Sunshine State News has released a new poll โ€“ which it says is the largest so far of likely Republican voters โ€“ that shows Rick Scott leading the Republican primary for governor by 16 percentage points (44-28, with 28 percent undecided) and spells all kinds of trouble for Bill McCollum.

With just three weeks until Election Day, and early voting beginning next week, Scott is beating McCollum in every demographic and geographic category of likely GOP voters, said Jim Lee, president of Voter Survey Service of Harrisburg, Pa., which conducted the survey.

โ€œMost startlingly is the 50 percent negative number for McCollum. Thatโ€™s a very huge red flag and suggests very little room to grow. You never want to have that going into an election,โ€ Lee said.

SSN says the margin of error is 2.67, and that Scottโ€™s 16-point lead holds among the most dedicated segment of the Republican base:

Among the most dedicated Republican voters โ€” those who cast ballots in the 2006 or 2008 primaries and who said their chances of voting in this primary are โ€œexcellentโ€ โ€” Scott holds a seemingly insurmountable 45-29 lead over McCollum.

A recent poll by the New York Times Florida newspapers also showed Scott leading by 16 percentage points, but drew criticism for its small sample size (243) and wide margin of error (6 percent). That poll showed Scott leading 41 to 25.

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