Two polls conducted just before Florida's August 24, 2010 primary elections show solid leads for Attorney General Bill McCollum in the race for the Republican gubernatorial nomination and U.S. Rep. Kendrick Meek (D-17th Congressional District) in the Democratic contest for the U.S. Senate.
In polls of likely voters conducted by Mason-Dixon Polling & Research from August 17 through August 19, 2010, Mr. McCollum led his opponent, businessman Rick Scott, by nine percentage points, and Mr. Meek led his opponent, real estate investor Jeff Greene, by 12 percentage points.
In the Republican race, Mr. McCollum was the choice of 45 percent of respondents, followed by Mr. Scott at 36 percent, other candidates at four percent, and 15 percent undecided. For Mr. McCollum, the latest Mason-Dixon poll represents an 11-point gain over his performance in a Mason-Dixon poll taken one week earlier, and a turnaround from a Mason-Dixon poll taken from August 2 through August 4, in which Mr. Scott led Mr. McCollum by 37 percent to 31 percent.
Among Democrats, Mr. Meek has led Mr. Greene in all of the Mason-Dixon polls. In the August 17 – 19 poll, 42 percent favored Mr. Meek, followed by Mr. Greene with 30 percent, other candidates with five percent, and 23 percent undecided. The narrowest margin was in the August 2 – 4 poll, in which Mr. Meek led Mr. Greene by 33 percent to 29 percent.
Mason-Dixon Polling & Research surveyed 500 likely Democratic primary voters and 500 likely Republican primary voters from August 17 through August 19. The margin of error was 4.5 percentage points.
Polls taken by the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute from August 11 through August 16, 2010 show similar results. Among likely Republican primary voters, Mr. McCollum leads with 44 percent, followed by Mr. Scott with 35 percent, others at two percent, and 19 percent undecided. In a Quinnipiac poll taken a month earlier, Mr. Scott had an 11-point lead over Mr. McCollum.
The Quinnipiac survey of likely Democratic primary voters showed Mr. Meek leading with 35 percent, Mr. Greene in second place with 28 percent, former Miami Mayor Maurice Ferre at six percent, others at two percent, and 29 percent undecided. A month earlier, Mr. Greene held a 10-point lead over Mr. Meek in a Quinnipiac poll.
The Quinnipiac poll surveyed 807 likely Republican primary voters and 814 likely Democratic primary voters, with a margin of error of 3.5 percent for the Republican primary questions and a margin of error of 3.4 percent for the Democratic primary questions.
At the same time, Quinnipiac also polled registered voters on the general election contests for governor and U.S. Senate. For governor, state Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink, the Democratic candidate, had a small lead over both Republican contenders. With Mr. McCollum as the Republican candidate, Ms. Sink has the support of 31 percent of respondents, followed by Mr. McCollum with 29 percent, unaffiliated candidate Bud Chiles with 12 percent, others with two percent, and 26 percent either undecided or not voting. If Mr. Scott is the Republican candidate, Ms. Sink leads with 33 percent, followed by Mr. Scott with 29 percent, Mr. Chiles with 12 percent, others with one percent, and 24 percent undecided or not voting.
In the U.S. Senate contest, Gov. Charlie Crist, running without party affiliation, is in the lead regardless of whether the Democratic candidate is Mr. Meek or Mr. Greene. With Mr. Meek in the race, Gov. Crist has the support of 39 percent of respondents, former House Speaker Marco Rubio, the Republican candidate, is supported by 32 percent, Mr. Meek is supported by 16 percent, others get one percent of the vote, and 13 percent either are undecided or would not vote.
The results are almost identical with Mr. Greene as the Democratic candidate. With Mr. Greene in the race, Gov. Crist leads with 40 percent, followed by Mr. Rubio with 32 percent, Mr. Greene with 15 percent, and 13 percent undecided or not voting.
The general election poll surveyed 1,096 registered voters from August 11 through August 16 and has a three-percent margin of error.