POLL: Rick Scott holds 11-point lead over McCollum in new poll

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Rick Scott/Bill McCollum split shot

Rick Scott/Bill McCollum split shot

Political neophyte Rick Scott continues to post a strong lead over establishment candidate Bill McCollum in the race for governor, just one week before early voting starts.

The latest Quinnipiac University poll between the two Republican candidates for governor shows Scott leading 43 percent to McCollum’s 32 percent, among likely primary voters. Those results represent just a slight shift from June when Quinnipiac showed Scott leading 44 to 31 percent.

Scott has undertaken an advertising blitz since announcing his campaign in April, spending between $23 and a reported $26 million, of his own wealth, largely on television and radio commercials.

The same poll shows real estate mogul Jeff Greene leading U.S. Rep. Kendrick Meek in the race for the Democratic nomination to the U.S. Senate.

“If there was any doubt that enough money can make a political unknown into a front-runner, the Democratic Senate primary and the Republican primary for governor should lay them to rest,” said Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

In the poll released Thursday, 23 percent of respondents said they are undecided. Meanwhile, 43 percent of the respondents who named a candidate say they still might change their minds about the Republican primary race for governor.

Joe Uscinski, an assistant professor of political science at the University of Miami, said primary elections commonly see a high number of voters changing preference.

“You’re not going to see a lot of changing between Republican and Democrat candidates,” Uscinski said. “But, you will see a lot of changing among Republican candidates (before the primary.)”

Uscinski pointed to the 2008 New Hampshire primary, when pollsters predicted Barack Obama would hand a resounding defeat to eventual winner Hillary Clinton.

“I study polls myself, and in primary campaigns, they’re variable, but they’re not that predictive of the final outcome,” Uscinski said.

Voter turnout in primaries is unpredictable, Uscinski said, leading to unpredictable results. Those people who identify themselves to pollsters as “likely voters” may not vote at all on election day.

However, the overall mood among voters — an anti-incumbent feeling gripping the country — seems to favor Scott.

When asked by Quinnipiac what type of candidate respondents would prefer to see, 54 percent of likely Republican primary voters said they preferred a government outsider, versus the 28 percent who said they want someone with government experience. That mind-set would benefit Scott, who has never run for public office and has built his campaign around a businessman-cum-political outsider image.

Additionally, the poll found that Scott is viewed favorably by 39 percent and unfavorably by 26 percent of respondents. McCollum’s popularity was split 34 percent to 34 percent.

Those polled also said Scott would do a better job rebuilding Florida’s economy, that he shares their values more than McCollum and they see Scott as more consistently conservative.

The margin of error reported in the poll is +/- 3.6 percentage points.

Connect with reporter Leslie Williams Hale at naplesnews.com/staff/leslie_hale

From July 22 - 27, Quinnipiac University surveyed 760 Republican likely primary voters with a margin of error of +/- 3.6 percentage points and 782 Democratic likely primary voters with a margin of error of +/- 3.5 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 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting (203) 582-5201 end_of_the_skype_highlighting.

THE FOLLOWING RESULTS ARE BASED ON A POLL OF 760 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 32% 34% 31%

Scott 43 44 41

SMONE ELSE(VOL) 2 1 3

WLDN'T VOTE(VOL) - - -

DK/NA 23 21 25

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

Jul 29 Jun 10

2010 2010

McCollum 32 31

Scott 43 44

SMONE ELSE(VOL) 2 1

WLDN'T VOTE(VOL) - -

DK/NA 23 24

1aR. (If express choice q1Rep) 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 55% 55% 54%

Might change 43 43 43

DK/NA 2 1 3

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

Jul 29 Jun 10

2010 2010

Made up 55 39

Might change 43 59

DK/NA 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 39% 39% 38%

Unfavorable 26 27 25

Hvn't hrd enough 31 30 32

REFUSED 5 4 6

TREND: Is your opinion of Rick Scott favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?

LIKELY REP PRIMARY VOTERS

Jul 29 Jun 10

2010 2010

Favorable 39 40

Unfavorable 26 12

Hvn't hrd enough 31 46

REFUSED 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 34% 39% 29%

Unfavorable 34 34 35

Hvn't hrd enough 27 22 31

REFUSED 5 5 5

TREND: Is your opinion of Bill McCollum favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?

LIKELY REP PRIMARY VOTERS

Jul 29 Jun 10

2010 2010

Favorable 34 41

Unfavorable 34 19

Hvn't hrd enough 27 36

REFUSED 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 28% 24% 32%

Outsider 54 58 49

DK/NA 18 17 19

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 23% 25% 20%

Scott 45 47 44

NO DIFF(VOL) 5 4 6

DK/NA 27 24 30

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 26% 28% 24%

Scott 38 41 35

NO DIFF(VOL) 7 7 8

DK/NA 29 24 33

7R. 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

Tot Men Wom

McCollum 26% 26% 26%

Scott 38 43 32

NO DIFF(VOL) 5 5 5

DK/NA 32 26 37

THE FOLLOWING RESULTS ARE BASED ON A POLL OF 782 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 23% 30% 20%

Ferre 4 3 4

Greene 33 34 33

SMONE ELSE(VOL) 1 1 1

WLDN'T VOTE(VOL) 3 4 2

DK/NA 35 28 40

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

Jul 29 Jun 10

2010 2010

Meek 23 29

Ferre 4 3

Greene 33 27

SMONE ELSE(VOL) 1 3

WLDN'T VOTE(VOL) 3 -

DK/NA 35 37

1aD. (If express choice q1Dem) 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 43% 57% 36%

Might change 54 41 62

DK/NA 2 2 3

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

Jul 29 Jun 10

2010 2010

Made up 43 36

Might change 54 62

DK/NA 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 28% 36% 23%

Unfavorable 13 13 14

Hvn't hrd enough 55 45 60

REFUSED 4 5 4

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