Florida Gov. Rick Scott has widened his lead over Democratic challenger Charlie Crist, according to new survey results released on Friday.
In a poll of 1,000 Sunshine State voters conducted by Associated Industries of Florida (AIF), Scott beats Crist by 47 percent to 41 percent, according to Political Fix Florida.
The lead, however, falls to 44-41 percent when Libertarian Adrian Wyllie is included — along with candidates with no party affiliation, and undecided voters, Political Fix Florida reports.
The survey queried likely voters on Sept. 4-7. AIF, one of Florida's largest business lobbying groups, has endorsed Scott in the Nov. 4 race. The organization generally shares its polling results only with members.
Crist, who was a Republican when he served one term as governor before making a failed bid for U.S. Senate in 2010, won the Democratic gubernatorial nomination last month. Scott was elected in 2010 as Crist's successor.
Crist began his campaign for U.S. Senate as a Republican, but switched to independent when tea party-backed Republican Marco Rubio led him in the polls. He lost to Rubio in a three-way general election.
Crist became a Democrat in 2012.
In recent weeks, polls have consistently shown that Scott has supplanted Crist’s early lead and now holds an advantage.
Crist’s popularity has slipped with nearly all demographics in the AIF poll — most likely because of Scott's spending of $30 million in often negative television ads, Political Fix Florida says.
By comparison, Crist’s camp has spent about $10 million on television spots.
The negative ads have soured voters for both leading candidates. Polling data has consistently shown that more voters viewed both unfavorably than those who view them favorably.
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