Southwest Florida Republicans say Gov. Rick Scott isn’t getting credit for the work he’s done and that an internal poll showing him trailing Charlie Crist means little nearly 11 months from Election Day.
The internal poll, taken in late November and obtained Tuesday by Politico, showed Crist — the former Republican governor running in 2014 as a Democrat — ahead of his successor 49 percent to 45 percent among likely voters.
Scott’s job approval, the online publication reported, is 46 percent, with 48 percent disapproving. Crist has a mixed, albeit slight positive image: 47 percent view him favorably, compared with 43 percent who view him unfavorably.
“Polls are polls,” Mike Lyster, chairman of the Collier County Republican Executive Committee, said Wednesday. “I continue to be surprised at results that indicate the kind of unfavorability the report said, simply because he (Scott) has done everything he said he’s going to do.”
The poll of 1,000 likely voters was conducted by Fabrizio, McLaughlin & Associates from Nov. 24-26. The margin of error was plus or minus 3.1 percent.
“It means that if the election were held today, it’s a toss-up,” said Terry Miller, chairman of the Lee County Republican Executive Committee. “I think when (Scott’s) campaign begins in earnest; you’ll see those numbers move.”
Scott officially entered the race last week; Crist got in at the beginning of November.
A poll by Quinnipiac University in November showed Crist ahead by 7 points, 47 percent to 40.
Kevin Wagner, a political science professor at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, said there was likely a reason the internal poll was leaked to Politico.
“Polls don’t get leaked by accident,” he said. “If a poll that was leaked shows he’s behind 4 points, he’s probably behind more.”
Wagner said the internal poll might have been leaked to show supporters Scott has the “viable ability to win.”
“He has to create the image that he is a viable candidate,” he said. “That’s why you would leak that kind of poll.”
Annisa Karim, chairwoman of the Collier County Democratic Party, said the internal polling doesn’t necessarily “give us an indication of a strong push forward.” It might, however, show voters aren’t necessarily pleased with Scott’s performance.
“As far as the poll itself goes, it’s not a strong indicator one way or another,” she said. “What it does show is the disappointment of what Rick Scott has done. It’s a reflection of his inability to govern properly.”
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Charlie Crist leads Florida Gov. Rick Scott by 4 percentage points in an internal poll conducted by Scott pollster Tony Fabrizio.
The survey, taken in late November and obtained Tuesday by Politico, puts Crist — a former Republican governor who ran for Senate as an independent and has become a Democrat to try getting his old job back — ahead of his successor 49 percent to 45 percent among likely voters.
Scott’s job approval rating is 46 percent, with 48 percent disapproving. Crist has a mixed, albeit slightly positive image: 47 percent view him favorably, compared to 43 percent who view him unfavorably.
The poll of 1,000 likely voters was conducted by Fabrizio, McLaughlin & Associates from Nov. 24 to Nov. 26. The margin of error is plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.