McCollum, Meek Lead Ahead Of Tuesday’s Florida Primaries

Despite dumping record-breaking dollars into their maverick political campaigns, self-financed candidates Rick Scott and Jeff Greene trail their opponents heading into Tuesday’s primary, according to a new Mason-Dixon poll released late Saturday.

Republican Attorney General Bill McCollum now leads Scott 45-36 percent in the survey of likely Republican voters, reversing numbers that had him trailing the former hospital chain executive.

Democrat Kendrick Meek, the congressman from Miami, has opened up a 42-30 percent lead over Greene, the independently wealthy real estate mogul. Fresh off visits from President Obama and Bill Clinton this week, Meek shows strong support among the most reliable Democrats: African American voters, said Mason-Dixon pollster Brad Coker.

McCollum’s lead, however, extends to every area of the state, with the exception of Scott’s home region in Southwest Florida. His strongest showing is in Southeast Florida, where he holds a strong advantage among Hispanic, mostly Cuban, Republican voters in Miami-Dade County.

Greene, who has dumped $23 million into his own campaign, has outspent Meek four to one. Meek, who had been trailing in several polls over the summer, can attribute his surge to the African-American Democrats, who will cast 20-25 percent of the vote in the primary and the ground organizations of unions and other Democratic Party constituency groups, Mason-Dixon pollster Brad Coker said.

The Mason-Dixon poll surveyed 500 likely Democratic voters and 500 likely Republican voters. It was conducted by telephone, Aug. 17-19, and has a margin of error of +/- 4.5 percentage points.

Read more from Mary Ellen Klas at MiamiHerald.com

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