Crist-Davis Numbers, Up Close
The latest Quinnipiac University poll shows Charlie Crist with a 10-point lead over Jim Davis, 53% to 43%, but other numbers tell a dramatic story about the race for governor. (Statewide telephone poll, 783 likely voters, Oct. 3-8, MOE +/-3.5 percentage points).
Charlie Crist's favorable/unfavorable ratio is 42 percent to 14 percent, while Davis remains a blank slate to many voters. His fav/unfav is 14-13, with 57 percent saying they haven't heard enough to state an opinion. Davis has been running for governor for nearly two years.
Voters supporting Davis say the main reason is because he's a Democrat (51 percent). Voters who support Crist say the main reason is his stand on the issues (56 percent) with party affiliation third, at 12 percent, trailing even experience (19 percent).
Davis' popularity isn't growing. Here is Davis' favorability rating trendline over six Quinnipiac polls, dating to last February: 11 percent, 10, 9, 11, 9, 14. Comparable numbers for Crist over the same period are 31, 33, 34, 34, 36, 42.
Among likely voters, Crist captures 22 percent of Democrats; Davis wins 7 percent of Republicans. Crist narrowly prevails among independents, 50-43.
Crist is beating Davis in every region of the state but southeast Florida, and even there the news is not good for Davis because he needs an overwhelming lead there to have any chance of success. The Democrat leads there 50 percent to 39 percent (Caution: these regional sub-samples have double-digit error margins).
Finally there's the Jeb Bush factor. Quinnipiac asked voters whether the next governor should continue with Bush's policies or change direction. The result is a draw: 47 percent said change direction, and 46 percent said stay the course. It's little wonder that Crist, while he seeks to appeal to a broader general election audience, does not appear to mention the governor much these days.