The insurgent earthquake takes a time-out: the latest Quinnipiac poll has Bill McCollum ahead of Rick Scott, and Kendrick Meek in front of Jeff Greene. From the pollsters (complete with Star Wars analogy):
In the Republican primary for Governor, McCollum leads Rick Scott 44 – 35 percent among likely primary voters, reversing a 43 – 32 percent Scott lead in a July 29 survey by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University.
In the Democratic primary for U.S. Senate, Rep. Meek leads Jeff Greene 35 – 28 percent among likely voters, reversing a 33 – 23 percent Greene lead July 29. Former Miami Mayor Maurice Ferre is at 6 percent, compared to 4 percent on July 29.
But the races remain volatile as 19 percent of Republican voters remain undecided and 32 percent of those who do name a candidate say they could change their mind. Among Democrats, 29 percent are undecided and 39 percent of those who name a candidate could change their mind.
McCollum has catapulted ahead of Scott, a retired health care executive, based upon the votes of women, who favor McCollum 48 – 31 percent, while men split 39 – 40 percent.
Meek leads 33 – 29 percent among women and 37 – 28 percent among men.
“The empire strikes back, actually both empires, that is, the folks who run the Democratic and Republican parties in Florida have waded into the nomination fights and they are making a difference,” said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.
The McCollum resurgence can’t be welcome news to the Alex Sink campaign, which was looking pretty solid against a very troubled Scott. And the fact that Republican women are the ones making the difference for McCollum is interesting. One piece of data that could be both good news and bad news for Sink: while GOP men in the poll overwhelmingly want an outsider, Republican women in the poll value experience:
LIKELY REP PRIMARY VOTERS Tot Men Wom Experience 35% 29% 40% Outsider 42 49 36 DK/NA 23 22 24
That could play to Sink’s advantage. Though she doesn’t have a ton of government experience, she does come across as a sober, experienced grown-up, and nothing near an insurgent. But it could also mean that Sink can’t count on running away with Republican women who would likely would have headed for the Democratic hills if Scott is the nominee.
The Meek people have got to feel pretty good about the poll too, especially given that it has a somewhat healthier sample size and lower MOE than the all over the place Mason Dixon and Ipsos polls from earlier in the week. (August 11 – 16, Quinnipiac University surveyed 807 Republican likely primary voters with a margin of error of +/- 3.5 percentage points and 814 Democratic likely primary voters with a margin of error of +/- 3.4 percentage points. These likely voters were selected from lists of people who have voted in past elections. )
And the undecideds are shrinking among Democrats, with Meek winning both men and women. The trend:
LIKELY DEM PRIMARY VOTERS Aug 18 Jul 29 Jun 10 2010 2010 2010 Meek 35 23 29 Ferre 6 4 3 Greene 28 33 27 SMONE ELSE(VOL) 2 1 3 WLDN'T VOTE(VOL) - 3 - DK/NA 29 35 37
Meek is also seen as “more consistently liberal” than Greene by Democratic voters (34% to 16%), and more likely to share their values.
On the likability front:
The McCollum and Meek ad campaigns seem to be taking a toll on their opponents’ favorability ratings. Greene is down from a 31 – 18 percent favorability rating July 29 to a negative 25 – 36 percent favorability today. Meek, on the other hand, has gone from 28 – 13 percent favorable to 36 – 23 percent favorable in the eyes of Democratic likely primary voters.
On the Republican side, Scott’s 39 – 26 favorable rating July 29 has dropped to a 34 – 33 percent split, with McCollum’s favorability at 45 – 30 percent. The “outsider” appeal has faded with GOP likely voters. By 42 – 35 percent they say they would prefer a government outsider, favoring Scott who has never before run for office, rather than McCollum, a fixture in Florida politics for more than two decades. That’s down from 54 – 28 percent for an outsider July 29.
In that July 29 Quinnipiac poll, likely GOP primary voters said 38 – 26 percent that Scott most shared their values, while today they say 39 – 29 percent that McCollum does.
In the Democratic race, Greene’s 26 – 21 percent lead over Meek on who most shares voters’ values has turned into a 33 – 23 percent Meek advantage.
“Although this is clearly the year of the outsider, the reverse of that may be in the offing in Florida,” said Brown. “But nothing is for certain and the large number of undecideds and voters whose commitment to their candidate is soft makes anything possible.”