TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - Two wealthy newcomers to Florida politics who are self-financing their campaigns have taken double-digit leads in the state's Republican gubernatorial and Democratic Senate primary races, according to a poll released Thursday.
Former hospital operator Rick Scott was favored by 43 percent to 32 percent who preferred Attorney General Bill McCollum in the Republican gubernatorial race, according to a Quinnipiac University poll of 760 likely GOP voters taken July 22-27. Scott maintained a double-digit advantage he had compiled in an early June survey.
Meanwhile, billionaire businessman Jeff Greene shot ahead of U.S. Rep. Kendrick Meek in the Democratic Senate race. Greene was favored by 33 percent of 782 likely Democratic voters to Meek's 23 percent and former Miami Mayor Maurice Ferre's 4 percent. In a June poll by Quinnipiac, Meek held a 2-point edge.
The margin of error was plus or minus 3.6 percentage points among Republicans and 3.5 percentage points among Democrats. The primaries are Aug. 24.
Greene and Scott have each plowed millions from their personal fortunes into their campaigns, running statewide television
commercials for weeks while establishment candidates McCollum and Meek have largely been off the airwaves.
"Both (Scott and Greene) have battled their respective party hierarchies quite successfully at this point," said Peter Brown, the poll's assistant director. Brown noted a national anti-incumbency fervor also seems to be boosting Greene and Scott.