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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Mason-Dixon Poll: Bill McCollum 34, Rick Scott 30



Bill McCollum’s nonstop attacks on Republican rival Rick Scott’s integrity and business record have put him in the lead for the first time, a new poll shows.

McCollum is ahead of Scott by a 34 to 30 percent margin – a huge shift from just a week ago when Scott led 37-31, according to the latest survey from Mason-Dixon Polling & Research, Inc.

Pollster Brad Coker says that both candidates’ reputations are taking a hit as they sling 10 of millions of dollars worth of negative ads against each other heading into the Aug. 24 primary.

“The clear beneficiary of this primary in-fighting is Democratic candidate Alex Sink, who despite the presence of Democratic-pedigreed independent Lawton ‘Bud’ Chiles, leads both McCollum and Scott in general election matchups,’’ Coker said in a written analysis.

Sink, who has trailed in the Mason-Dixon polls since May, now leads McCollum by a 37-35 margin. That’s well within the general-election error margin of the poll.

That’s not the case when it comes to Scott. She blows him away by a 40-24 margin. Only 42 percent of Republicans would support Scott against Sink -- but if she faced McCollum, he’d receive 69 percent of the GOP support.

Translation: Scott might be unelectable.

Sink leads either way because of the strong support of fellow Democrats – who outnumber Republicans in the state – and independent voters.

Regardless of Sink’s opponent, Chiles garners less than 20 percent of the vote right now.


[Last modified: Thursday, September 9, 2010 10:19am]


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