August 18, 2010 - 'Insiders' Back On Top In Florida Primaries, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; Mccollum, Meek Lead, But Races Are Volatile

Word format

Two so-called "insiders" in Florida, Republican Attorney General Bill McCollum and Democratic U.S. Rep. Kendrick Meek, have come from behind to overtake so-called "outsiders" in the August 24 Republican and Democratic primaries, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.

In the Republican primary for Governor, McCollum leads Rick Scott 44 - 35 percent among likely primary voters, reversing a 43 - 32 percent Scott lead in a July 29 survey by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University.

In the Democratic primary for U.S. Senate, Rep. Meek leads Jeff Greene 35 - 28 percent among likely voters, reversing a 33 - 23 percent Greene lead July 29. Former Miami Mayor Maurice Ferre is at 6 percent, compared to 4 percent on July 29.

But the races remain volatile as 19 percent of Republican voters remain undecided and 32 percent of those who do name a candidate say they could change their mind. Among Democrats, 29 percent are undecided and 39 percent of those who name a candidate could change their mind.

McCollum has catapulted ahead of Scott, a retired health care executive, based upon the votes of women, who favor McCollum 48 - 31 percent, while men split 39 - 40 percent.

Meek leads 33 - 29 percent among women and 37 - 28 percent among men.

"The empire strikes back, actually both empires, that is, the folks who run the Democratic and Republican parties in Florida have waded into the nomination fights and they are making a difference," said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

"The Attorney General Bill McCollum and Congressman Kendrick Meek campaigns have been able to break through the television roadblocks that made the previously unknown Rick Scott and Jeff Greene front-runners in their respective races," Brown added.

"With help from big names like former Gov. Jeb Bush and big donations from GOP heavy hitters, McCollum has made GOP voters rethink their views about Scott and his record as a businessman. Meek has campaigned with former President Bill Clinton. He also has put two matters in the minds of Democratic primary voters - that Greene once ran for office as a Republican, and that he made billions betting homeowners would default on their mortgages."

The McCollum and Meek ad campaigns seem to be taking a toll on their opponents' favorability ratings. Greene is down from a 31 - 18 percent favorability rating July 29 to a negative 25 - 36 percent favorability today. Meek, on the other hand, has gone from 28 - 13 percent favorable to 36 - 23 percent favorable in the eyes of Democratic likely primary voters.

On the Republican side, Scott's 39 - 26 favorable rating July 29 has dropped to a 34 - 33 percent split, with McCollum's favorability at 45 - 30 percent. The "outsider" appeal has faded with GOP likely voters. By 42 - 35 percent they say they would prefer a government outsider, favoring Scott who has never before run for office, rather than McCollum, a fixture in Florida politics for more than two decades. That's down from 54 - 28 percent for an outsider July 29.

In that July 29 Quinnipiac poll, likely GOP primary voters said 38 - 26 percent that Scott most shared their values, while today they say 39 - 29 percent that McCollum does.

In the Democratic race, Greene's 26 - 21 percent lead over Meek on who most shares voters' values has turned into a 33 - 23 percent Meek advantage.

"Although this is clearly the year of the outsider, the reverse of that may be in the offing in Florida," said Brown. "But nothing is for certain and the large number of undecideds and voters whose commitment to their candidate is soft makes anything possible."

From August 11 - 16, Quinnipiac University surveyed 807 Republican likely primary voters with a margin of error of +/- 3.5 percentage points and 814 Democratic likely primary voters with a margin of error of +/- 3.4 percentage points. These likely voters were selected from lists of people who have voted in past elections.

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, or call (203) 582-5201.

THE FOLLOWING RESULTS ARE BASED ON A POLL OF 807 LIKELY REPUBLICAN PRIMARY VOTERS

1R. If the Republican primary for Governor were being held today, would you vote for Bill McCollum or Rick Scott? (If undecided q1R) 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             44%    39%    48%
Scott                35     40     31
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       2      3      2
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      -      -      -
DK/NA                19     18     20
 
TREND: If the Republican primary for Governor were being held today, would you vote for Bill McCollum or Rick Scott? (If undecided) As of today, would you say that you lean a little more toward McCollum or Scott? (This table includes "Leaners")
                     LIKELY REP PRIMARY VOTERS
                     Aug 18  Jul 29  Jun 10
                     2010    2010    2010
 
McCollum             44      32      31
Scott                35      43      44
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       2       2       1
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      -       -       -
DK/NA                19      23      24
 
 
1Ra. (If express choice q1R) Is your mind made up, or do you think you might change your mind before the primary?
                     LIKELY REP PRIMARY VOTERS
                     CAND CHOICE GIVEN Q1R....
                            CAND CHOICE Q1R...
                     Tot    BM     RS
 
Made up              67%    66%    68%
Might change         32     32     31
DK/NA                 1      2      -
 
