Published: Jun 10, 2010 2:33 AM EDT
Updated: Jun 09, 2010 11:15 PM EDT

NAPLES, Fla.-- Republican Rick Scott of Naples was beaming on Wednesday, after a new poll shows him doing just as well as his primary opponent, Bill McCollum, when pitted against the likely democratic candidate for governor.

"I am ecstatic.   This shows our message is resonating with voters.  They need an outsider to come to the capitol.   We need a conservative like myself," Scott told WINK News in a one-on-one interview.

The Quinipiac poll shows Scott getting 42% of the votes, when pitted against democrat Alex Sink for governor.   McCollum also gets 42% for an easy win over Sink, who registers in the low to mid-30's.   Independent Bud Chiles registers about 19%.

"I am very pleased, because we have survived two weeks of brutal attacks against me," said Scott.

He told WINK that he learned from the scandal that rocked the company he headed in the 1990's, HCA/Columbia.   "Mistakes were made, we should have focused more on the internal auditing.  But I learned from that and I will make sure in government, we don't repeat the same mistakes over and over again.   In business, you  learn and make changes.  In government, they make mistakes, sweep them under the table, and do not make changes."    

HCA/Columbia paid huge fines for fraud in the 1990's.

Scott says, if he were governor now, he would be on the panhandle beaches every day, directing the effort with volunteers and paid staff.  "I would want to make sure we are getting the best ideas, and that BP is being held responsible to clean things up and compensate those who are hurt by the oil," Scott said.

As for the political race, Scott said he is having fun.  "I like talking with the people and hearing their issues.   I feel real good about our message and how we will do," he said.

Scott faces off against McCollum in the GOP primary in late August.  The winner of that primary will face Sink and Chiles, most likely, in the fall.