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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Charlie Crist would crush Rick Scott in 2014, Quinnipiac poll finds

20

March

People love Gov. Rick Scott's idea of a teacher pay raise, and they agree with him on Medicaid expansion. But they don't like him, and Scott would lose handily to former Gov. Charlie Crist in a hypothetical 2014 matchup for governor, according to a new Quinnipiac University poll.

Crist, a recent convert to the Democratic Party who is considering running, would defeat Scott by 50 percent to 34 percent, the poll found. By a 50 percent to 40 percent margin, voters also support Crist's decision to switch to the Democratic Party.

Scott's woeful poll numbers persist: Only 32 percent of voters say he deserves a second term in office, including 28 percent of independent voters. In addition, 36 percent of voters say he is doing a good job compared to 49 perent who say he's doing a bad job, including 26 percent of Republicans in Florida.

Scott's difficulties with voters endure even though his latest policy positions play well with the electorate. Voters overwhelmingly support his top priority, a $2,500 across the board pay raise for voters, by a margin of 74 percent to 21 percent. By a narrower margin (50-40 percent), they also approve of Scott's support to expand Medicaid to cover new recipients in Florida. By a margin of 56 percent to 36 percent, voters also support the state's deadly force law, known as "Stand Your Ground."

By a margin of 50 percent to 34 percent, voters disapprove of the way Scott is handling the state budget.

The one piece of positive news for Scott in the poll is that in a hypothetical Republican primary matchup, the governor would crush Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam, 47 percent to 24 percent. That number suggests that Scott need not be fearful of a serious challenge from the right as he seeks a second term next year.

Voters gave a decided thumbs down to the job performance of the Florida Legislature: By a margin of 52 to 25 percent, voters disapprove of the way the Legislature is handling its job.

The Quinnipiac poll surveyed 1,000 voters between March 13-18, with a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.

[Last modified: Wednesday, March 20, 2013 7:57am]

    

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