Scott takes 13-point lead over McCollum in FL GOP gubernatorial primary poll

posted at 10:55 am on June 10, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

After Charlie Crist passed on an opportunity to get an easy re-election win as Governor in Florida to run for the US Senate, most people figured Attorney General Bill McCollum would easily win the Republican nomination, and almost as easily win the general election.  Just as with the Senate race, though, an unexpected challenge has set the establishment candidate on his heels.  Rick Scott, former CEO of the Columbia/HCA hospital chain and an activist against ObamaCare over the past year, has spent millions of his own money to introduce himself to Florida voters, and they seem to like what they see, according to a poll out today by Quinnipiac:

Political neophyte Rick Scott has surged to a 44 – 31 percent lead over Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum in the race for the Republican nomination for governor, apparently powered by a multi-million dollar television ad blitz to introduce him to voters, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today. …

Scott, a former health care executive, began running television commercials this spring when McCollum held a huge lead over State Sen. Paula Dockery, his only challenger for the GOP nomination for governor. But she dropped out of the race once the size of Scott’s financial resources and willingness to spend became apparent.

“In addition to being a testament to the power of television, Scott’s ability to take the lead so quickly is also a reflection on McCollum’s lack of strong support within his own party despite his two decades in Florida politics,” said Brown.

Scott is viewed favorably by 40 percent of Republicans; unfavorably by 12 percent and 46 percent say they don’t know enough about him to form an opinion. McCollum, in his third statewide race and having spent a decade in Congress, is viewed favorably by 41 percent; unfavorably by 19 percent and 36 percent don’t have an opinion.

It looks less like a reflection on McCollum than a distrust of establishment candidates — and not just among Republicans. The same poll shows the Democratic self-funder, Jeff Greene, moving into a statistical dead heat with Kendrick Meek, the establishment Democrat expected to win the Senate nomination until Greene belatedly joined the race. Greene has some heavy baggage, having made hundreds of millions of dollars shorting the housing industry over the last two years and embodying exactly the kind of heartless Wall Street financier that Democrats have demonized since 2008. That doesn’t seem to have slowed him down any.

Scott’s lead is an across-the-board affair. He leads with both men and women, and his favorability numbers are high despite a large percentage of people who have not yet known him. That indicates the success of his initial ad campaign, which has allowed Scott to define himself rather than get defined by his opposition or the media.

Other winds may be at his back, and at the GOP’s back, too. Floridians approve of the Arizona immigration-enforcement law by a whopping 30 points, 59/29, and favor an enforcement approach by an even wider margin, 68/24. Voters want Florida to pass a similar law, 55/34, and a majority do not believe it will result in discrimination towards Hispanics. More than eight in ten Floridians oppose any boycotts of Arizona, while only 11% offer support for the idea.

Update: I should have made clear that I was talking about the Democratic nomination for Senate in the above poll between Greene and Meek. The way it originally read, it sounds as if I meant the Democratic nomination for Governor. The poll looked at the GOP primary race for Governor and the Democratic primary race for the Senate. Sorry if I was not clear enough the first time around.


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I hope we know who all these new people are.

faraway on June 10, 2010 at 10:59 AM

The tea party (i.e. average people getting involved) is nice but it has encouraged some crazies to run and allowed some crazies to win.

Illinidiva on June 10, 2010 at 11:01 AM

If Floridians don’t like establishment politicians, than why in hell is Crist climbing in the polls? I don’t get the thinking here.

capejasmine on June 10, 2010 at 11:03 AM

As long as they have experience in the business world, especially at the head of an enterprise, I think this is a good change. Let’s get fresh blood into politics…preferably with executive experience. Get the career pols outta here. That’s change I can believe in!

search4truth on June 10, 2010 at 11:03 AM

I hope we know who all these new people are.
faraway on June 10, 2010 at 10:59 AM

To quote Bill Buckley, I’d rather be govered by the first 435 names in the Boston phone book than the faculty of Harvard.

At least we know they ain’t all from Harvard.

Akzed on June 10, 2010 at 11:05 AM

It does make for some interesting times!

Where’s my teapot?

heldmyw on June 10, 2010 at 11:06 AM

Those statistics regarding Florida’s approval of the Arizona Law leave me perplexed. How on Gods green earth is Crist tied with Rubio? It does not compute.

sandee on June 10, 2010 at 11:06 AM

The tea party (i.e. average people getting involved) is nice but it has encouraged some crazies to run and allowed some crazies to win.

Illinidiva on June 10, 2010 at 11:01 AM

Who are the crazies that won?

faraway on June 10, 2010 at 11:06 AM

This is a shame. Bill McCollum is exactly what Florida needs, a strong fiscal conservative who isn’t on a vanity trip.

rockmom on June 10, 2010 at 11:07 AM

If Floridians don’t like establishment politicians, than why in hell is Crist climbing in the polls? I don’t get the thinking here.

capejasmine on June 10, 2010 at 11:03 AM

That’s because Crist is doing it for “the people”.

/sarc

Doughboy on June 10, 2010 at 11:07 AM

McCollum has already gone negative on Scott. Thank goodness Scott hasn’t returned fire. He just keeps on with his ideas for Florida and lets McCollum sit in his own mud.

McCollum could change his tune, but seems reluctant to do so. This helps explain why he’s behind in the polls. He’s already said, in reference to a similar anti-illegal law in Florida, “That’s not gonna happen here.” Really, Bill? How about you listening to your constituents for once? We have a big problem that’s been allowed to fester for years and now we have a way to fix it. We kinda expected you to do it, but in your decades of “service” you seem less than interested in what the people of Florida want.

