Politics & Policy

New Poll Sets the Tone for Key Florida Races

A new CNN poll released today has set the narrative for Florida’s gubernatorial and U.S. Senate races. UPDATE: A reader points out, as Jim Geraghty has on the Campaign Spot, that CNN is polling registered, not likely voters — which probably accounts for some of the results. Democrats hold a slight numbers advantage in Florida, but the “Enthusiasm Gap” could bring more GOP voters to the ballot box.

The numbers show Marco Rubio narrowly leading the Senate field over Charlie Crist and Kendrick Meek in a 36-34-24 split.

Meek has touted his seven-point gain since the last poll as proof of a post-primary surge. The campaign also has another reason to celebrate: The battle is increasingly being fought over Democratic voters, and CNN shows Meek leads Crist 54-36 among his party faithful.

The race is tight enough that Alex Snitker, the Libertarian Party candidate, says he’s beginning to receive pressure from Rubio supporters to drop out of the race, lest he attract Tea Party votes and spoil the election for the GOP favorite.

Crist continues to be hammered by both sides, most notably today by the Republican Party of Florida for a statement in which he claimed to be personally pro-life but said that he also respects a woman’s right to choose.

The party also released a rebuttal video to Crist’s first general election campaign ad.

The CNN poll shows Democrat Alex Sink leading the race for the governorship by a 49-42 margin over Republican Rick Scott.

In a conference call this morning, Democratic Governors Association staff expressed confidence that they will win back the governor’s mansion, going so far as to compare Scott to famous fraudster Bernie Madoff, according to the St. Petersburg Times.

“We couldn’t have asked for a better candidate to run against, simply because Rick Scott, I think, represents all that is going on in the Republican Party right now and has a very clear contrast with Alex Sink. Rick Scott is the Madoff of Medicare. This is the guy whose company had the single largest settlement for Medicare and Medicaid fraud, $1.7 billion. … He pleaded the Fifth 75 times in depositions. I don’t know how he can credibly say he wants to be the governor of this state.”

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