Crist, Davis lead polls…still plenty of undecideds

August 31, 2006

newspaperFrom Miami Herald:

POLL

Crist keeps wide lead; Smith gains on Davis

By MARY ELLEN KLAS
meklas@MiamiHerald.com

Attorney General Charlie Crist’s formidable lead over Chief Financial Officer Tom Gallagher in the Republican primary for governor appears secure, according to a poll released Wednesday by Quinnipiac University, but with less than a week to go before Tuesday’s election, the race between the leading Democrats is still up for grabs.

Crist is ahead of Gallagher 57 to 32 percent, according to the Connecticut-based public opinion research group.

But the poll says the contest between U.S. Rep. Jim Davis and state Sen. Rod Smith is much tighter, with Davis leading 43-32 percent, while a substantial 24 percent of Democrats surveyed are still undecided. Among Republican voters, 12 percent say they have not made up their minds.

”The thing about undecideds is many of them often don’t vote,” said Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, adding that many Democrats have ”not been inspired” by the Democratic candidates this year.

The poll showed that Crist’s lead includes voters who identify themselves as ”born-again or evangelical Christians.” Among Republicans, 45 percent describe themselves within that conservative subset, and among those voters, Crist leads Gallagher 53 to 38 percent, although that sample has a margin of error of 8.7 percentage points.

The university surveyed likely primary voters in Florida Aug. 23-28, including 317 Republicans and 312 Democrats. Because of the small sample, the poll had a margin of error of 5.5 percentage points.

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