New Florida Polls Show Some Surprising Numbers

A new survey shows the Democrats have a real shot at winning the race for governor in Florida next year.

The poll of 855 registered voters by Quinnipiac University shows the Democratic frontrunner, Congressman Jim Davis of Tampa, is in a statistical dead heat with the top Republicans in the race.

Pollster Clay Roberts says Congressman Davis has a one point lead over Attorney General Charlie Crist and a three point lead over Chief Financial Officer Tom Gallagher.

“Well, I think there’s some feeling that the Republicans have been in charge of Florida for a long time and maybe it’s time for a change, and I think that it’s also evident that while both Republican candidates are well known in their own party and have run statewide that they really don’t have a broad base established in the state yet.”

The same poll also showed both Republicans would defeat Sen. Rod Smith, the underdog in the Democratic race.

But there are still plenty of voters who have not made up their minds. In fact, more than 50 percent of the Democrats are in the undecided category when it comes to picking a party nominee.

Meanwhile, the latest tracking poll shows Sen. Bill Nelson looks like a safe bet for re-election next year. The freshman senator is up for re-election next year and pollster Clay Richards with Quinnipiac University says some of Nelson’s numbers are not good.

His approval rating is below 50 percent and a third of the voters want someone new in the Senate, but Nelson is running against Congresswoman Katherine Harris, and her numbers are so low that Nelson ends up with trouncing her by a margin of 55 to 31.

“The bottom line is that Katherine Harris’s support is so low that she’s down to just about the basic Republican vote that any Republican would get in Florida, that she’s not really attracting beyond that base and that her negatives continue to pile up.”

Richards says Harris’s numbers have been falling steadily since they began polling in the Senate race. Republican leaders feared a backlash because of Harris’s role in presidential recount of 2000 when she was Florida’s secretary of state and those fears are turning into reality, but so far she’s the only Republican in the race.