Will Florida's 2014 governor's race become the election that was over before it even began? Ever since Governor Rick Scott's approval ratings plummeted shortly into his tenure, rumors have floated that Charlie Crist would officially become a Democrat and trounce Scott in an election ... and that seems to be what's going to happen. Maybe.
Recent polls show Crist with a comfortable lead over Scott, but the margin has shrunk since 2013 when several polls showed him with a double digit lead.
National pollster Rasmussen released their first numbers on the Crist vs Scott race today. The results shot Crist with 45 percent to Scott's 39 percent; a comfortable six point lead. That poll surveyed 750 likely voters.
That's about in line with recent poll numbers. A SurveryUSA poll from last week showed Crist with a 46-41 lead. A Move On sponsored Public Policy Polling survey form early April showed Crist with a 49-42 lead. Though, another early April poll sponsored by Sunshine State News of registered (as opposed to likely) voters showed Scott with 45-44 lead, but that seems to be an outlier.
Every other major poll taken this year has showed Crist with a lead that ranged from one to eight points.
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It's a comfortable position for the Democrat, but Scott has gained some ground. Several polls of both registered and likely voters in 2013 had shown Crist with a lead in the double digits.
Scott has recently amped up his media presence. He'll spend an estimated $6.5 million on television ads between March and May, and several of those will highlight Crist's shortcoming during his single previous term as governor. Those ad buys are statewide, but he's particularly focusing on the Tampa and Orlando markets, in case you're wondering why you haven't seen too many locally. Scott is also likely to keep and increase his fundraising edger over Crist despite his poor showing in polls.
Republicans will also be quick to point out that several polls may oversample Democrats since Democratic voters in Florida are less likely than Republicans to show up during midterm elections. That may be true, but since medical marijuana will also be on the ballot on 2014 it might shake up the regular turn out.