TREND: (If express choice) Is your mind made up, or do you think you might change your mind before the primary?
                     LIKELY REP PRIMARY VOTERS
                     CAND CHOICE GIVEN.....
                     Aug 18  Jul 29  Jun 10
                     2010    2010    2010
 
Made up              67      55      39
Might change         32      43      59
DK/NA                 1       2       2
 
 
2R. Is your opinion of - Rick Scott favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     LIKELY REP PRIMARY VOTERS
                     Tot    Men    Wom
 
Favorable            34%    37%    31%
Unfavorable          33     29     37
Hvn't hrd enough     27     27     26
REFUSED               7      7      6
 
TREND: Is your opinion of Rick Scott favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     LIKELY REP PRIMARY VOTERS
                     Aug 18  Jul 29  Jun 10
                     2010    2010    2010
 
Favorable            34      39      40
Unfavorable          33      26      12
Hvn't hrd enough     27      31      46
REFUSED               7       5       3
 
 
3R. Is your opinion of - Bill McCollum favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     LIKELY REP PRIMARY VOTERS
                     Tot    Men    Wom
 
Favorable            45%    46%    44%
Unfavorable          30     31     30
Hvn't hrd enough     20     18     22
REFUSED               5      5      4
 
TREND: Is your opinion of Bill McCollum favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     LIKELY REP PRIMARY VOTERS
                     Aug 18  Jul 29  Jun 10
                     2010    2010    2010
 
Favorable            45      34      41
Unfavorable          30      34      19
Hvn't hrd enough     20      27      36
REFUSED               5       5       4
 
 
4R. Which type of candidate would you prefer to see as governor - someone with years of government experience or a government outsider?
                     LIKELY REP PRIMARY VOTERS
                     Tot    Men    Wom
 
Experience           35%    29%    40%
Outsider             42     49     36
DK/NA                23     22     24
 
TREND: Which type of candidate would you prefer to see as governor - someone with years of government experience or a government outsider?
                     LIKELY REP PRIMARY VOTERS
                     Aug 18  Jul 29
                     2010    2010
 
Experience           35      28
Outsider             42      54
DK/NA                23      18
 
 
5R. Regardless of how you intend to vote, who do you - think would do a better job rebuilding Florida's economy Bill McCollum or Rick Scott?
                     LIKELY REP PRIMARY VOTERS
                     Tot    Men    Wom
 
McCollum             33%    32%    34%
Scott                37     42     34
NO DIFF(VOL)          4      5      4
DK/NA                25     21     29
 
TREND: Regardless of how you intend to vote, who do you think would do a better job rebuilding Florida's economy, Bill McCollum or Rick Scott?
                     LIKELY REP PRIMARY VOTERS
                     Aug 18  Jul 29
                     2010    2010
 
McCollum             33      23
Scott                37      45
NO DIFF(VOL)          4       5
DK/NA                25      27
 
 
6R. Regardless of how you intend to vote, who do you - believe most shares your values Bill McCollum or Rick Scott?
                     LIKELY REP PRIMARY VOTERS
                     Tot    Men    Wom
 
McCollum             39%    38%    41%
Scott                29     34     25
NO DIFF(VOL)          6      6      5
DK/NA                26     23     29
 
TREND: Regardless of how you intend to vote, who do you believe most shares your values, Bill McCollum or Rick Scott?
                     LIKELY REP PRIMARY VOTERS
                     Aug 18  Jul 29
                     2010    2010
 
McCollum             39      26
Scott                29      38
NO DIFF(VOL)          6       7
DK/NA                26      29
 
 
7R. Regardless of how you intend to vote, who do you - see as more consistently conservative Bill McCollum or Rick Scott?
                     LIKELY REP PRIMARY VOTERS
                     Tot    Men    Wom
 
McCollum             38%    33%    42%
Scott                32     39     26
NO DIFF(VOL)          4      4      4
DK/NA                26     24     28
 
TREND: Regardless of how you intend to vote, who do you see as the most consistently conservative, Bill McCollum or Rick Scott?
                     LIKELY REP PRIMARY VOTERS
                     Aug 18  Jul 29
                     2010    2010
 
McCollum             38      26
Scott                32      38
NO DIFF(VOL)          4       5
DK/NA                26      32
 
 
THE FOLLOWING RESULTS ARE BASED ON A POLL OF 814 LIKELY DEMOCRATIC PRIMARY VOTERS 1D. 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 q1D) 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                 35%    37%    33%
Ferre                 6      6      6
Greene               28     28     29
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       2      2      2
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      -      -      -
DK/NA                29     27     30
 
TREND: 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) 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
                     Aug 18  Jul 29  Jun 10
                     2010    2010    2010
 
