Q poll: Crist 47, Scott 40; medical marijuana support at 82%; Stand Your Ground support at 60%by George Bennett | November 21st, 2013
Charlie Crist begins his Democratic quest to recapture the governorship with a 47-to-40 percent lead over Republican Gov. Rick Scott, a new Quinnipiac University poll says. That’s down from a 10-point lead for Crist in June and a 16-point advantage in March.
Florida voters disapprove of the way Scott is doing his job by a 47-to-42 percent margin, the poll says. Asked to remember Crist’s performance as governor from 2007 to 2011, 53 percent say they approve of the way he handled the job and 36 percent disapprove.
Only 37 percent of voters say Scott “deserves to be re-elected,” with 53 percent saying he doesn’t deserve a second term. In June, voters said by a 50-to-35 percent margin that Scott didn’t deserve re-election.
Although he’s been a Democrat for less than a year, Crist tops former state Sen. Nan Rich in a Democratic primary by a 60-to-12 margin, the poll says. Rich has been seeking the Democratic nomination since April 2012, but 86 percent of voters — and 83 percent of Democrats — say they haven’t heard enough about her to form an opinion.
Crist was elected as a Republican but switched to no party affiliation in 2010 after he fell behind Marco Rubio in a GOP primary for Senate. He became a Democrat last December. Critics have branded Crist a shape-shifting opportunist; voters are evenly divided in their evaluation, with 46 percent saying Crist’s switches are a “positive thing” and 46 percent calling them a “negative thing.”
A potential ballot question on legalizing medical marijuana appears to have strong support. Asked about “allowing adults in Florida to legally use marijuana for medical purposes if their doctor prescribes it,” 82 percent are supportive and 16 percent opposed.
Asked about “allowing adults in Florida to legally possess small amounts of marijuana for personal use,” 48 percent are in favor and 46 percent opposed.
Florida’s “stand your ground” self-defense law is supported by 60 percent of voters in the poll and opposed by 34 percent. In June, before a jury acquitted George Zimmerman in the Trayvon Martin case, support was 57 percent and opposition 36 percent.
The Nov. 12-17 poll of 1,646 registered Florida voters has a 2.4 percent margin of error, with a 4.2 percent margin of error for the Democratic sample.