Published: Aug 18, 2010 11:37 PM EDT
Updated: Aug 18, 2010 5:25 PM EDT

LEE COUNTY, Fla. - Bill McCollum is all smiles, riding the wave of support from a new poll by Quinnipiac University.   It shows the Fla. Attorney General, beating republican opponent Rick Scott, 44 to 35 percentage points. 

"I am very pleased, I believe we are going to win the primary over Mr. Scott next Tuesday, and we are going to win decisively," said McCollum, in a one-on-one interview with WINK News.

McCollum says voters are looking closely at the two republicans, and deciding that honesty and integrity are key.   "I believe they are flowing my way, based on those characteristics.   People know me and my record.  What do we know of Rick Scott?   That he headed Columbia health care system in the 1990's, and after he left, the company paid a huge medicare fraud fine.  How can we trust him to be the chief executive officer of the state of Florida?"

Both men have similar positions on immigration and job creation.  Each says he would be "the chief economic development officer for the state" from the first day in office.   The similarities may explain why the campaign has turned to personal attacks. 

"I don't like being attacked, but we have survived what Scott is saying about us, some falsehoods, and we are coming back with a great grass-roots campaign," said McCollum.  "I am proud of my record of public service, as a congressman going back to the Ronald Reagan days, to my time as Attorney General, fighting child abusers.    I have a strong record, and I do not run away from it,"

The Scott campaign told WINK News:   "The polls are fluid and differing.   It's very tight.  We expect desperate tactics and comments from a career politician who has never created a private sector job."

Columbia/HCA paid a billion dollar medicare fraud fine, after Scott resigned as CEO of the company.