June 10, 2010 - Scott Tops Mccollum In Florida GOP Gov Race, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; Dem Senate Primary Race Too Close To Call

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Political neophyte Rick Scott has surged to a 44 - 31 percent lead over Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum in the race for the Republican nomination for governor, apparently powered by a multi-million dollar television ad blitz to introduce him to voters, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.

In the contest for the Democratic U.S. Senate nomination, Jeff Greene, another political unknown with deep pockets, is following a similar approach of large TV ad spending to move into a statistical dead heat with Kendrick Meek, the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University survey finds: Meek gets 29 percent to Greene's 27 percent with former Miami Mayor Maurice Ferre at 3 percent. The biggest number, 37 percent, are undecided.

The winner of the Democratic Senate nomination will face Gov. Charlie Crist, running as an independent, and Republican Marco Rubio in November. The winner of the GOP nomination for governor will face Democrat Alex Sink and independent Bud Chiles in the general election.

Although six in 10 voters in both contests say they could still change their minds before the August 24 primary, the results in both races show just how potentially powerful the combination of money and an anti-establishment candidacy can be this election year.

"Mothers may tell their children that money can't buy happiness, but what these results show is that money can buy enough television ads to make political neophytes serious contenders for major political office," said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. "It certainly doesn't hurt with Greene or Scott that this is shaping up to be the year of the anti-establishment candidate."

"Around the country, challengers to so-called career politicians seem to be doing well, and these showings by Scott and Greene certainly fit very well into that trend," Brown added.

Scott, a former health care executive, began running television commercials this spring when McCollum held a huge lead over State Sen. Paula Dockery, his only challenger for the GOP nomination for governor. But she dropped out of the race once the size of Scott's financial resources and willingness to spend became apparent.

"In addition to being a testament to the power of television, Scott's ability to take the lead so quickly is also a reflection on McCollum's lack of strong support within his own party despite his two decades in Florida politics," said Brown.

Scott is viewed favorably by 40 percent of Republicans; unfavorably by 12 percent and 46 percent say they don't know enough about him to form an opinion. McCollum, in his third statewide race and having spent a decade in Congress, is viewed favorably by 41 percent; unfavorably by 19 percent and 36 percent don't have an opinion.

Many of Scott's television ads have been devoted to his support for an immigration law similar to Arizona's.

In a separate survey of 1,133 registered voters, with a margin of error of +/- 2.9 percent, Republicans approve of the Arizona immigration law 86 - 7 percent and want a similar statute in Florida 84 - 10 percent.

In the Democratic Senate primary, Greene is almost as well known as Meek, a four-term congressman from South Florida. Asked to rate him, 23 percent of Democrats view Greene favorably, 10 percent unfavorably and 64 percent don't know enough about him to have an opinion. Meek, by comparison, is viewed favorably by 29 percent; unfavorably by 8 percent and 59 percent don't have an opinion.

From June 2 - 8, Quinnipiac University surveyed 814 Republican likely primary voters with a margin of error of +/- 3.4 percentage points and 785 Democratic likely primary voters with a margin of error of +/- 3.5 percentage points.

The Quinnipiac University Poll, directed by Douglas Schwartz, Ph.D., conducts public opinion surveys in Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Florida, Ohio and the nation as a public service and for research. For more data or RSS feed- http://www.quinnipiac.edu/polling.xml, call (203) 582-5201, or follow us on Twitter.

1a. If the Republican primary for Governor were being held today, would you vote for Bill McCollum or Rick Scott? (If undecided q1a) As of today, would you say that you lean a little more toward McCollum or Scott? (This table includes "Leaners".)
                     LIKELY REP PRIMARY VOTERS
                     Tot    Men    Wom
McCollum             31%    29%    33%
Scott                44     48     40
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       1      -      2
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      -      -      -
DK/NA                24     22     25
 
 
1aa. (If express choice q1a) Is your mind made up, or do you think you might change your mind before the primary?
                     LIKELY REP PRIMARY VOTERS
                     CAND CHOICE GIVEN Q1a
                            CAND CHOICE Q1a
                     Tot    BM     RS
Made up              39%    37%    40%
Might change         59     61     58
DK/NA                 2      3      2
 
 
2a. Is your opinion of - Rick Scott favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     LIKELY REP PRIMARY VOTERS
                     Tot    Men    Wom
Favorable            40%    46%    34%
Unfavorable          12     11     12
Hvn't hrd enough     46     40     51
REFUSED               3      3      2
 
 
3a. Is your opinion of - Bill McCollum favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     LIKELY REP PRIMARY VOTERS
                     Tot    Men    Wom
Favorable            41%    44%    38%
Unfavorable          19     21     17
Hvn't hrd enough     36     30     41
REFUSED               4      5      4
 
