October 28, 2010 - Rubio Leads Crist By 7 Points In Florida Senate Race, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; Sink Inches Ahead Of Scott In Governor's Race

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In the Florida U.S. Senate race, Republican Marco Rubio leads Gov. Charlie Crist, who is running as an independent, 42 - 35 percent among likely voters, while Democratic U.S. Rep. Kendrick Meek gets 15 percent, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.

In the hotly-contested governor's race, State Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink, the Democrat, has 45 percent to 41 percent for Republican Rick Scott, the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University survey, conducted by live interviewers, finds. Another 11 percent are undecided and 9 percent of those who name a candidate say they might change their mind in this final week before Election Day.

Today's results compare with Quinnipiac University's October 13 survey showing Rubio with 44 percent, followed by Crist with 30 percent and Meek with 22 percent.

An October 12 poll of the governor's race showed Scott with 45 percent and Sink with 44 percent.

"Although the governor's race remains very close, CFO Alex Sink has had a good week," said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. "But with one in eight voters still in play and Scott's supporters slightly more solid in support, this race looks like it will go to the finish line as a dead heat. "Gov. Charlie Crist has cut into Rubio's margin, but the former state House speaker remains the clear favorite to become Florida's next U.S. senator," said Brown. "With his supporters less likely to change their minds than those of his two opponents, Marco Rubio is in the driver's seat with only five days to go until Election Day. Most of the closure came not from Rubio voters deserting him, but from Congressman Kendrick Meek's voters moving to Crist."

In the Senate race, Rubio is carrying 77 percent of Republicans, 6 percent of Democrats and 38 percent of independent voters. Crist receives 19 percent of Republicans, 51 percent of Democrats and 43 percent of independents. Meek gets just 1 percent of Republicans, 36 percent of Democrats and 9 percent of unaffiliated voters.

"Gov. Crist has pulled within hailing distance of Rubio, but there are a couple of unique factors that probably work against him in the home stretch. First of all, he is listed at the bottom of the ballot below a number of unknown independent and minor party candidates. And, since he is without a party, he lacks the ground operation that the Democrats and Republicans have to turn out their voters," said Brown.

Sink gets 16 percent of Republicans, 85 percent of Democrats and 42 percent of independent voters. Scott wins 74 percent of Republicans, 8 percent of Democrats and 37 percent of independents.

There is a relatively small gender gap in both races. Rubio gets 45 percent of the male vote and 39 percent of the female vote. Crist gets 40 percent of men and 30 percent of women, while Meek gets just 9 percent of men and 22 percent of women.

In the race for governor, Ms. Sink gets 44 percent of men and 46 percent of women. Scott wins 45 percent of men and 38 percent of women.

"Given that Ms. Sink would become Florida's first female governor, the lack of a larger gender gap is perhaps surprising," said Brown. "She has some momentum, but anything can happen in the final days before Election Day."

Also in Ms. Sink's favor is that she is viewed more positively by the likely electorate. Among likely voters she is seen favorably by 43 percent and unfavorably by 39 percent, while Scott is viewed favorably by 34 percent and unfavorably by 50 percent.

"The relatively wide gap between Scott's unfavorable rating and his support in the horse race against Ms. Sink is unusual and probably reflects the Republican leaning of the electorate," said Brown.

From October 18 - 24, Quinnipiac University surveyed 784 Florida likely 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, or call (203) 582-5201.

1. If the election for governor were being held today, and the candidates were Alex Sink the Democrat and Rick Scott the Republican, for whom would you vote? (If undecided) If you had to choose today, would you vote for Sink or Scott? (This table includes Leaners)
                     LIKELY VOTERS(Includes Early Voters)..............
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Sink                 45%    16%    85%    42%    44%    46%    22%
Scott                41     74      8     37     45     38     67
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       2      2      2      3      1      4      3
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      -      -      -      -      -      -      -
DK/NA                11      8      5     17     10     12      8
 
TREND: If the election for governor were being held today, and the candidates were Alex Sink the Democrat and Rick Scott the Republican, for whom would you vote? (If undecided) If you had to choose today, would you vote for Sink or Scott? (This table includes Leaners)
                     LIKELY VOTERS.........
                     Oct 28  Oct 12  Oct 01
                     2010    2010    2010
 
Sink                 45      44      43
Scott                41      45      49
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       2       2       1
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      -       -       -
DK/NA                11       9       7
 
 
1a. Is your mind made up, or do you think you might change your mind before the election?
                     LIKELY VOTERS........
                            CAND CHOICE Q1
                     Tot    AS     RS
 
Made up              90%    89%    91%
Might change          9     11      8
DK/NA                 1      -      1
 
