TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Despite spending millions on television ads, Republican Gov. Rick Scott is trailing former Gov. Charlie Crist by 10 points in a new poll.
The poll released by Quinnipiac University on Wednesday has Crist leading Scott 48 percent to 38 percent.
Pollsters also found that 53 percent do not think Scott deserves a second term as governor and that 42 percent approve of the job he's doing.
The gap between Scott and Crist is slightly wider than it was in a poll taken in January 2014. But since that time the Scott campaign has released television ads criticizing Crist over his support of President Barack Obama's health care overhaul.
"So far, Florida Gov. Rick Scott's television barrage apparently has had no impact on the race," said Peter Brown, assistant director of the poll. "The incumbent has not been able to reduce former Gov. Charlie Crist's lead. In fact, voters see Crist's party switch in a positive light and the incumbent's effort to tie Crist's support for Obamacare has not yet borne fruit."
Crist was once a Republican but switched to the Democratic party after more than two years as an independent.
The poll found that Scott is leading against another Democratic challenger - former state Sen. Nan Rich - 42 percent to 36 percent.
Quinnipiac polled more than 1,400 registered voters. The margin of error in the poll is plus or minus 2.6 percent. Pollsters, however, did have a slightly higher number of voters identify themselves as Democrats versus Republicans. It's not clear if Democrats will have that kind of edge during a non-presidential election.
Quinnipiac also found that a majority of Floridians support offering in-state tuition rates to students who graduated from a Florida high school but are living in the country illegally. Fifty-five percent polled support the idea which is expected to be passed this week by the Florida Legislature while 41 percent were opposed. But the poll found that 66 percent of Republicans were opposed.
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