Saturday, October 28, 2006


In recent weeks, it has been agreed that Republican Attorney General Charlie Crist has been the front runner in the gubernatorial race against Democratic Congressman Jim Davis. But how much of a lead was according to which poll you chose to believe. While a couple recently showed the race nearly too close to call, a couple of others still shows Crist with a double digit lead.

The latest St. Petersburg Times poll was released this morning, and it shows Crist with only a six percentage point lead with a week and a half left before election day. The numbers shows Crist favoured by 48 percent, Davis with 42 percent, with ten percent either undecided or supporting another candidate.

"The Oct. 22-25 statewide telephone survey of 800 voters was conducted for the St. Petersburg Times by Schroth/Eldon & Associates, which usually works with Democrats, and the Polling Co., which typically works with Republicans. The margin of error is plus or minus 3.5 percentage points."

One troubling factor for Davis that was confirmed here is that Crist is favoured in every region of Florida except the southeast region of Miami/Fort Lauderdale/West Palm Beach, which is the state's traditional Democratic hotbed. Crist's lead in the Tampa Bay region is eight points, 48-40 percent.

There are also some interesting numbers regarding the candidates' support among black and Hispanic voters.

So what do the pollsters say each man should do heading into these last ten days?

"Crist, they said, needs to closely ally himself with popular outgoing Gov. Jeb Bush. And, [pollster Kellyanne of The Polling Co.] Conway suggested, he should probably avoid becoming too negative in his campaign given that he has been winning over Democrats, independents and women who are likely to be alienated by attacks on Davis.

"Davis, on the other hand, needs to ramp up attacks on Crist to raise doubts about him among swing voters, which could be tough given Davis' limited resources. The pollsters also said Davis should work to mobilize African-American voters and stress his opposition - and Crist's support for - how the unpopular FCAT test is used in Florida."


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