How tight can a governor's race get? Tighter than Rick Scott's terrifying debate smile? Tighter than Charlie Crist's artificially orange skin? Yep, that's how tight the race for the Florida governor's mansion has gotten, according to a pair of new polls.
The fresh Quinnipiac and Rasmussen polls both show the two candidates in a tie -- not an inside-the-margin of error tie, but an exact, to the percentage-point dead heat. As record cash flies into a new round of campaign ads, it's anyone's guess who pulls ahead toward the finish line.
The Quinnipiac poll finds a 42-42 tie between the candidates, with Adrian Wyllie, the Libertarian, pulling in 7 percent. What if you take Wyllie out of the mix? The Libertarian is apparently pulling voters from both Democratic and Republican ranks, because Quinnipiac still found a tie in that scenario, with both men nabbing 44 percent.
"For all the money spent on this race, it now appears the winner will be the one whose organization excels at ... getting their voters to the polls," says Peter Brown, the assistant director of Quinnipiac University Poll.
Rasmussen, meanwhile, puts the two candidates at 47 percent apiece, though they oddly chose not to give those surveyed the option of picking Wyllie.
The polls come in the wake of a pair of acrimonious debates, including the infamous #FanGate at Broward College and a CNN debate that featured one of Scott's creepier all time faces, which is saying something. Yet neither head-to-head televised matchup seems to have moved voters.
As usual, there are some behind-the-numbers hinting at who actually has momentum heading into November.
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Crist is leading among independents, though not by much -- 41-38 percent, Quinnipiac finds. He also has a slight edge in base voters, with Crist nabbing Democrats at 86-5, while Scott holds sway over Republicans 81-7.
Crist also narrowly wins the favorability contest between two highly unpopular men, with voters only distrusting him 47-42 percent, while Scott is disliked by 48 percent of voters.
Those are all razor-thin differences, though, and Quinnipiac finds that a full 90 percent of voters have made up their minds about who to back. The winner, then, comes down to who turns out more of their base and whether either candidate can nab some small fraction of that tiny undecided realm left in the Sunshine State.