In the Republican primary for Florida governor, political neophyte and former health-care executive Rick Scott leads Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum by a 43-29 margin, while the Democratic primary for U.S. Senate is tied between Rep. Kendrick Meek and Jeff Greene, though most voters remain undecided, according to a poll released Thursday by Public Policy Polling (.pdf).
Rick Scott, who has spent over $25 million — mostly out of his own pocket — on a barrage of television ads, has a favorability rating among Republican primary voters of 35 percent, while 32 percent find him unfavorable and 33 percent are not sure. His opponent, Bill McCollum, has a favorability rating of 26 percent, while 40 percent view him unfavorably and 34 percent are not sure. Polling of the Republican primary has been varied, but Scott had a 5-point lead in a poll conducted by the Florida Chamber of Commerce Political Institute in mid-June, whereas a Quinnipiac poll released on June 10 showed him with a 13-point lead.
In the Democratic race for Senate, Meek and Greene are in a virtual tie, with Meek leading 28-25 percent. That lead is within the margin of error of +/- 5.3 percent. What is not in question is that a plurality of Democratic voters, 37 percent, remain undecided in the primary. A poll released Tuesday by the same firm showed that most Democrats were for Charlie Crist, with 52 percent saying they would vote for him if Greene was the nominee, and 44 percent saying they would vote for him if Meek were the nominee.
Though Rick Scott and Jeff Greene might look at these polls positively, the real story is that both of them are behind in the general election. Scott trails Democratic gubernatorial nominee Florida CFO Alex Sink by a 36-30 margin, according to a PPP poll released Wednesday. And both Democrats have consistently placed in a distant third in the Florida Senate race behind Gov. Charlie Crist and former Florida House Speaker Marco Rubio (R).