October 23, 2006 - Democrat Almost Catches Crist In Florida Gov Race, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; Big Shift By Independent Voters To Davis
Entering Tuesday's first Florida gubernatorial debate, the race has tightened to a statistical dead heat, with 46 percent of likely voters for State Attorney General Charlie Crist, the Republican, and 44 percent for U.S. Rep. Jim Davis, the Democrat, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today. Eight percent of voters are undecided and 11 percent of those who name a candidate say they might change their mind before Election Day.

The change from an October 10 poll by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe- ack) University, showing Crist ahead 53 - 43 percent, is almost all because of a 21-point shift to Rep. Davis among independent voters who went from 50 - 43 percent for Crist to 50 - 36 percent for Davis. Davis leads among Democrats 74 - 19 percent, while Crist is ahead among Republicans 85 - 8 percent.

There also is a large gender gap, with men backing the Republican 56 - 34 percent and women backing the Democrat 54 - 38.

"The Florida Governor's election is now a real horse race," said Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. "It took Jim Davis a while to introduce himself to Florida voters, but he seems to have broken through and made a positive impression on many Floridians to whom he was until recently an unknown." In the poll two weeks ago, 57 percent of Florida voters said they did not know enough about Davis to be able to say whether they viewed him favorably or unfavorably.

In this latest survey, Florida voters give Davis a 35 - 22 percent favorability, with 19 percent mixed and 23 percent who haven't heard enough to form an opinion. Crist gets a 48 - 19 percent favorability, with 21 percent mixed and 10 percent who don't know enough to form an opinion. That compares to a 42 - 14 percent favorability October 10.

"Because of his financial disadvantage, Jim Davis was late in getting on television. But obviously now that his ads have been on the air he has made significant progress," said Brown. "The large swing among independent voters may also reflect a national Democratic wave that seems to be taking hold around the country.

"Although women generally vote more Democratic and men more Republican, the size of the gender gap in the governor's race is extraordinary.

"In the last two weeks, Davis has hit a chord with women. He had been tied with Crist among female voters; now he leads by 16 points. It isn't enough to offset Crist's 22 point lead among men, but it has gotten him back in the game," said Brown.

From October 18 - 22, Quinnipiac University surveyed 816 Florida likely voters, with a margin of error of +/- 3.4 percentage points.

The Quinnipiac University Poll, directed by Douglas Schwartz, Ph.D., conducts public opinion surveys in Florida, Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Ohio and the nation as a public service and for research. For additional data-www.quinnipiac.edu and quicklinks

1. If the 2006 election for governor were being held today, and the candidates were Jim Davis the Democrat and Charlie Crist the Republican for whom would you vote?(If undecided q1) As of today, do you lean more toward Davis or Crist? This table includes Leaners.

                  LIKELY VOTERS..........................................
                                                                 WtBrnAgn
                  Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     Evngel


Davis 44% 8% 74% 50% 34% 54% 27% Crist 46 85 19 36 56 38 70 SMONE ELSE(VOL) 1 - - 3 1 1 1 WLDN'T VOTE(VOL) - - - - - - - DK/NA 8 7 6 11 9 8 3

North/ PnHnd Bay Cntrl SthW SthE

Davis 36% 42% 32% 38% 64% Crist 58 47 56 54 27 SMONE ELSE(VOL) - 1 1 - 1 WLDN'T VOTE(VOL) - - - - - DK/NA 6 9 11 7 8

TREND: If the 2006 election for governor were being held today and the candidates were Jim Davis the Democrat and Charlie Crist the Republican, for whom would you vote? (If undecided) As of today, do you lean more toward Davis or Crist? This table includes Leaners.

                  LIKELY VOTERS
                  Oct 23  Oct 10
                  2006    2006


Davis 44 43 Crist 46 53 SMONE ELSE(VOL) 1 - WLDN'T VOTE(VOL) - - DK/NA 8 3



1a. (If candidate choice q1) Is your mind made up, or do you think you might change your mind before the election?

                  LIKELY CHOOSING CAND Q1..
                          CAND OF CHOICE Q1
                  Tot     JD      CC 


Made up 89% 88% 89%% Might change 11 12 11 DK/NA - - -

TREND: (If candidate choice)Is your mind made up, or do you think you might change your mind before the election?

