Candidate numbers show unpopularity in governor's race

Experts: Voter turnout could favor Republicans

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Florida's gubernatorial race will be one of the most watched in the country, but the two likely candidates aren't exactly winning popularity contests.

Registered voters are used for Quinnipiac Polls, which doesn't mean everyone surveyed will turn out to vote. Experts say that because there is no presidential election and it's tougher to get people to cast ballots, voter turnout could end up favoring Republicans.

With less than 100 days to go before Florida's gubernatorial election, it's looking like the likely frontrunners could use a friend. Forty-five percent of voters surveyed in the most recent Quinnipiac poll give Gov. Rick Scott a negative approval rating. Forty-two percent of voters have an unfavorable view of likely Democratic foe Charlie Crist. And both have approval ratings of just 40 percent.

If the numbers hold, the pair could become the least-liked pair of candidates in a governor's race in the past 10 years.

But Florida State political science professor Charles Barrilleuax said the numbers do little more than make politicians feel bad.

"People recognize it and it may give them a real sense about the candidates, but the date suggests it doesn't seem to effect their voting very much, or doesn't effect their voting in a statistically significant way, and it doesn't effect turnout," Barrilleaux said.

But spending indicates that both candidates care about the numbers. The GOP has spent more than $16 million on ads, while Democrats have spent around $3 million.

And with plenty of time left to sling mud, expect the spending to go up and the popularity to go down.

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