 
2. Is your opinion of - Alex Sink favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about her?
                     LIKELY VOTERS(Includes Early Voters)..............
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Favorable            43%    18%    81%    38%    44%    43%    25%
Unfavorable          39     62      8     40     39     38     53
Hvn't hrd enough     14     18      7     18     14     15     19
REFUSED               4      2      4      4      4      4      3
 
TREND: Is your opinion of - Alex Sink favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about her?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.........
                     Oct 28  Oct 12  Oct 01
                     2010    2010    2010
 
Favorable            43      42      39
Unfavorable          39      37      39
Hvn't hrd enough     14      18      19
REFUSED               4       3       3
 
 
3. Is your opinion of - Rick Scott favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     LIKELY VOTERS(Includes Early Voters)..............
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Favorable            34%    61%     7%    29%    38%    30%    56%
Unfavorable          50     24     77     54     46     55     38
Hvn't hrd enough     13     12     14     13     14     11      5
REFUSED               3      3      3      4      3      4      1
 
TREND: Is your opinion of - Rick Scott favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.........
                     Oct 28  Oct 12  Oct 01
                     2010    2010    2010
 
Favorable            34      39      41
Unfavorable          50      46      40
Hvn't hrd enough     13      12      17
REFUSED               3       3       2
 
 
4. If the election for United States Senator were being held today, and the candidates were Kendrick Meek the Democrat, Marco Rubio the Republican, and Charlie Crist running as an independent, for whom would you vote? (If undecided) If you had to choose today, would you vote for Meek, Rubio, or Crist? (This table includes Leaners)
                     LIKELY VOTERS(Includes Early Voters)..............
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Meek                 15%     1%    36%     9%     9%    22%     5%
Rubio                42     77      6     38     45     39     64
Crist                35     19     51     43     40     30     26
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       1      2      -      1      1      -      1
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      -      -      -      -      -      -      -
DK/NA                 7      2      7     10      5      9      4
 
TREND: If the election for United States Senator were being held today, and the candidates were Kendrick Meek the Democrat, Marco Rubio the Republican, and (If undecided) If you had to choose today, would you vote for Meek, Rubio,or Crist? (This table includes Leaners)
                     LIKELY VOTERS.........
                     Oct 28  Oct 13  Sep 30
                     2010    2010    2010
 
Meek                 15      22      18
Rubio                42      44      46
Crist                35      30      33
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       1       -       -
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      -       -       -
DK/NA                 7       4       3
 
 
4a. Is your mind made up, or do you think you might change your mind before the election?
                     LIKELY VOTERS..........
                            CAND CHOICE Q4..
                     Tot    KM     MR     CC
 
Made up              89%    83%    95%    84%
Might change         11     17      5     15
DK/NA                 -      -      -      -
 
 
5. Is your opinion of - Kendrick Meek favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     LIKELY VOTERS(Includes Early Voters)..............
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Favorable            33%    11%    63%    28%    32%    34%    22%
Unfavorable          35     48     15     39     41     28     39
Hvn't hrd enough     28     36     20     31     25     32     36
REFUSED               3      4      2      3      1      6      2
 
TREND: Is your opinion of - Kendrick Meek favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.........
                     Oct 28  Oct 13  Sep 30
                     2010    2010    2010
 
Favorable            33      33      29
Unfavorable          35      36      39
Hvn't hrd enough     28      28      31
REFUSED               3       2       1
 
 
6. Is your opinion of - Marco Rubio favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     LIKELY VOTERS(Includes Early Voters)..............
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Favorable            44%    78%    12%    36%    44%    44%    65%
Unfavorable          42     13     67     53     44     39     24
Hvn't hrd enough     11      9     18      8     11     12     11
REFUSED               3      1      3      3      1      5      -
 
TREND: Is your opinion of - Marco Rubio favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.........
                     Oct 28  Oct 13  Sep 30
                     2010    2010    2010
 
Favorable            44      48      49
Unfavorable          42      34      35
Hvn't hrd enough     11      17      14
REFUSED               3       1       1
 
 
7. Is your opinion of - Charlie Crist favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     LIKELY VOTERS(Includes Early Voters)..............
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Favorable            46%    22%    70%    53%    46%    46%    35%
Unfavorable          44     68     19     39     47     41     61
Hvn't hrd enough      6      7      9      3      6      6      3
REFUSED               4      3      2      5      1      7      1
 
TREND: Is your opinion of - Charlie Crist favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.........
                     Oct 28  Oct 13  Sep 30
                     2010    2010    2010
 
Favorable            46      45      45
Unfavorable          44      47      47
Hvn't hrd enough      6       5       5
REFUSED               4       3       3