Wednesday, July 14, 2010 at 2:52 p.m.
As Rick Scott and Bill McCollum battle for the Republican nomination in the gubernatorial race, is Democrat Alex Sink silently waiting to pounce? New poll numbers suggest she's increasingly viable again as the Republicans duke it out and potential independent spoiler Bud Chiles gains steam. The same poll also shows Charlie Crist holding on to his lead in the Senate race.
Adding to Attorney General Bill McCollum's troubles, Sink now leads him 31 to 30 percent. However, insurgent billionaire Rick Scott leads Sink 34 to 31. Both results are within the margin of error.
The poll is the first survey taken by Ipsos/Reuters in the race
. It's the first time Sink has led McCollum since a St. Pete Times/Miami Herald
poll in October 2009 showed her ahead 38 to 37 percent. The polls might use different measures, but that erosion for both can be partially attributed to Bud Chiles's entrance into the race as an independent. He netted 12 percent in the three-way matchups involving McCollum and Scott.
Chiles, the son of the late Lawton Chiles, the last Democrat in the governor's mansion, was expected to mainly hurt Sink's numbers, but recent polls including Chiles show erosion among support for both parties.
Meanwhile, independent Charlie Crist continues to hold a comfortable lead over Marco Rubio and Kendrick Meek. Crist gets 35 percent to Rubio's 28 and Meek's meek 17. The numbers change only slightly when Jeff Greene is figured in as the Democrat.