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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

The vexing art and science of polls in Florida's primaries



A day before two of the most-watched primary elections in Florida's gripping political history, the question at work, lunch or the gym on Monday may be, "Who's going to win?"

Kendrick Meek will defeat Jeff Greene in the Democratic U.S. Senate race, you say. And Bill McCollum will beat Rick Scott in the GOP gubernatorial primary. But wait, this is the year of the outsider. Greene and Scott will prevail.

Picking the outcome of a close race is always a toss-up, but this year is particularly vexing. A blizzard of polls have produced different winners and losers, often days apart.

"I feel like I'm left to analyze races by Braille," said Jennifer Duffy, senior editor of The Cook Political Report, who is tracking both Florida races.

Polls. They are the ultimate insider's tool, part science, part art, treasured and disdained, and, increasingly, part of Florida's political landscape. (story here)

[Last modified: Thursday, September 9, 2010 10:22am]


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