With “seventeen eternities” between now and election day, Democrat Charlie Crist holds a 7- point lead over Republican Gov. Rick Scott, according to a Quinnipiac University poll out Thursday.
Buried in the 47-40 top-line margin, however, is good and bad news for both campaigns.
The lead Crist, a Republican-turned-Democrat, held with independent voters, which will be key moving forward, is slipping. In June, Quinnipiac had Crist leading Scott with independents by a 45-33 margin, a lead that has slipped to 44-41.
The number is of particular interest because the poll’s sample includes 32 percent independent voters, which is a higher percentage than have historically turned out in Florida. For example, during 2012, a high-turnout presidential year, independents were roughly 20 percent of overall statewide turnout.
Peter Brown, assistant director of the university’s polling center, says they don’t tie their sample size to party affiliation because that number isn’t static.
“We don’t fix the results,” he said. “Some polls weight to a certain [political party] percentage, but how do you weight to a certain percentage because there is no fixed number.”
The number could spell good news for Scott. In a poll where more than one-and-three are independents, Crist’s lead with those voters has dwindled to within less than 1-point of the poll’s 2.4 percent margin of error.
In addition, Scott is narrowing the gap. In June, Quinnipiac had him trailing Crist by a 47-37 margin.
But, the poll also contains bad news for Scott.
By a 37-53 margin, people don’t think Scott “deserves to be reelected.” That includes one-in-five Republicans.
Crist’s favorability rating is also sinking. In June, 48 percent of people had a favorable view of the former governor, which is down to 41 percent.
“To a certain degree, this poll has good news for both candidates,” Brown said.