I keep blogging polls and noting, more often than not, that Gov. Rick Scott will eventually close the gap with Democrat Charlie Crist, in part because of the Republican's mammoth ad buys.
But the polls, except for two outliers, remain stubbornly similar (last post on last batch of polls is here).
And the latest Rasmussen Reports poll is no different. It shows Crist getting 45% of the likely vote and Scott getting 39%. Libertarian Adrian Wyllie wasn't polled (instead, "some other candidate" was). **UPDATE: Of course, a News Service of Florida poll shows a tie **
The poll's results are surprising for two reasons:
1) Scott has spent more than $5 million on TV ads since March 12 (And he has reserved more ad time through mid-May, which would total $6.5 million in two months). That should have moved the needle more in Scott's direction.
2) This is Rasmussen, whose results tend to lean more conservative than some other polls. In part, that's the result of technology. Rasmussen uses so-called robo-polling technology that relies on landline voters, who tend to be older and whiter and therefore more Republican or conservative than cell-phone owning voters who tend to be younger and more minority and therefore more Democratic or liberal.
Important note: The poll likely oversampled Democrats and independents (37, 30 percent respectively) and therefore undersampled Republicans (33 percent). If the results were adjusted based on a likely midterm turnout model, where Republicans often match or out-perform Democrats, the topline of the poll would be much closer.
Still, Republicans have been nervous for some time about Scott's "awful" poll numbers. Yes, it's still early. Scott wants to spend $100 million. These poll numbers indicate he'll need to, and this survey is sure to give conservatives, and donors, little comfort.
Here's the write-up from Rasmussen:
Republican-turned-Democrat Charlie Crist leads incumbent GOP Governor Rick Scott by six points in Rasmussen Reports' first look at Florida’s 2014 gubernatorial race.
The latest statewide telephone survey of Likely Florida Voters shows Crist, who served as governor from 2007 to 2011, picking up 45% of the vote to Scott’s 39%. Six percent (6%) prefer some other candidate, while 10% are undecided. (To see survey question wording, click here.)
The survey of 750 Likely Voters in Florida was conducted on April 21-22, 2014 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 4 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.