Republican Gov. Rick Scott and Democrat Charlie Crist are in a dead heat in the latest Quinnipiac University poll, with Scott at 44 percent, Crist at 42 percent and Libertarian Adrian Wyllie at 8 percent, with 17 percent saying they might change their minds before they vote.
When Wyllie is removed from the equation, the results are Scott 46 percent and Crist 44 percent. The poll of 991 likely Florida voters was conducted Sept. 17-22 and has a margin of error of 3.1 percentage points.
Quinnipiac's survey shows the relentlessly negative tone of the campaign is having an effect on the mood of voters as fewer than four out of 10 voters say Scott or Crist is honest and trustworthy. However, Scott outpaces Crist on leadership qualities by 58 percent to 46 percent, and Scott performs better among independent voters than Crist, 44 percent to 37 percent.
Both candidates' favorability ratings are poor and nearly identical, with likely voters giving Scott an unfavorable rating by 48 percent to 42 percent, and to Crist by 49 percent to 41 percent. Crist has virtually no advantage among women voters: 43 percent to Scott's 41 percent.
With less that six weeks to election day, Quinnipiac's Peter Brown said the two keys to the rest are independent voters and supporters of Wyllie. Brown said it's a mystery whether the poll's Wyllie supporters will stick with him or go with Scott or Crist at the end to "be with the winner."