The first Rasmussen Reports post-primary survey of the Florida governor’s race finds Republican Rick Scott and Democrat Alex Sink in a close contest.
Scott, the winner of Tuesday’s bruising GOP Primary, earns the support of 41% of Likely Voters in the state, while Sink picks up 36% of the vote. Independent Bud Chiles runs a distant third with eight percent (8%). Five percent (5%) prefer some other candidate, and nine percent (9%) are undecided.
Earlier this month, prior to the primary, Scott posted a 35% to 31% lead over Sink, the state’s chief financial officer who faced only token opposition in Tuesday’s Democratic Primary. Chiles, who has worked in the non-profit sector and is the son of a former Democratic governor, picked up 16% support at that time.
The Florida race is rated a Toss-Up in the Rasmussen Reports Election 2010 Gubernatorial Scorecard.
When leaners are included in the new totals, the race is even tighter, with Scott barely ahead of Sink 45% to 42%. Chiles’ support drops to four percent (4%). This suggests that the Florida contest could follow the general pattern of three-way races with support drifting away from the third-party candidate toward one of the major party nominees as Election Day approaches.
Leaners are those who initially indicate no preference for either of the candidates but answer a follow-up question and say they are leaning towards a particular candidate. Early in any campaign, the numbers without leaners are generally more significant. Later in a campaign, the numbers with leaners matter more. After Labor Day, Rasmussen Reports will report the numbers with leaners as the primary indicators of the campaign.
Seventy-two percent (72%) of those who favor Sink say they are already certain how they will vote in November. Just 55% of Scott’s voters and 36% of those who support Chiles say the same.
The survey of 750 Likely Voters in Florida was conducted on August 25, 2010 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/-4 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence.