A newly released Mason-Dixon poll conducted on behalf of Telemundo (conducting the first gubernatorial debate Oct. 10) and Leadership Florida/Florida Press Association (conducting a debate Oct. 15) shows Rick Scott leading Charlie Crist 43 percent to 41 percent, within the magin of error of plus or minus 4 percent. Libertarian Adrian Wylie receives 4 percent.
The survey of 625 likely voters was conducted Sept. 2-4, and Mason-Dixon cautioned that its sample reflected current voter registration in Florida (41 percent Democrat, 37 percent Republican, 21 percent other), and "does not assume a higher or lower turnout by either political party." Considering the Republican turnout is consistently at least 4 percentae points higher than Democrats in off-year elections, it's reasonable to assume Scott would have a higher lead if the sample reflected the likely electorate.
From Mason-Dixon's Brad Coker:
Republican incumbent Rick Scott and Democratic challenger Charlie Crist remain locked in a tight race for governor, with Scott holding a narrow 43%-41% lead statewide among likely Florida voters. Libertarian candidate Adrian Wyllie draws 4%, while other candidates on the ballot get 1% and 11% remain undecided. The race was tied at 42%-42% in April.
Scott runs strong in North Florida (54%-32%) and Southwest Florida (52%-32%) and has a smaller lead in Central Florida (44%-38%). Crist has a wide lead in Southeast Florida (50%-35%) and a smaller one in his home Tampa Bay region (45%-38%).
Other results show that Scott continues to run stronger with Republicans, men, whites and voters over the age of 65. Crist leads among Democrats, women, blacks and voters under 35.
Voters between the ages of 35 and 64 are about evenly divided. Hispanics (44%-39%) and Independents (40%-37%) lean slightly to Crist. The number of undecided voters in these groups is high.