The new Republican-leaning analytics firm 0ptimus is out with a new Florida governor's race poll and it's probably great news for the least-known candidate: Adrian Wyllie.
The Libertarian is pulling in 13 percent support from likely voters, an improvement of 2 percentage points since 0ptimus' last poll. It's an even bigger pickup compared to Wyllie's standing when 0ptimus first surveyed his name from Aug. 18-Aug. 24, when he registered 9 support.
If Wyllie hits 15 percent support and the Florida Press Association deems 0ptimus a "credible" poll, then Wyllie will likely participate in its Oct. 15 debate featuring Gov. Rick Scott and Democrat Charlie Crist. Wyllie has been shut out of Friday's Telemundo debate.
Update: The Florida Press Association says Wyllie can't participate in its Oct. 15 debate between Gov. Rick Scott and Charlie Crist because, to qualify, Wyllie had to register 15 percent in a poll that had to be taken before Sept. 30 by an independent pollster, which the association defines as one not affiliated with a political party or group. Wyllie also won't be in Friday's Telemundo face-off between Scott and Crist.
Crist and Scott, meanwhile, are essentially deadlocked at 40-39 percent.
"This week, the two candidates stayed neck and neck, and the only 'mover' in the race was Wyllie, who showed gains just outside the margin of error," said 0ptimus' founder and analyst Brian Stobie. "We view this is a backlash to the two highly negative campaigns saturating Florida airwaves, particularly from those in our modeled undecided voter universes, who seem to be leading this trend toward Wyllie."
If that's the case, Scott's people might have figured it out first. They've gone up with two strong positive spots (if you include Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera's direct-to-camera commercial, it's three). Crist, who has trailed in fundraising and therefore ad-running, is slightly behind but he's also adding more positive spots as well.