                  LIKELY VOTERS
                  Oct 23  Oct 10
                  2006    2006


Made up 89 71 Might change 11 28 DK/NA - -



7. Is your opinion of Jim Davis favorable, unfavorable, mixed, or haven't you heard enough about him?

                  LIKELY VOTERS..........................................
                                                                 WtBrnAgn
                  Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     Evngel


Favorable 35% 11% 59% 32% 31% 39% 26% Unfavorable 22 45 6 14 29 16 31 Mixed 19 15 15 27 16 21 13 Hvn't hrd enough 23 27 19 25 23 23 28 REFUSED 1 1 1 1 2 1 3

North/ PnHnd Bay Cntrl SthW SthE

Favorable 27% 39% 27% 21% 49% Unfavorable 24 23 25 21 16 Mixed 16 18 26 19 13 Hvn't hrd enough 30 19 20 36 20 REFUSED 2 - 1 4 1

TREND: Is your opinion of Jim Davis favorable, unfavorable, mixed, or haven't you heard enough about him?

                  LIKELY VOTERS
                  Oct 23  Oct 10
                  2006    2006


Favorable 35 17 Unfavorable 22 15 Mixed 19 15 Hvn't hrd enough 23 52 REFUSED 1 2



8. Is your opinion of Charlie Crist favorable, unfavorable, mixed, or haven't you heard enough about him?

                  LIKELY VOTERS..........................................
                                                                 WtBrnAgn
                  Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     Evngel


Favorable 48% 77% 26% 44% 57% 40% 61% Unfavorable 19 5 33 18 15 23 14 Mixed 21 14 21 28 15 26 18 Hvn't hrd enough 10 3 18 8 10 10 4 REFUSED 2 1 3 1 2 1 2

North/ PnHnd Bay Cntrl SthW SthE

Favorable 54% 52% 53% 52% 36% Unfavorable 19 13 17 11 28 Mixed 18 24 19 24 20 Hvn't hrd enough 7 8 9 11 14 REFUSED 2 3 1 2 2

TREND: Is your opinion of Charlie Crist favorable, unfavorable, mixed, or haven't you heard enough about him?

                  LIKELY VOTERS
                  Oct 23  Oct 10
                  2006    2006


Favorable 48 46 Unfavorable 19 16 Mixed 21 20 Hvn't hrd enough 10 16 REFUSED 2 1



9. (If Davis supporter) What is the main reason you support Davis -- A)because of his experience, B)because of his personal qualities, C)because of his stand on the issues or D)because of his political party?

                  DAVIS SUPPORTERS...
                  LIKELY VOTERS......


Tot Men Wom

A)Experience 2% 1% 3% B)Personal qual 3 3 4 C)Stand on issues 46 40 50 D)Political party 39 47 34 OTHER(VOL) 6 6 6 DK/NA 3 4 3

TREND: (Davis supporters) What is the main reason you support Davis -- A)because of his experience, B)because of his personal qualities, C)because of his stand on the issues or D)because of his political party?

                  DAVIS SUPPORTERS
                  LIKELY VOTERS...
                  Oct 23  Oct 10
                  2006    2006


Experience 2 6 Personal qual 3 2 Stand on issues 46 31 Political party 39 51 OTHER(VOL) 6 7 DK/NA 3 4



10. (If Crist supporter) What is the main reason you support Crist -- A)because of his experience, B)because of his personal qualities, C)because of his stand on the issues or D)because of his political party?

                  CRIST SUPPORTERS...
                  LIKELY VOTERS......


Tot Men Wom

A)Experience 22% 24% 20% B)Personal qual 7 6 8 C)Stand on issues 48 48 49 D)Political party 15 14 16 OTHER(VOL) 5 6 4 DK/NA 2 2 3

TREND: (Crist supporters) What is the main reason you support Crist -- A)because of his experience, B)because of his personal qualities, C)because of his stand on the issues or D)because of his political party?

                  CRIST SUPPORTERS
                  LIKELY VOTERS....
                  Oct 23    Oct 10
                  2006      2006


Experience 22 19 Personal qual 7 6 Stand on issues 48 56 Political party 15 12 OTHER(VOL) 5 4 DK/NA 2 3



11. Would you like to see the next governor of Florida generally continue with Jeb Bush's policies or change direction from Jeb Bush's policies?

                  LIKELY VOTERS..........................................
                                                                 WtBrnAgn
                  Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     Evngel


Cont Bush pols 46% 81% 20% 40% 57% 36% 69% Change direction 45 14 74 45 34 55 25 DK/NA 9 6 7 16 9 9 6

North/ PnHnd Bay Cntrl SthW SthE

Cont Bush pols 54% 41% 56% 65% 30% Change direction 36 49 35 19 64 DK/NA 10 10 9 16 6