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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Mason-Dixon: Alex Sink up 3 over Rick Scott; Q: Sink up 4; Rasmussen Scott up 3 over Sink



From Naked Politics: Democrat Alex Sink has a slight lead over Rick Scott in two new governor's race polls that both show half of likely voters have a negative impression of her Republican rival. Sink leads Scott by 3 percentage points in a Mason-Dixon Polling & Research survey. And she's up by 4 percentage points in the Quinnipiac University poll released earlier Thursday.

Both leads aren't solid and are essentially within the polls' error margins. Also, the Quinnipiac survey found that 9 percent of those who name a candidate say they could change their mind by Nov. 2. That makes the race too close to call, putting pressure on both candidates and their political parties to turn out their base voters. Sink could have more of a challenge motivating Democrats, who are less enthusiastic about voting this year.

Both polls anticipate a disproportionately higher number of Republican voters casting ballots this year, but Sink leads anyway thanks to the support of independent voters, who decide close Florida elections. Also, registered Democrats greatly outnumber registered Republicans in Florida.

“A very large Republican turn-out margin seems to be the only shot Scott has to win this race,'' Mason-Dixon pollster Brad Coker said in an analysis.

Coker's poll shows Sink with a 51-37 advantage over Scott among independent voters. Quinnipiac's independent split: 42 percent for Sink and 37 percent for Scott. Both polls show that more Republicans will vote for Sink when compared to the Democrats who will vote for Scott.

And this from Rasmussen's automated poll: The Florida governor’s race is a bit tighter as Election Day nears. The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of Likely Voters in the Sunshine State finds Republican Rick Sink with a three-point lead – 48% to 45% - over Democrat Alex Sink. Three percent (3%) prefer some other candidate in the race, while four percent (4%) are still undecided. (To see survey question wording, click here.) 

The race, which shifted a week ago to Leans Republican, now moves back to a Toss-Up in the Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll.

A week ago, Scott posted a six-point lead,  50% to 44%, the widest gap between the candidates in six months of polling. The race has been close for weeks since Scott’s upset win over Bill McCollum in the state GOP Primary in August. In seven surveys since then, Scott has earned 41% to 50% of the vote, while Sink has won 36% to 47% support. The candidates were in a near tie at the beginning of September.



[Last modified: Thursday, October 28, 2010 1:13pm]


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