Saturday, February 1, 2014

Sunshine election

The Florida gubernatorial race has changed quite a bit, since the last polling numbers were released.  Public Policy Polling (PPP) has released their newest polls for the Sunshine State. 

Former Governor Charlie Crist was leading current governor Rick Scott by 12 points in an October poll.  That has all but disappeared, as Scott is now within 2 points of Crist, in January.  Neither candidates are particularly popular as Crist’s net favorability is now at -10 and Scott’s is at -17.  While Scott’s favorability is worse, he’s trending upwards, coming from a net favorability of -22 in October to now.  Crist, meanwhile is on the decline, falling 11 points in the last few months. 

Here is how the two candidates have fared in their net favorability among ideological factors:
Scott:
Ideology
Change
Very Liberal
-2
Somewhat liberal
+17
Moderate
+10
Somewhat conservative
+14
Very Conservative
-13

Crist:
Ideology
Change
Very Liberal
-4
Somewhat liberal
-23
Moderate
-7
Somewhat conservative
-4
Very conservative
-24

Based on the values for Scott, it appears that Scott is doing a nice job reaching out to the center of the electorate, even if it is to the detriment of his base (that got him elected in the first place).  Meanwhile, it looks like Crist can’t do anything right.  He’s losing support from all sides.  Favorability numbers don’t necessarily give us a great idea of how the electorate is voting, but let’s look at the changes for Scott.  We’re comparing Scott’s vote % compared from October to January.

Ideology
Change
Total
+3
Very liberal
-5
Somewhat liberal
+7
Moderate
+5
Somewhat conservative
+10
Very conservative
+4

But most of the voting shifts have been away from Crist, not really toward Scott.  So, let’s look at this.
Ideology
Change
Total
-7
Very liberal
-2
Somewhat liberal
-18
Moderate
-8
Somewhat conservative
-9
Very conservative
-4

Basically, we are seeing that Scott is somehow appealing to the middle of the electorate.  Crist is losing what should have been an easy middle to win.  Scott’s not able to take full advantage of Crist’s loss of support, like a stronger candidate would have.  But what seemed like an easy win for Crist is looking more and more likely that Scott will be able to win re-election despite his low favorables. 


So, we might have to address why Scott is gaining popularity while Crist is losing it. 

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