Former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist has a 7-point lead over incumbent Gov. Rick Scott (R) in the 2014 Florida gubernatorial race, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released Thursday.
Forty-seven percent of registered Florida voters supported Crist, who was elected as a Republican before becoming an independent and then a Democrat, compared to 40 percent who backed Scott. That's down slightly from two past Quinnipiac polls in March and June, when Crist led by 16 and 10 points, respectively.
Both Crist and Scott are generally well-known but divisive figures. Views of Scott were slightly negative, with 39 percent expressing a favorable opinion and 42 percent an unfavorable one. A 53 percent majority said he doesn't deserve to be reelected.
Crist's rating was positive by a narrow margin, with 49 percent viewing him favorably and 39 percent unfavorably. While Scott's favorability has remained mostly stable in past months, Crist's has declined a net 17 points since March.
The poll also found Crist leading against primary challenger, former Florida Senate Minority Leader Nan Rich (D), 60 percent to 12 percent. In a general election matchup, Rich would trail Scott by 8 points.
All eight polls taken on the race this year show Crist ahead, although the size of his lead has varied in recent surveys -- from 4 points in a University of North Florida poll to 12 points in a survey from the Democratic firm PPP. HuffPost Pollster's average, including all publicly polls, gives Crist an 8-point lead over Scott.
The Quinnipiac poll surveyed 1,646 registered Florida voters, including 544 Democrats, between Nov. 12 and Nov. 17, using live telephone interviews.