Fangate Didn't Matter: New Poll Finds Crist and Scott Are Still Tied

For all the Colbert and Daily Show hilarity and the week's worth of Twitter hot takes, did Fangate actually matter in the race to decide who will be Florida's next governor?

Not according to a new poll out this morning. The Republican-leaning 0ptimus firm finds the two candidates virtually tied -- close to the same result it found last week before Charlie Crist took a bold stand in favor of fans and Rick Scott threw a very public temper tantrum about it.

See also: Rick Scott Almost Bailed on Televised Debate Because Charlie Crist Got a Fan Onstage

The robo-poll of between 4,000 and 6,000 registered voters finds Scott at 41 percent and Crist at 40 percent -- a tight result within the survey's 1.5 percent margin of error.

That's not much different from 0ptimus's results on October 14, just before the infamous debate at Broward College, which tallied a 41-39 result in favor of Crist.

As Marc Caputo breaks down at the Miami Herald, there are some intriguing trends below the surface of the latest poll, including Scott's Republican base strengthening and Crist growing his support among independents to a robust 10 percent lead over Scott in that group.

But the big picture takeaway for Florida voters is that after all the hubbub over Crist's fan last week, nothing much seems to have changed.

There are any number of possible interpretations for that result, of course. Maybe voters have already been so inundated with negative ads for the past six months that nothing in real life could make them hate these guys any more. Perhaps the moment just stoked partisan divides without actually converting any voter to switch teams.

Or maybe -- just maybe -- Floridians are actually smart enough to realize that basing their gubernatorial vote on Charlie Crist's OCD obsession with avoiding sweat or Rick Scott's petulant obsession with debate rules would be a damned silly way to pick a leader in a state with very real problems?

Nah, it's probably the negative ads thing.

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Tim Elfrink is a former investigative reporter and managing editor for Miami New Times. He has won the George Polk Award and was a finalist for the Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting.
Contact: Tim Elfrink

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