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Rick Scott Takes the Lead Over Charlie Crist in New Poll, Thanks to Independents

July 9, 2014 - 6:00pm
A new poll shows Florida can expect a close gubernatorial contest in November with independents starting to break Gov. Rick Scott's way.

The poll of likely voters from WFLA and Survey USA finds Scott with a small lead over former Gov. Charlie Crist, the favorite in next months Democratic primary despite having spent most of his political life as a Republican.

Scott takes 45 percent in the poll of likely voters while Crist takes 43 percent. While 7 percent back other candidates, 5 percent remain undecided. A Survey USA poll released on June 24 had Scott with 43 percent and Crist at 42 percent.

The poll shows a slight gender gap starting to form in the race. Men go Scotts way, with the governor taking 47 percent, while 40 percent of them back Crist. Women lean in Crists direction, with 46 percent supporting the newly minted Democrat while 43 percent back Scott.

Crist holds a solid lead over Scott with Hispanics. Almost half -- 49 percent -- of Hispanics surveyed support Crist while 41 percent back Scott.

Despite Crist having held three statewide offices as a Republican, the poll shows the GOP is firmly behind Scott. The governor takes 79 percent of Republicans while 13 percent go for Crist. While he joined the Democrats back in December 2012, Crist has made inroads with his new party, as 79 percent of them back him and only 10 percent support Scott.

The poll finds Scott can thank voters outside the two major parties for his small lead over Crist. Scott takes 47 percent of voters outside the two parties while only 35 percent of them back Crist; 9 percent of them remain undecided and 9 percent back other candidates,

The poll of 558 likely Florida voters was taken from June 30-July 2 and had a margin of error of +/- 4.2 percent.

Reach Kevin Derby at

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