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0ptimus FL poll: Rick Scott tops Charlie Crist 41-40, no Fangate Effect found

@MarcACaputo

Widely reported and heavily mocked, the ‘Fangate’ from Wednesday’s governor’s debate doesn’t appear to have had any effect on the race, according to a new poll from the Republican-leaning firm 0ptimus that shows the contested remains tied.

Gov. Rick Scott gets 41 percent support from likely Florida voters and Democrat Charlie Crist gets 40 percent – a lead by the Republican that’s well within the poll’s 1.5 percentage-point margin of error.

Meantime, Republicans have been outvoting Democrats when it comes to casting absentee ballots. More than 890,000 have been voted and GOP ballots outnumber Democratic ones, 48-35 percent. That’s a better margin for Republicans than in 2012, but it’s worse than 2010.

Early in-person voting, which Democrats tend to dominate, begins today.

The race has been deadlocked for weeks. Wednesday’s live television debate made national news (including the Comedy Channel) after Scott initially refused to go onstage because Crist had a fan to cool him off. Scott bore the brunt of the blowback initially. Stephen Colbert said Scott was “blown away.”

But it all might be hot air as far as many voters are concerned.

Scott nudged up 1.7 percentage points and Crist lost 0.3 percentage points since 0ptimus’ last poll last week. Those are shifts well within the margin of error and are therefore not statistically significant for the poll completed Sunday.

With that caveat in mind, the partisan crosstabs of the poll have some intriguing numbers. Since last week, 0ptimus shows Republican support marginally increased for Scott, Democratic support for Crist remained about even, while independent support for Crist grew. He now leads independents by 10 percentage points.

Both sides will have something in the poll to find that they like. For Scott, it’s the topline. For Crist, it’s the data about independents.

Also, 0ptimus uses robo-polling technology that misses voters who have cellphones. They tend to be younger and more-Democratic leaning. The poll is also weighted to reflect a turnout model based on averaging Florida’s 2006 and 2010 voter-turnout by party. That means Republicans have a net 3.2 percentage-point advantage in the polling.

So there’s a chance the poll leans conservative by way of technology and performance. As for performance, 0ptimus tries to get around that problem by taking larger samples of between 4,000 and 6,000 voters called off of a list of registered voters. As for the performance, averaging the turnout by party ID to account for a Democratic-leaning year (2006) and a Republican-heavy year (2010) is probably the fairest way of figuring voter performance

Widely reported and heavily mocked, the ‘Fangate’ from Wednesday’s governor’s debate doesn’t appear to have had any effect on the race, according to a new poll from the Republican-leaning firm 0ptimus that shows the contested remains tied.

Gov. Rick Scott gets 41 percent support from likely Florida voters and Democrat Charlie Crist gets 40 percent – a lead by the Republican that’s well within the poll’s 1.5 percentage-point margin of error.

Meantime, Republicans have been outvoting Democrats when it comes to casting absentee ballots. More than 890,000 have been voted and GOP ballots outnumber Democratic ones, 48-35 percent. That’s a better margin for Republicans than in 2012, but it’s worse than 2010.

Early in-person voting, which Democrats tend to dominate, begins today.

The race has been deadlocked for weeks. Wednesday’s live television debate made national news (including the Comedy Channel) after Scott initially refused to go onstage because Crist had a fan to cool him off. Scott bore the brunt of the blowback initially. Stephen Colbert said Scott was “blown away.”

But it all might be hot air as far as many voters are concerned.

Scott nudged up 1.7 percentage points and Crist lost 0.3 percentage points since 0ptimus’ last poll last week. Those are shifts well within the margin of error and are therefore not statistically significant for the poll completed Sunday.

With that caveat in mind, the partisan crosstabs of the poll have some intriguing numbers. Since last week, 0ptimus shows Republican support marginally increased for Scott, Democratic support for Crist remained about even, while independent support for Crist grew. He now leads independents by 10 percentage points.

Both sides will have something in the poll to find that they like. For Scott, it’s the topline. For Crist, it’s the data about independents.

Also, 0ptimus uses robo-polling technology that misses voters who have cellphones. They tend to be younger and more-Democratic leaning. The poll is also weighted to reflect a turnout model based on averaging Florida’s 2006 and 2010 voter-turnout by party. That means Republicans have a net 3.2 percentage-point advantage in the polling.

So there’s a chance the poll leans conservative by way of technology and performance. As for performance, 0ptimus tries to get around that problem by taking larger samples of between 4,000 and 6,000 voters called off of a list of registered voters. As for the performance, averaging the turnout by party ID to account for a Democratic-leaning year (2006) and a Republican-heavy year (2010) is probably the fairest way of figuring voter performance and avoid charges of intentional bias.

Here are some crosstabs, followed by the raw video of Fangate.

0ptimus Overall Rep Dem IND
Scott 41.1% 68% 15% 32%
Crist 40.2% 14% 68% 42%
Wyllie 12.0% 12% 10% 16%
Unsure 6.7% 5% 7% 10%

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