Florida Gov. Rick Scott now leads Democratic challenger Charlie Crist by 2 percentage points — from being tied just five months ago — in the latest Mason-Dixon poll released Saturday.
The survey of 625 likely Sunshine State voters conducted Tuesday through Thursday found Scott ahead of Crist, 43 percent to 41 percent, with Libertarian candidate Adrian Wyllie taking 4 percent.
In April, Scott and Crist were tied at 42 percent. The latest results were reported by the Miami Herald.
Mason-Dixon conducted the poll for Telemundo, the Spanish-language cable network, and Leadership Florida/Florida Press Association. The groups will be hosting gubernatorial debates next month.
According to Brad Corker, Mason-Dixon's president, Scott continues to enjoy strong support from Republicans, men, whites, and voters over 65 years old. Crist leads among Democrats, women, blacks, and voters under 35.
However, voters aged 35 to 64 are about evenly divided between Scott and Crist, Corker said in his analysis. And while Hispanics and independent voters in the survey leaned slightly to Crist, "the number of undecided voters in these groups is high," he said.
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.
The Mason-Dixon survey comes a day after former President Bill Clinton stumped for Crist in Miami. He implored Democrats to defy historical trends and turn out to vote in November.
"We're great at doing what's right if there's a presidential election on the ballot but we're not nearly as good as our Republican opponents are at showing up in the midterm elections," Clinton told several hundred people at the rally. "The whole shebang is going to depend on who shows up."
Several other Democratic heavyweights are expected to campaign for Crist in the coming weeks, including Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, who's scheduled to be in the state on Monday, and Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley, who will campaign on Sept. 20.
O'Malley is considering a run for the White House in 2016.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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