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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Q-Poll: Crist Way Ahead, Smith Gaining on Davis



A new Quinnipiac University poll shows Charlie Crist swamping Tom Gallagher by 25 points (57 percent to 32 percent) in next week's Republican primary for governor. On the Democratic side, Jim Davis is ahead of Rod Smith, 43 percent to 32 percent, but that race appears much closer.

Smith is rapidly gaining ground on Davis. The Tampa congressman held a 28-point lead over Smith (47-19) in the last Quinnipiac survey, last month. By comparison, Crist has held steady: His lead is almost identical to his 55-32 advantage in the Connecticut university's poll in late July.

"It will take a political storm a lot bigger than Ernesto to give Gallagher much chance to defeat Crist in the GOP primary," said Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. "The Democratic race, on the other hand, is by no means over."

Six days before Election Day, the poll shows as many as 42 percent of likely Democratic primary voters don't know enough about Davis or Smith to form an opinion.

The poll shows Republicans have a more favorable view of Crist than of Gallagher. The ratio of favorable to unfavorable opinion on Crist is 51 percent to 11 percent, while Gallagher's fave-unfave rating is 32 percent to 17 percent. Qunnipiac reports 18 percent of Crist voters who said they might change their minds before voting, while 27 percent of Gallagher voters said that.

Quinnipiac surveyed 317 likely Republican primary voters and 312 likely Democratic primary voters from Aug. 23-28. That means this survey was done before the second televised debate on Monday night. (MOE: +/- 5.5 percentage points for Republicans, +/- 5.6 points for Democrats).

[Last modified: Wednesday, September 15, 2010 12:41pm]


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