Charlie Crist has a 12-point lead over incumbent Rick Scott if the two were the major party candidates on the ballot. Crist's lead is virtually the same as the one he had over Scott when a similar survey was taken by PPP back in January.
Scott's approval ratings have consistently hovered below 40 percent since the early days of his election in 2010, and it appears his recent actions that have alienated parts of his base haven't been supplemented from any Democratic love. Currently only 33 percent of the public supports him, 57 percent do not.
"Rick Scott's decision to support Medicaid expansion doesn't seem to have boosted his re-election prospects," said Dean Debnam, President of Public Policy Polling. "He's still facing a very uphill battle for a second term."
The Medicaid expansion gambit did turn off fellow Republicans, but according to the poll, nobody else on the GOP side gets the public as fired up as Scott. But that doesn't mean Republicans wouldn't want another candidate to run.
PPP said that 43 percent of GOP primary voters want somebody else to be their nominee, while 42 percent prefer the incumbent with megabucks. But when individual names are floated, none have any strong levels of support — at least not yet.
Scott leads Attorney General Pam Bondi by 19 points (46/27), Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam by 24 points (48/24), and Congressman Ted Yoho by 41 points (54/13), begging the question: Why in the hell did PPP throw his name into the mix?
Crist leads all Democrats named in the survey in popular support, with 66 percent giving him the thumbs-up. The next strongest Democrat is the 2010 candidate, former CFO Alex Sink, but her support is low, at only 21 percent. Pam Iorio is ranked third with 9 percent, and the only declared Democrat in the race, former state Sen. Nan Rich, gets 3 percent approval from Democrats.
PPP surveyed 500 Florida voters as well as 300 usual Democratic primary voters and 326 Republican primary voters from March 15 to 18. The margin of error for the overall sample is +/-4.4%, +/-5.7% for the Democratic portion and +/-5.4% for the GOP portion.