POLITICS
01/31/2014 01:32 pm ET | Updated Jan 31, 2014

Florida Governor's Poll Finds Rick Scott Lagging Behind Charlie Crist

Former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist (D) has an 8-point lead over Gov. Rick Scott (R) in this year's gubernatorial race, according to a poll released Thursday by Quinnipiac University.

The poll found Crist taking 46 percent among Florida voters, with Scott at 38 percent. Crist, who served his term as a Republican before switching parties, was viewed more positively than negatively, with 44 percent viewing him favorably and 35 percent unfavorably. Scott was less popular, with a 38 percent favorable rating and a 45 percent unfavorable rating.

Scott has staked his campaign largely on a platform of economic recovery, arguing that Florida's economy has improved under his tenure after cratering during Crist's. Voters in the latest poll, however, give Crist a small edge over Scott, 47 percent to 42 percent, on whom they most trust to handle the economy and jobs.

Crist has been ahead in all public polling released so far, but his lead appears to have narrowed from the double-digit advantage he held in the spring of 2013. Other recent polls have showed a significantly closer race between Crist and Scott, including a January survey from the Democratic firm PPP that put Scott 2 points ahead. HuffPost Pollster's tracking model, which incorporates all publicly available polling, currently gives Crist a lead of about 6 points over Scott.

The Quinnipiac poll surveyed 1,565 registered Florida voters by phone between Jan. 22 and Jan. 27.

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