POLITICS

Rick Scott Trails Charlie Crist In 2014 Matchup: Poll

03/19/2013 01:11 pm ET | Updated Mar 19, 2013

Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) would lose a 2014 reelection battle to former Gov. Charlie Crist by 12 percentage points, according to a poll released Tuesday by the Democratic firm Public Policy Polling (PPP).

Crist took 52 percent to Scott's 40 percent among likely voters in the survey. Nearly three in 10 Republicans said they would vote for Crist, who served as a Republican governor before becoming an independent and then a Democrat.

Other hypothetical matchups showed Scott losing the general election, by smaller margins, to former Tampa Mayor Pam Iorio and to his 2010 opponent, former state Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink. He had a 6-point edge over former state Sen. Nan Rich.

Scott is widely considered one of 2014's most vulnerable incumbent governors, and just one-third of Florida voters approved of his job performance in the PPP poll. Even among Republicans, his approval rating was barely above water, with 46 percent approving and 42 percent disapproving.

A December poll from Quinnipiac University found that Scott's numbers were "just plain awful" and that most Florida voters, including Republicans, wanted to see him challenged in a primary election.

In the PPP poll, however, Scott held his own against two possible GOP challengers, Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi and state Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam, defeating both by double-digit margins.

The PPP survey used automated phone calls to 500 voters, including 326 Republican primary voters, between March 15 and 18.

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