Poll: Crist leads Scott by 1% in governor's race

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Former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist (left) and current Gov. Rick Scott

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A new University of North Florida poll reveals Charlie Crist has a single percentage point lead over Gov. Rick Scott -- 34 to 33 percent -- among registered voters in the gubernatorial race.

Respondents were given the additional choice of "somebody else" in the answer options, and "somebody else," combined with the "don't know" and "no answer" responses, accounted for 34 percent of responses.

In addition, 45 percent of registered voters polled approve of how Scott is handling his job as Florida's governor, down from the 49-percent approval rating in October.

Seventy-four percent of registered voters polled responded that they would vote "yes" for Proposition 2, allowing the medical use of marijuana for individuals with debilitating diseases as determined by a licensed Florida physician. That's in stark contrast to the percentage of registered voters polled who support allowing adults in Florida to legally possess small amounts of marijuana for recreational use, which is 41 percent.

When asked about the "stand your ground" law, 62 percent of registered voters polled supported requiring people to take reasonable steps to retreat before using force to defend themselves. In regard to vehicle registration fees, 55 percent of respondents supported the statewide reduction of vehicle registration fees by about $12 from the current rate of $84, even if state revenues decrease by about $250 million per year.

The survey was conducted through the use of a 27-station telephone-polling laboratory at UNF, according to a news release. A polling sample was selected through the use of random-digit-dialing methodology. A cellphone sample was used to increase representation. Age, gender, race education and party registration were weighted to the most recent U.S. Census data, as well as to statistics from the Duval County Supervisor of Elections.

The survey was conducted between March 6 and Sunday, and includes 507 registered voters (+/- 4.35 percent). About 50 trained interviewers participated in the data collection.

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