published poll results, but hailed a recent Mason-Dixon poll that showed the congressman leading Greene 40-26 percent.
(Meek) is the only real Democrat in this race and the campaign will continue to work hard from today though primary day, and into the fall against Kendricks two lifelong conservative opponents, Marco Rubio and Charlie Crist, campaign spokesman Adam Sharon said.
TUESDAY: Sunshine State News will publish its poll results in the Democratic attorney general race.
HOW THE SUNSHINE STATE NEWS POLL WAS DONE: METHODOLOGY
This survey was commissioned by Sunshine State News and conducted Aug. 9-12 by Voter Survey Service, a division of Pennsylvania-based Susquehanna Polling and Research in Harrisburg.Calls were automated, meaning that voters were contacted using a pre-recorded set of questions instructing voters to complete the survey by pressing their telephone key pads to score their answers; no live interviewers were used. The universe for the poll includes a random sample of voters from a statewide voter registration list of registered Democrat voters who have prior vote history in either the 2008 or 2006 (regularly-held) primary elections. A vote intensity screen was also applied to gauge interest in the upcoming Aug. 24 primary election, with interviews being exclusively conducted among those who indicated they have an excellent, good or fair chance of voting, while those who indicated their chances of voting were poor being disqualified.Interviews are also monitored to ensure a representative sample of the states Democrat voters are interviewed proportionally based on demographics like geographic region, age and gender consistent with what we believe will be likely voter turnout on Aug. 24. Results are sometimes statistically weighted to reflect under or over samples within various demographic groups. The margin of error for a sample size of 1,000 interviews is +/- 3.1 percent at the 95 percent confidence level, but higher for sub groups of respondents.
ABOUT VOTER SURVEY SERVICE AND ITS PRESIDENT
Voter Survey Service (VSS) has conducted hundreds of polls in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Florida, Delaware, Maryland, and other states across the nation. It is a leading survey research and political polling firm for GOP candidates for public office and a variety of corporate clients, trade associations, public relations firms and the media.
Jim Lee, president of VSS, has 15 years of polling experience and background as a former lobbyist for the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry and as a special projects coordinator for the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. He has a bachelor of science degree in political science from Lycoming College in Williamsport, Pa., and he's a member of both the American Association of Public Opinion Research and the American Association of Political Consultants.
The company's polling has been quoted in numerous publications and media programs, including The Sean Hannity Show on Fox News; MSNBC's Hardball with Chris Matthews; the Rush Limbaugh and Glen Beck radio programs; The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, the New York Times; and a variety of national and state blogs that track polling, such as realclearpolitics.com, The Hotline, The Polling Report, and others.
Contact Kenric Ward at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (772) 801-5341.