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Some good news today from Quinnipac:

Former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist (D) leads current Gov. Rick Rick Scott (R) in the 2014 Florida gubernatorial race by 7 percentage points according to a new poll.

The Quinnipiac Poll released Thursday found Crist leading Scott 47 percent to 40 percent. The silver lining for Scott is that a previous Quinnipiac poll in June found Crist leading the current governor 47 percent to 37 percent. In March a Quinnipiac poll had Crist leading Scott 50 percent to 34 percent.

A majority of voters also said that Scott does not deserve to be re-elected. The poll found that 53 percent believe Scott does not deserve another term while 37 percent say he does. Among Democrats, 83 percent said Scott should not be reelected while 9 percent said he should. By contrast 70 percent of Republicans surveyed said Scott should be reelected while 20 percent said he should not.

In a head-to-head matchup 80 percent of Republicans back Scott while 11 percent support Crist, the poll found. Among Democrats, Crist gets 86 percent while 4 percent goes to Scott. Independent voters are more split. The poll found that 44 percent of Independents would support Crist while 41 percent would support Scott. - TPM, 11/21/13

Here's a little more details:

Crist made his campaign for governor official at the beginning of November.

He maintains a strong lead in the Democratic primary, according to Quinnipiac, leading candidate Nan Rich 60 percent to 12 percent.

Voters approve of the job Crist did when he was governor, 53 percent to 36 percent.

Quinnipiac surveyed 1,646 registered voters from Nov. 12 to 17 for the poll, which has an error margin of plus or minus 2.4 percentage points. The sample included 544 Democrats with a margin of error of 4.2 percentage points. - Politico, 11/21/13

Now of course this is good news but it should be noted that the race has tightened since the last Quinnipac poll back in June:

Here's something Quinnipiac didn't note: the biggest shift in the data since its last poll in June: Charlie Crist’s image is taking a beating. In the June poll, Crist was had a favorable-unfavorable rating of 48/31 percent, an index of +17. Today's poll: 41/39. That's only a +2.  

Put another way, it's a net loss of 15 points in five months.
The big loss was among independents, regarded as Crist's strength. In June, Crist 's fav/unfav was 49/30, an index +19 among independents. Now he's 38/41, or –3. That's a big 22-point shift in 5 months.

Some of this is the work of Scott's team. They already began advertising against Crist as soon as he jumped in the race. And it's one of the reasons that Sen. Bill Nelson and his backers won't firmly slam the door on the idea of him getting in the race.

That said, a 7-point lead against an incumbent is still good. - Miami Herald, 11/21/13

Scott's unpopularity with Florida voters was made public very recently:

Now this is all good but we have to hope that Senator Bill Nelson (D. FL) makes up his mind soon and hopefully sits out the Governor's race:

SLUG: ph-health DATE: September 22, 2009 NEG: 209799 CREDIT: Ricky Carioti / TWP.  LOCATION:  Hart Senate Office Buidling SUMMARY: Members of Congress engage in opening remarks during the mark-up of the health care reform legislation at the Hart Senate Office Building on Tuesday. CAPTION: Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) makes his opening statement during the mark up session of the health care reform legislation on Capitol Hill Tuesday morning.  StaffPhoto imported to Merlin on  Tue Sep 22 13:10:03 2009
Nelson’s defenders say he’s not trying to hurt Crist, but he’s ready to be more of an “insurance policy” if Crist tanks. But the insurance policy also runs the risk of undermining the insured; Nelson’s interest could therefore become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

If Nelson does get in:

•  Nelson, a three-time statewide winner, becomes a little more-favored than Crist to beat Scott, according to lawmakers, pollsters and consultants of both parties. However, the last major poll by Quinnipiac University in June, showed each could beat Scott by exactly 10 points, and that Crist and Nelson had similar favorable ratings.

•  In Scott, Nelson faces a candidate like no other, a $100 million attack juggernaut. Though unpopular, Scott has a far tougher team than anything faced by Nelson, who had relatively easy-meat opponents he bested in Democratic wave years. Though Crist’s flip-floppery is an inviting target for Scott, so is Nelson’s record as a career Washington politician who has voted to raise taxes and back Obamacare.

•  Barack Obama has egg on his face. The president used Crist (and vice versa now) in his campaign and tapped him to speak at the national party convention. Top Florida Obama hands work for Crist, who officially became a Democrat at a White House Christmas reception.

•  A safe Democratic U.S. Senate seat — worth untold millions in D.C. — is put at risk. If Nelson becomes governor, he appoints his successor. Expect the GOP-led Florida Legislature to consider changing that — especially because some Nelson donors want him to appoint his protégé: Weston Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the Democratic National Committee’s chairwoman, reviled by many Republicans.

•  The Florida Democratic Party takes a step back. Lacking a bench, it had one clearly recognizable statewide figure — Nelson — until Crist joined its ranks. Now Nelson could undercut the politician who essentially increased the party’s number of high-profile Florida Democrats by 100 percent. - Miami Herald, 11/17/13

Nelson needs to decide if he wants to be Governor or a team player fast.  Crist needs to fundraise like crazy and we can't let this opportunity to slip.  In the mean time, if you would like to get involved with Crist's campaign, you can do so here:

Originally posted to pdc on Thu Nov 21, 2013 at 09:28 AM PST.

Also republished by The Democratic Wing of the Democratic Party, LatinoKos, and DKos Florida.

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