Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Sink continues to lead

Alex Sink continues to lead the Florida Governor's race by a 46-41 margin over Rick Scott.

The big story in this race is the independents. In most states across the country Republicans are dominating with them but the intense unpopularity of Scott is making this contest an exception to that rule. 61% of independents have an unfavorable opinion of him to only 20% who see him in a positive light and as a result Sink holds a 53-26 lead with that group, accounting for her entire overall lead.

Scott has at least improved his standing a little bit from PPP's last poll of the race, which found him down by 7. That's largely because the Republican base has warmed up to him in the weeks following his contentious primary win. In August he had only a 57-13 advantage over Sink with GOP voters and that has now expanded to 77-10. He is actually winning over more Democrats, at 13%, than Sink is Republicans and that's quite a change from earlier in the race.

Still Scott is, along with Dan Maes of Colorado, Joe Miller of Alaska, and Christine O'Donnell of Delaware, one of the four most unpopular Republican candidates in the country. 52% of voters in the state have an unfavorable opinion of him to 33% with a positive one. He has virtually no appeal to either Democrats or independents.

Scott's nomination is going to get most of the credit if Sink does go on to win this race but she is actually proving to be one of the more appealing Democratic candidates across the country this year, with a 44/38 favorability spread. In a normal election year that might not be particularly impressive but in this political climate where voters feel very negatively toward most politicians those numbers are well ahead of the curve.

For Sink's relative popularity and Scott's remarkable unpopularity, he could still win this race. The 13% of voters who remain undecided are a largely Republican leaning group. 60% of them voted for John McCain in 2008 to only 33% who voted for Barack Obama. They strongly dislike Scott, giving him a 3/47 favorability rating. But if they decide to put aside their reservations about Scott personally and stick with the party they're accustomed for this race would be extremely close. Allocate the undecided McCain voters to Scott and the undecided Obama voters to Sink and it's just a 1 point race.

For the time being though Sink is holding off the national tide against her party and a win for her would be one of the party's brightest spots on what is likely to be an otherwise gloomy election night.

Full results here


Unknown said...

You've been very plain that you never weight for party. If people self-select as "likely" there is some sense to that. Your registered voter polls were way too Democratic. For a few weeks after you switched to "likely" that was corrected. Now, however, your polls are skewing more Democratic again. In 2006, a Democratic year, Florida was 39%R/36%D. In 2008, it was 37%D/34% R. I can't see a 41%D/40%R breakdown this year.

Anonymous said...

Both the undecided profile and the possibility of an electorate even more favorable for Republicans are positive indicators for Scott.

(For some reason PPP tends to poll a lot of left-leaning independents; Crist's 33% from PPP is his highest # in October.)

Comparing Gov/Senate performance:
PPP has Rubio 43, Scott 41 (-2)
Ras has Rubio 50, Scott 50 (E)
Qpc has Rubio 44, Scott 45 (+1)
M-D has Rubio 42, Scott 40 (-2)
VSS has Rubio 45, Scott 44 (-1)

The fewer undecideds, the smaller the gap. Scott is holding the Rubio vote already with 10% or more undecided. As Rubio approaches 50%, the chance of Scott winning approaches 100%.

Anonymous said...

Anybody who knowingly vote for a proven crook deserves what they get. Just because they have an R besides their name doesn't mean vote for them. Nathan Deal in Georgia and this scum in florida dont' need to be anyhere near a govenors mansion let alone the keys to money. Folks need their head examined if they pull the lever for anyone of these lying crooks

Anonymous said...

Your split in this poll is 41D, 40R (D+1), which is more favorable to Democrats than the 40R, 36D (R+4) split in FL from the 2006 midterm exit polls.

Are you serious?

Chuck T said...

to those complaining about this poll (once again) may I point out to you that this 5-point margin is in line with Mason-Dixon which had a poll out a few days ago giving Sink a 4-point lead and that Quinnipiac had a new poll out today with Scott up by 1-point, but that was an improvement for sink from a 6-point Scott lead in their last poll. So apparently movement is being made towards Sink--and it's being indicated in more than one poll.

Dustin Ingalls said...

"In 2008, it was 37%D/34% R. I can't see a 41%D/40%R breakdown this year."

In our final 2008 poll, it was 44D/41R, basically the same. We had Obama up 50-48, and he won, 51-48. So I wouldn't discount what you're seeing from us now.

"For some reason PPP tends to poll a lot of left-leaning independents"

In most of our polls, indies are leaning heavily GOP. Crist just has some tripartisan appeal, though not as much as he did in the summer right after he left the GOP. Sink is way more popular, personally, with indies than is Scott, but in most races, the GOP candidate is not only more popular with indies (though usually still disliked because indies hate everyone this year), but also leading the Dem by double digits in the horse race.

Anonymous said...

So you don't think Republicans will have a turnout advantage in a Republican wave year?

Chuck T:
The Mason-Dixon poll you cite actually showed a +3 movement toward Scott; Rasmussen showed -2 Scott, and Q showed -5 Scott in the last 1-2 weeks. PPP (+2) and VSS (+4) showed positive movement for Scott over a longer time frame. So that's a mixed bag.

Chuck T said...

I just think it's hilarous the way the usual suspects complain here everytime you post a poll that shows a little movement towards the democrats just as if there has never been a such thing as a tightening of races as it gets closer to the election. Most polls in many of the key states indicate one thing--many of them are toss-ups. The GOP may win them, sure, but if Democratic voters turnout in greater numbers than the likely voter formula indicates then Dems could end up winning many of them. It's as simple as that.

Anonymous said...

"I just think it's hilarous the way the usual suspects complain here everytime you post a poll that shows a little movement towards the democrats"

A curious comment about a poll that shows a little movement towards the Republican.

But you're not a thinking person if you see 5 polls ranging from +11 to +25 (Senate) and -5 to +3 (Gov) and refuse to admit any question about the high and low points.

Dustin Ingalls said...

"A curious comment about a poll that shows a little movement towards the Republican."

Good point, but I think Chuck's point is that it looks like movement toward Sink because other recent polls have had Scott up. It is movement toward Scott over 3 months, but only by two points, and with Chiles out of the race and a larger pro-GOP enthusiasm gap. Our critics see it as heresy because they'd like to believe Scott is actually winning as other polls have told them.

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