Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Poll: Sink ahead of Scott, but damaged by attack ads

Democrat Alex Sink is nursing a narrow lead over Republican Rick Scott in the Florida governor's race, according to a new poll showing that his barrage of negative ads is nevertheless hurting her candidacy.

Though Sink is ahead by 4 percentage points, the percentage of likely Florida voters who view her negatively has jumped by double digits in the Mason-Dixon Polling & Research survey.

Sink's 44-40 lead has shrunk from the 47-40 edge she held over Scott last month — a sign that the static Scott isn't impressing voters enough, either.

Last month, Mason-Dixon's poll showed 23 percent of voters had an unfavorable impression of Sink. Now, 33 percent do, as Scott pounds away at her in ads raising questions about her time as a banker and her votes as state chief financial officer on the state's investment board.

Still, Sink is seen in a favorable light by 38 percent of voters and is far better liked than Scott, who was heavily attacked in the Republican primary for heading a hospital company that was slapped with a record $1.7 billion fraud fine.

Nearly half of likely voters see Scott negatively, but only a quarter view him favorably. Yet the race is still well within the poll's error margin.

"Given his abysmal favorable to unfavorable ratio, this race should not even be close," said Brad Coker, a Mason-Dixon pollster.

But this is a strong Republican year and Sink hasn't distinguished herself in the eyes of enough Florida voters, many of whom are fed up with President Barack Obama.

"Given the overall voter frustration with and anger toward the Democrats in Washington coupled with Florida's slightly Republican leaning tendencies, Sink is still sailing into the wind despite her current lead," Coker said. "She likely needs to land one more big punch raising concerns about Scott's integrity to weather the storm."

The two candidates square off Friday in a Univision television debate for the first time. (Univision tapes the debate Friday afternoon, then airs it in Spanish on its affiliate Florida stations, beginning at 11 p.m. At midnight, the debate — in English and Spanish — will be available on www.Univision23.com.)

Though this poll shows Sink ahead, other polls that forecast a higher Republican turnout — a strong possibility in this election — give Scott the edge.

Sink, Florida Democrats and the state's police union have been running ads noting Scott's time at Columbia/HCA hospital chain and the fact that he pleaded the Fifth 75 times in a civil deposition concerning a contract dispute.

Scott has hit back. His campaign and the state's Republican party have excoriated Sink as an insider. They've run ads pointing out that Sink cast votes for state investments that lost billions. Scott has pressed another line of attack by suggesting Sink has fraud issues in her background because the bank she once worked for, NationsBank, was fined and sued for selling bogus securities.

In both cases, the ads misleadingly suggest Sink had more of a role in the problems than she really did because she wasn't in charge when the financial troubles cropped up. But, like Sink, Scott said he didn't know of the problems that unfolded on his watch, either.

Raising the issue of fraud has its risks for Scott to the degree that, if the campaign is about character, Sink would likely win, Coker said. He noted that independents slightly favor Sink, but voters across the board are so upset with the economy and Democrats nationally that it might not matter.

"If voters decide primarily on issues," he said, "the advantage goes to Scott as the national Republican tide would likely carry him over the finish line."

Marc Caputo can be reached at mcaputo@MiamiHerald.com.

Poll: Sink ahead of Scott, but damaged by attack ads 10/08/10 [Last modified: Friday, October 8, 2010 7:52pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. LaVar Ball appears at WWE event, son LaMelo uses slur

    Blogs

    LOS ANGELES  -- LaVar Ball has brought his Big Baller Brand from the basketball court to the wrestling ring. 
    The outspoken father of NBA Draft No. 2 pick Lonzo Ball showed up with the newly-minted Los Angeles Laker and another son, 15-year-old son LaMelo, for a live segment on Monday's "WWE …

    LaVar Ball took off his shirt during a WWE broadcast.
  2. Facing defections, Senate GOP leaders delay health care vote

    National

    WASHINGTON — In a bruising setback, Senate Republican leaders are delaying a vote on their prized health care bill until after the July 4 recess, forced to retreat by a GOP rebellion that left them lacking enough votes to even begin debating the legislation, two sources said Tuesday.

    Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky., center, talks with his chief of staff Sharon Soderstrom, right, and communications staff director Antonia Ferrier, left, as they walk to his office on Capitol Hill in Washington, Monday, June 26, 2017. Senate Republicans unveil a revised health care bill in hopes of securing support from wavering GOP lawmakers, including one who calls the drive to whip his party's bill through the Senate this week "a little offensive." [Associated Press]
  3. U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist and estranged wife Carole put Beach Drive condo on the market

    Real Estate

    ST. PETERSBURG — U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist and his estranged wife, Carole, have put their Beach Drive condo on the market for $1.5 million.

    Former Florida Gov. and current U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist and his estranged wife, Carole, have put their condo in downtown St. Petersburg on the market for $1.5 million. [Courtesy of Rhonda Sanderford]
  4. Florida man sits in jail 90 days when drywall powder is mistaken for cocaine (w/video)

    Crime

    OVIEDO — A Florida man spent 90 days in jail after police officers who stopped him for driving without headlights said white powder found in his car was cocaine.

    Karlos Cashe spent 90 days in jail after Oviedo police officers who stopped him for driving without headlights said white powder found in his car was cocaine. But he walked out of jail last week after lab results determined the powder in the handyman's car was actually drywall. [Photo from video] 

  5. Cal Foote said it's 'starting to feel more real'

    Blogs

    Cal Foote was picked 14th overall by the Lightning in the NHL Draft.