 
1b. If the Democratic primary for United States Senator were being held today, would you vote for Kendrick Meek, Maurice Ferre, or Jeff Greene? (If undecided q1b) As of today, would you say that you lean a little more toward Meek, Ferre, or Greene? (This table includes "Leaners".)
                     LIKELY DEM PRIMARY VOTERS
                     Tot    Men    Wom
Meek                 29%    33%    26%
Ferre                 3      3      3
Greene               27     26     28
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       3      3      4
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      -      -      -
DK/NA                37     35     39
 
 
1ab. (If express choice q1b) Is your mind made up, or do you think you might change your mind before the primary? (*Sample size too small to consider)
                     LIKELY DEM PRIMARY VOTERS..
                     CAND CHOICE GIVEN Q1b......
                            CAND CHOICE Q1b.....
                     Tot    Meek   Ferre* Greene
Made up              36%    43%           28%
Might change         62     55            69
DK/NA                 3      2             3
 
 
2b. Is your opinion of - Kendrick Meek favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     LIKELY DEM PRIMARY VOTERS
                     Tot    Men    Wom
Favorable            29%    31%    28%
Unfavorable           8     11      6
Hvn't hrd enough     59     54     63
REFUSED               3      4      3
 
 
3b. Is your opinion of - Jeff Greene favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     LIKELY DEM PRIMARY VOTERS
                     Tot    Men    Wom
Favorable            23%    25%    22%
Unfavorable          10      9     10
Hvn't hrd enough     64     63     65
REFUSED               3      3      3
 
 
4b. Is your opinion of - Maurice Ferre favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     LIKELY DEM PRIMARY VOTERS
                     Tot    Men    Wom
Favorable             8%    10%     6%
Unfavorable           6      8      6
Hvn't hrd enough     83     80     86
REFUSED               3      3      3
 
 
29. Do you think immigration reform should primarily move in the direction of integrating illegal immigrants into American society or in the direction of stricter enforcement of laws against illegal immigration?
                     REGISTERED VOTERS.................................
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
Integrating          24%     8%    39%    28%    21%    27%    13%
Enforcement          68     90     44     66     73     63     83
DK/NA                 8      2     17      5      7     10      4
 
                     North/
                     PnHnd  Bay    Cntrl  SthW   SthE
Integrating          21%    22%    19%    20%    33%
Enforcement          73     67     74     71     57
DK/NA                 7     10      7      9      9
 
TREND: Do you think immigration reform should primarily move in the direction of integrating illegal immigrants into American society or in the direction of stricter enforcement of laws against illegal immigration?
                     Jun 10  Dec 5
                     2010    2007
Integrating          24      24
Enforcement          68      66
DK/NA                 8      10
 
 
30. Based on what you've heard or read, do you approve or disapprove of Arizona's new immigration law?
                     REGISTERED VOTERS.................................
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
Approve              59%    86%    31%    56%    68%    51%    76%
Disapprove           29      7     51     34     25     32     13
DK/NA                12      7     18     10      7     16     11
 
                     North/
                     PnHnd  Bay    Cntrl  SthW   SthE
Approve              63%    60%    65%    72%    46%
Disapprove           23     27     24     18     41
DK/NA                14     13     10     10     12
 
 
31. Would you want Florida to pass a law similar to Arizona's new immigration law or not?
                     REGISTERED VOTERS.................................
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
Yes                  55%    84%    26%    50%    61%    49%    73%
No                   34     10     56     41     31     37     16
DK/NA                11      6     18      9      8     14     11
 
                     North/
                     PnHnd  Bay    Cntrl  SthW   SthE
Yes                  54%    54%    63%    71%    43%
No                   35     33     27     21     44
DK/NA                11     13     10      8     13
 
 
32. Do you think Arizona's new immigration law will or will not lead to discrimination against Hispanics?
                     REGISTERED VOTERS.................................
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
Will                 37%    12%    59%    43%    32%    41%    22%
Will not             51     77     26     49     57     46     66
DK/NA                12     11     16      9     11     13     12
 
                     North/
                     PnHnd  Bay    Cntrl  SthW   SthE
Will                 32%    37%    31%    29%    49%
Will not             55     51     55     61     42
DK/NA                14     12     14     10     10
 
 
33. Some have suggested that Arizona should be boycotted because of its new immigration law. Do you think a boycott of Arizona is a good idea or a bad idea?
                     REGISTERED VOTERS.................................
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
Good idea            11%     4%    18%    12%    10%    11%     5%
Bad idea             83     94     71     84     82     83     91
DK/NA                 6      2     11      4      7      6      4
 
                     North/
                     PnHnd  Bay    Cntrl  SthW   SthE
Good idea             9%    10%    12%     3%    15%
Bad idea             83     82     82     91     80
DK/NA                 8      7      6      6      5