22 June 2005

Poll puts Crist and Davis way out front

The latest Mason-Dixon poll has the leaders of each party's primary way out in front. In the end, the Republicans look likely to hold onto the governor's mansion in Florida.

In the GOP primary, Attorney General Charlie Crist is the big winner, leading Chief Financial Officer Tom Gallagher by a margin of 41 to 23 percent. Lieutenant Governor Toni Jennings, who has not declared for the race, trailed at 7 percent. Undecided voters account for 29 percent. With Jennings out of the race, Crist leads by a 19-point margin, 43 to 24 percent.

On the Democratic side, Tampa Congressman Jim Davis holds a healthy lead in his party's primary, getting 23 percent over former Democratic Party Chairman Scott Maddox who registers at 12 percent and Alachua County Senator Rod Smith who distantly trails with 4 percent. The number of undecided voters dwarf those on the Republican side, accounting for 61 percent of the vote. The poll was done prior to yesterday's news that the Florida Democratic Party, under the leadership of Maddox, had failed to pay $200,000 to the IRS in federal payroll and social security taxes.

In the general election matchup, the Democrats fall short. Crist defeats Davis 41 to 28 percent, with 31 percent undedided. And Gallagher beats Davis 38 to 29 percent, with 33 percent undecided.

The poll should not be treated as gospel, and no candidate should yet be declared the winner. The sample size in the Mason-Dixon poll was small, 625 registered voters, so the margin of error is quite large. In the general election matchup, the MoE is 4 percent. In the primaries, where 400 Republicans and 400 Democrats were surveyed, the MoE is a whopping 5 percent. Additionally, polls this early are primarily a guage on name recognition. The only candidate who should be concerned by this fact is Maddox, who as chair of the state party enjoyed high media coverage and should have registered higher.

The poll is good news for Crist and Davis, because it is a tool that they can use to raise funds. Campaign contributions always come easier for a candidate who has a good poll to share with friends.


Anonymous tdog said...

I am not buying the numbers in the Republican primary. As Tom Gallagher said, the poll doesn't reflect the nature of true primary voters. TRANSLATION: Those numbers will change as more conservative Republicans learn that Crist is a closet homosexual! We're going to have an outting on the Republican side, and it is going to get ugly.

The Democratic numbers seem about right. I would expect Maddox to drop into Rod Smith territory soon because of yesterday's news. The election looks like its for Davis to lose. Anything can happen, but with the Graham machine behind Davis, I can't see anyone knocking him off. Still, 61% undecided is significant, so never say never.

11:50:00 AM  
Blogger Josh said...

Maddox will be okay. Wait and see.

In regards to the Republican primary, I agree that the numbers seem off. Gallagher has been 3 or 4 points out in every poll until this one. No way he drops 10% for doing nothing.

Crist I expect to win however the primary but lose the General.

1:20:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maddox is done, and so is Smith. Smith should run for Attorney General. We need a strong candidate in that race, and he would be it. He can't win the governor's race and should realize that now.

1:21:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


You really believe Maddox will be fine and Crist who is a prolific vote getter would lose to a Democratic cast of bozos?

The lobbyists must be shaking it their boots. Rod Smith at 4%? Are you kidding, everybody who hangs out a Clyde's loves him so thus he is the best candidate for Governor without question!

1:29:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


You have continued to promote Maddox at all costs and without any sort of critical analysis for ever now. How is your patron saint going to escape being the most fiscaly irresponsible person to run for Governor in our lieftime in either party? If the Democrats stick with Maddox I will become and Independent and chalk up the Democrats as a party totally absent any morals. You want to know what Moral Values really are? It isn't what the GOP presents, but something this simple- you pay your taxes and run your business honestly and openly. You don't use subterguge (sp?) to throw reporters and voters off the track. You come clean, you admit mistakes. Maddox is jerk who deserves to be run out of the state for this. From my understanding the same thing happened with his father at the PBA, so perhaps it is a family tradition?

2:31:00 PM  
Anonymous TRW said...

Maddox needs to drop out ASAP. The longer he lingers, the better chance he will be taking the entire party down with him.

3:12:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree. Maddox is entangling the entire Democratic party in this financial debacle. The party should distance itself from him and this mess as quickly as possible. Smith would be a good candidate for Attorney General, but as of now, he has little chance to survive a major statewide race. I say, lets save some face this time around and avoid a messy primary. Democrats should embrace Davis as the best choice and but the other two guys (one tangled up in financial ruin and the other an unknown) to rest.

9:20:00 PM  
Blogger Kartik said...

Davis' number seems consistently in the 20s while Maddox is consitently in the teens. This is the first poll in a while where Smith has been in single digits, but that's largely a product of having no name ID statewide, and that will change. Considering Maddox has run statewide and Davis has not, the fact that Davis is ahead of Maddox is a very bad sign for Scott's camp. Maddox was however polling low in the AGs primary also, and ended up coming within a hair of the nomination, so perhaps this poll means nothing.

Crist is probably not 21 points ahead of Gallagher in reality, but at the same time he's not going to lose the nomination either. As an operative for Florida Democrats I have been down the plank several times when we have underestimated Charlie Crist, and I personally will not make that mistake again. Gallagher, on the other hand seems to fizzle out every time he tries to step out of the cabinet and run for Senate or Governor.

8:45:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is NOT A GATE! Seriously, you people are jumping the gun trying to find something juicy where there is nothing more than boring bookkeeping errors. And where did you hear there would be a press conference? There was never one scheduled. So it was never canceled.

11:46:00 AM  
Blogger Nicole said...

I don't know if you'd all heard.. but the "missing" money was not missing at all. And as for paying the taxes.. a company was hired to do that, same as many people run down to H&R Block to have their taxes done, and they failed. Still, though, Scott Maddox stood up and took responsibility for any mistakes that might have been made. That, in my eyes, is true leadership, the kind that the Democratic Party and the state of Florida needs. Maddox needs to STAY, and give this party the energy, focus, and accountability that some candidates are lacking.

12:08:00 PM  
Anonymous browarddem06 said...

There is a hidden Maddox vote on the grassroots. We are all working hard for him, bringing out new, younger voters. Like Howard Dean he will surge come the fall, but unlike Dean he won't falter. Knowing this, the establishment tried to take us down already with these false claims of missing money. We have survived and will win the nomination.

3:25:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

All I know....is that polls are only that...take the exit polls in the Presidential race this past year....every poll had Bush losing by huge numbers in Florida....and as you know George W took the state by some of the biggest margins in recent history. Gallagher might be slow out of the gate, but with the superstar team he has behind him I wouldn't call the race yet!!!! I do know however, GOP will keep control of the Governor's post.

10:47:00 AM  
Anonymous old school said...

It doesn't matter whether maddox or smith or davis is our nominee, the Democrats are not beating Crist or gallagher (likely Crist). Unless a Betty castor or another figure with statewide name rec runs, that race is lost as we speak.

The whole gay rumor about Crist has not been prove, while it may be true, and has not stopped Crist from winning GOP primaries or two state wide offices.

The race I am focusing on is beating Nelson v. harris, and I hope Nelson pulls it out.

5:00:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To the anonymous blogger who wrote about the press conference - there IS going to be one. As a member of a county DEC steering committee, our chair told us that Chairwoman Thurman knows the identity of the person who wrote the cashier's check for the $10,500 fine. Our chair didn't divulge what Thurman told them (during the weekly chair conference call), but we will all know soon enough.

8:45:00 PM  

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