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Democrat Crist Back on Top in Florida See-Saw; Does It Have to Do With His Intention to Visit Cuba?

SurveyUSA Operations - 136 days ago

In an election for Governor of Florida today, 06/10/14, Democrat Charlie Crist is newly invigorated, according to the latest SurveyUSA tracking poll conducted for WFLA-TV in Tampa. Today it’s Crist 44%, Republican Rick Scott 40%. Compared to the most recent SurveyUSA poll, released 05/23/14, Crist is up 4 points, Scott is down 2 points. Then, Scott led by 2 points. Today, Crist leads by 4.

This SurveyUSA poll is the first since Crist announced that he may visit Cuba this summer. When likely November voters are asked whether a trip to Cuba makes it more or less likely that a voter would support that candidate, we find a “wash”:

12% say it makes them more likely to vote for a candidate who visits Cuba.
12% say it makes them less likely to vote for a candidate who visits Cuba.
73% say it makes no difference.

But, that apparent “wash” may mask underlying volatility. Among Cubans – and acknowledging that this is a small sample – Scott’s support has dropped to 27%, the lowest recorded in 5 SurveyUSA tracking polls. Crist is at 46% among Cubans, up from the most recent SurveyUSA poll, but consistent with where Crist was in April. In Southeast Florida (home to Miami and Fort Lauderdale), Scott’s support has dropped to 27%, a new low. Crist’s 25-point lead in Southeast FL is his largest in 5 tracking polls. Among the most educated voters, Scott’s support has dropped to 37%, the lowest it has been in 5 polls. Among the most affluent voters, Crist closes to within 3 points of Scott, 48% to 45%. This is the closest Crist has drawn to Scott in this typically Republican sub-population.

Consistent with the overall findings, those who say a Cuba trip makes them more likely to support a candidate back Crist 6:1. Those who say a Cuba trip makes them less likely to support a candidate back Scott by 3:1.

Switching gears: In a hypothetical election for President of the United States in Florida today, 06/10/14, 30 months till votes would be counted, Hillary Clinton defeats Jeb Bush 47% to 41%. Bush defeats Joe Biden 47% to 38%. Looking at how women vote tells a large part of the story. In a Clinton-Bush match-up, Clinton carries women by 15 points. In a Biden-Bush match-up, Bush carries women, though narrowly, 45% to 43%.

Cell-phone and home-phone respondents included in this research. SurveyUSA interviewed 950 state of Florida adults 06/05/14 through 06/10/14. Of the adults, 850 were registered to vote. Of the registered, 556 were determined by SurveyUSA to be likely to vote in the 11/04/14 general election, and were asked the Crist-Scott questions. The 2016 hypotheticals were asked of all 850 registered voters. This research was conducted using blended sample, mixed mode. Respondents reachable on a home telephone (75% of likely voters) were interviewed on their home telephone in the recorded voice of a professional announcer. Respondents not reachable on a home telephone (25% of likely voters) were shown a questionnaire on their tablet, smartphone or other electronic device.

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