Rick Scott remains the stronger of the two Republican hopefuls for governor of Florida against Democrat Alex Sink, with independent candidate “Bud” Chiles siphoning votes from both parties.
The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of Likely Voters in Florida shows Scott with 35% of the vote, Sink with 31% and Chiles trailing at 16%. Six percent (6%) like some other candidate in the race, and 12% are undecided.
If state Attorney General Bill McCollum is the GOP candidate, Sink earns 31% of the vote to McCollum’s 27%. Chiles picks up 20% of the vote. Eight percent (8%) favor another candidate, and 13% remain undecided.
This is the first Rasmussen Reports survey to include Chiles, the son of a popular former Democratic governor. In June, Scott posted a 45% to 40% lead over Sink, while McCollum edged the Democrat 40% to 38%.
It appears that Chiles, the son of a former Governor of the state, continues to pull from both parties. Chiles himself was formerly a Democrat, as was his father throughout his colorful political career. Many Democrats fear Chiles may split votes with Sink and allow the Republican an easy victory in November.
Since Rick Scott entered the race, he has managed to self-fund himself a major lead in the primary. Thus, it appears that the 16% figure for Chiles is more likely than 20% to be the scenario that plays out after the primary. However, it is interesting that Chiles gets a 4% bump from McCollum on the ballot. McCollum’s favorables have been destroyed by Scott’s negative ad campaign, so it may be that Chiles is the beneficiary of some Republican discontent.