Meek                 35      23      29
Ferre                 6       4       3
Greene               28      33      27
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       2       1       3
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      -       3       -
DK/NA                29      35      37
 
 
1DEMa. (If express choice q1D) Is your mind made up, or do you think you might change your mind before the primary?
                     LIKELY DEM PRIMARY VOTERS..
                     CAND CHOICE GIVEN Q1D......
                            CAND CHOICE Q1D.....
                     Tot    Meek   Greene
 
Made up              58%    73%    43%
Might change         39     26     52
DK/NA                 3      1      5
 
TREND: (If express choice) Is your mind made up, or do you think you might change your mind before the primary?
                     LIKELY DEM PRIMARY VOTERS
                     CAND CHOICE GIVEN.....
                     Aug 18  Jul 29  Jun 10
                     2010    2010    2010
 
Made up              58      43      36
Might change         39      54      62
DK/NA                 3       2       3
 
 
2D. Is your opinion of - Kendrick Meek favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     LIKELY DEM PRIMARY VOTERS
                     Tot    Men    Wom
 
Favorable            36%    38%    35%
Unfavorable          23     25     21
Hvn't hrd enough     34     32     36
REFUSED               7      5      8
 
TREND: Is your opinion of Kendrick Meek favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     LIKELY DEM PRIMARY VOTERS
                     Aug 18  Jul 29  Jun 10
                     2010    2010    2010
 
Favorable            36      28      29
Unfavorable          23      13       8
Hvn't hrd enough     34      55      59
REFUSED               7       4       3
 
 
3D. Is your opinion of - Jeff Greene favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     LIKELY DEM PRIMARY VOTERS
                     Tot    Men    Wom
 
Favorable            25%    24%    26%
Unfavorable          36     40     34
Hvn't hrd enough     33     32     33
REFUSED               7      4      8
 
TREND: Is your opinion of Jeff Greene favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     LIKELY DEM PRIMARY VOTERS
                     Aug 18  Jul 29  Jun 10
                     2010    2010    2010
 
Favorable            25      31      23
Unfavorable          36      18      10
Hvn't hrd enough     33      47      64
REFUSED               7       5       3
 
 
4D. 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%     8%     8%
Unfavorable           9     12      7
Hvn't hrd enough     79     77     80
REFUSED               4      3      5
 
TREND: Is your opinion of Maurice Ferre favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     LIKELY DEM PRIMARY VOTERS
                     Aug 18  Jul 29  Jun 10
                     2010    2010    2010
 
Favorable             8       8       8
Unfavorable           9       8       6
Hvn't hrd enough     79      79      83
REFUSED               4       4       3
 
 
5D. Which type of candidate would you prefer to see as a United States Senator, someone with years of government experience or a government outsider?
                     LIKELY DEM PRIMARY VOTERS
                     Tot    Men    Wom
 
Experience           44%    43%    45%
Outsider             31     34     29
DK/NA                25     23     27
 
TREND: Which type of candidate would you prefer to see as a United States Senator, someone with years of government experience or a government outsider?
                     LIKELY DEM PRIMARY VOTERS
                     Aug 18  Jul 29
                     2010    2010
 
Experience           44      44
Outsider             31      35
DK/NA                25      21
 
 
6D. Regardless of how you intend to vote, who do you - believe most shares your values Kendrick Meek, Jeff Greene or Maurice Ferre?
                     LIKELY DEM PRIMARY VOTERS
                     Tot    Men    Wom
 
Meek                 33%    36%    32%
Greene               23     22     24
Ferre                 5      5      5
NO DIFF(VOL)          6      8      5
DK/NA                33     29     35
 
TREND: Regardless of how you intend to vote, who do you believe most shares your values - Kendrick Meek, Jeff Greene or Maurice Ferre?
                     LIKELY DEM PRIMARY VOTERS
                     Aug 18  Jul 29
                     2010    2010
 
Meek                 33      21
Greene               23      26
Ferre                 5       3
NO DIFF(VOL)          6       4
DK/NA                33      46
 
 
7D. Regardless of how you intend to vote, who do you - see as the most consistently liberal Kendrick Meek, Jeff Greene or Maurice Ferre?
                     LIKELY DEM PRIMARY VOTERS
                     Tot    Men    Wom
 
Meek                 34%    40%    31%
Greene               16     12     18
Ferre                 3      3      3
NO DIFF(VOL)          4      7      2
DK/NA                43     37     46
 
TREND: Regardless of how you intend to vote, who do you see as the most consistently liberal - Kendrick Meek, Jeff Greene or Maurice Ferre?
                     LIKELY DEM PRIMARY VOTERS
                     Aug 18  Jul 29
                     2010    2010
 
Meek                 34      22
Greene               16      16
Ferre                 3       3
NO DIFF(VOL)          4       2
DK/NA                43      57