In the race for governor, state Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink has lost the slight lead she had over Attorney General Bill McCollum and now trails him 34-38 percentage points, according to Quinnipiac University's latest poll of registered Florida voters.
In June, the numbers were the reverse: Sink led McCollum 38-34. The latest poll doesn't give much of an indication as to why voters seem to be shifting away from the Democrat and toward the Republican. However, fewer people know Sink, a relative political newcomer, than McCollum, who has repeatedly run for statewide office since 2000.
Another problem for Sink: It seems women might not know she's a woman. The poll shows that McCollum has a slight lead among women voters over Sink, 34-37. When asked if they'd be more likely to vote for Sink if they knew she would be Florida's first female governor, an overwhelming majority said it wouldn't make a difference. About 13 percent of women said they would be more likely to favor Sink because she's a woman, compared to 7 percent of men.
If the race for U.S. Senate were held today (either the primary or the general election), the poll indicates it would be a blow-out win for Gov. Charlie Crist. He bests former Florida House Speaker Marco Rubio by a 55-26 margin - virtually unchanged since June. Rubio is largely an unknown, with 74 percent saying they don't know enough about him. The Democratic contenders, U.S. reps Kendrick Meek, Corrine Brown or Ron Klein have low name ID as well.
But not only is Crist well-known, he's well liked. Despite the myriad problems with the economy that unfolded on his watch, about 60 percent of voters approve of the job he's doing. The number is an 8-point drop since February, however. Crist's highest approval rating (66 percent) is among fellow Republicans. That suggests the numerous county Republican Party revolts against Crist and the state party he controls aren't having much of an effect among rank-and-file voters.