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Dem poll: Charlie Crist up about 5 over Rick Scott, 49-44


Another day, another poll in Florida’s governor’s race.

Charlie Crist leads Gov. Rick Scott by nearly 5 percentage points in a poll conducted by Hamilton Strategies, a firm that typically surveys for Democrats.

Crist’s 49-44 lead over Scott has grown since Hamilton’s last poll a year ago, when it showed a dead heat of 41-41. (Note: Crist's lead isn't a solid 5 points in this poll due to rounding).

The poll results are nearly identical to one taken by Scott’s pollster, Tony Fabrizio, in November. That survey, of 1,000 likely voters, showed Crist up 49-45. That survey also indicated Crist could win a Democratic primary by as many as 13 points over Sen. Bill Nelson, for whom Hamilton polls.

The Tallahassee consultants who leaked this latest Hamilton survey, however, didn’t indicate whether a Crist-Nelson matchup was polled.

It also didn’t contain information about how Scott would do against Democratic former state Sen. Nan Rich or what influence Libertarian Adrian Wyllie would have on the race, if any.

Earlier this week, another Democratic-leaning firm, Public Policy Polling, released a survey that was far less brag-worthy for Crist, showing him leading Scott 43-41 percent – a 10 point drop since September when the former governor led the incumbent by 12.

PPP's Democrat-Republican-Other breakdown for its 600-person poll: 41-34-24%. Hamilton's Democrat-Republican-Other breakdown for its 700-person poll, conducted Jan. 14-20: 40-41-19%. (Note: PPP robo polls, and doesn't survey cellphones)

Prior to PPP's survey, a Quinnipiac University survey showed Crist up by 7 points, a decline of 3 over Scott. Hamilton is the only recently released public survey that doesn’t show Scott narrowing the gap.

This Hamilton poll also indicates that Scott isn’t persuading voters that he’s a better governor, despite the economy improving on his watch – just as it crumbled during Crist’s term.

The poll showed 49 percent of those surveyed approved of the job Scott had done as governor, compared to 55 percent who approved of the job Crist did; 48 percent disapproved of Scott’s job performance while only 36 percent disapproved of Crist’s.