Two new polls show Gov. Crist, the no-party-affiliation candidate for U.S. Senate, leading both his Republican opponent, former Florida House Speaker Marco Rubio (R-Miami), and U.S. Rep. Kendrick Meek (D-17th Congressional District).
In a Rasmussen Reports survey of 500 likely voters conducted on May 3, 2010, Gov. Crist led with 38 percent, followed by Mr. Rubio with 34 percent and Rep. Meek with 17 percent. Eleven percent were undecided. Gov. Crist gained eight percentage points over his performance in an April 21, 2010 Rasmussen poll. He drew support away from both of his opponents, with Rep. Meek losing five percentage points and Mr. Rubio losing three percentage points since April 21, 2010.
The survey of likely voters had a margin of error of 4.5 percentage points.
A poll released by Mason-Dixon Polling & Research on May 6, 2010 had similar results. In the Mason-Dixon survey of 625 registered voters, Gov. Crist was supported by 38 percent of respondents, Mr. Rubio was supported by 32 percent, and Rep. Meek was supported by 19 percent, with 11 percent undecided. In a Mason-Dixon poll taken two months earlier, Gov. Crist led with 35 percent, followed by Mr. Rubio with 28 percent, and Rep. Meek with 20 percent. The earlier poll showed 17 percent of respondents as undecided.
The survey of registered voters, conducted from May 3 to May 5, 2010, had a margin of error of four percentage points.
The Mason-Dixon poll also was the first to measure the impact of health care executive Rick Scott's entry into the Republican primary race against Attorney General McCollum and Sen. Paula Dockery (R-Lakeland). Mr. Scott, who has reportedly spent in excess of $4 million on television ads, has been running campaign ads for the past four weeks. The survey placed Attorney General McCollum in the lead with 38 percent, Mr. Scott second with 24 percent, and Sen. Dockery with seven percent.
Attorney General McCollum's general election lead has shrunk to nine percentage points, from 15 points in March. In the May Mason-Dixon poll, Attorney General McCollum led the Democratic candidate, CFO Alex Sink, by 45 percent to 36 percent. Mason-Dixon also polled on a matchup between Mr. Scott and CFO Sink. In that contest, CFO Sink received the support of 38 percent of respondents and Mr. Scott received the support of 36 percent.
The Republican-only part of the poll included an oversampling of 400 likely Republican primary voters, to produce a margin of error of five percentage points. The general election part of the poll had a margin of error of four percentage points.