BackwardsBoy on June 10, 2010 at 11:08 AM

C’mon–anyone without a felony conviction is more desireable than a typical democrat (assuming the MSM does its usual thorough job of looking for other dirt on GOP candidates and finds nothing significant).

horatio on June 10, 2010 at 11:09 AM

Voters want Florida to pass a similar law, 55/34, and a majority do not believe it will result in discrimination towards Hispanics

Interesting considering the pose that Florida takes about people escaping Cuba.

There may be a tactical lesson here, I think, for open borders advocates. Instead of cozying up to Mexico, they should make Mexico an enemy: demonize and isolate the Mexican government the way one does the Castro regime. And instead of talking about Mexican illegals like Hope Pioneers For Lady Liberty or whatever, they should discuss them as refugees from the toxic narco-state the way we discuss Cuban defectors. Almost no one cares how many Cubans hop a raft to Florida (‘teh racist xenophobes’ narrative from the left notwithstanding), and I think the illegal immigrant lobby would do itself a world of good if they reframed the narrative as one of rescue instead of rights.

Lehosh on June 10, 2010 at 11:12 AM

Alright, in fairness to Florida I have ordered my crew to stop sawing the state away from the continent…for now. If Crist gets elected, or Green/Meek then I will be forced to have them start up again.

Bishop on June 10, 2010 at 11:15 AM

For all the anti-incumbent talk… I don’t know if it’s true but I heard that last Tuesday 82 out of 84 incumbents won their primary races. Confirm, anyone?

Aquateen Hungerforce on June 10, 2010 at 11:16 AM

Who are the crazies that won?

faraway on June 10, 2010 at 11:06 AM

Angle strikes me as having some incredibly kooky ideas in the public health sector/preventative care. It wouldn’t shock me if there was some paper out there warning against vaccinations.

Illinidiva on June 10, 2010 at 11:16 AM

The last thing a candidate for office wants this year is the word INCUMBENT next to their name.

GarandFan on June 10, 2010 at 11:17 AM

BackwardsBoy on June 10, 2010 at 11:08 AM

He hit the nail on the head.

Scott has had a combined message of what he is for and what about McCullum’s positions he doesn’t like. The ONLY ads McCullum is running are ones touting the “Rick Scott Fraud Files” where he basically accuses Rick Scott of Medicare fraud.

McCullum is basically behaving like the career politician Scott is calling him by going negative first and only. That is really what is turning people against him and toward Scott.

bj1126 on June 10, 2010 at 11:17 AM

The tea party (i.e. average people getting involved) is nice but it has encouraged some crazies to run and allowed some crazies to win.

Illinidiva on June 10, 2010 at 11:01 AM

As opposed to Obama? How he didn’t get run out of town after Jeremiah Wright came to light I’ll never know.

BuckeyeSam on June 10, 2010 at 11:18 AM

Who are the crazies that won?

faraway on June 10, 2010 at 11:06 AM
Angle strikes me as having some incredibly kooky ideas in the public health sector/preventative care. It wouldn’t shock me if there was some paper out there warning against vaccinations.

Illinidiva on June 10, 2010 at 11:16 AM

Sounds like you can’t really back up your overly generalized statement with actual, you know, specifics.

dczombie on June 10, 2010 at 11:19 AM

Sounds like you can’t really back up your overly generalized statement with actual, you know, specifics.

dczombie on June 10, 2010 at 11:19 AM

Umm.. She’s already against treating kids for ADHD and fluroide in the water so it isn’t a real stretch.

Illinidiva on June 10, 2010 at 11:23 AM

OT/Rasmussen has Angle 50% Reid 39%.

sandee on June 10, 2010 at 11:23 AM

Lehosh on June 10, 2010 at 11:12 AM

Hmm, let’s see, one escapes his communist county for political asylum, and the other leaves for economic reasons. No difference, right?

lovingmyUSA on June 10, 2010 at 11:25 AM

I’m with Angle on both those issues. Fluoride is not in most water systems already. Our County is one. ADHD is misdiagnosed quit a lot. Yes it does exist, but it has been attributed to a lot of Children with behavioral problems.Treating Children with drugs is not always the best approach.

sandee on June 10, 2010 at 11:30 AM

McCollum is like the Charlie Brown of FL politics. Came up short to Nelson. Was slashed and burned by Martinez. Now is on the path of losing this nomination. However, FL is a great state to retire to!

The only thing that matter is someone who’s reasonably conservative and can win. It’s the redistricting stupid.

TimTebowSavesAmerica on June 10, 2010 at 11:31 AM

McCollum is a lifelong career politician. He’s the ultimate insider of the worst kind. He talks the talk to get elected, and then does the typical go along to get along D.C. dance. He’s a drain on the taxpayer and needs to be defeated. I want fresh blood from the PRIVATE SECTOR in the Governors office. Rick Scott knows all too well how businessmen and women struggle with taxation, regulation, and litigation. He’ll be more in the mold of a Chris Christie, whereas McCollum is in the mold of a McCain/Graham.

roninacreage on June 10, 2010 at 11:38 AM

Lehosh on June 10, 2010 at 11:12 AM

Cuban refugees are not illegal. They legally apply for, and receive, refugee status.

So, to re-cast Mexican illegal immigrants as similar to Cuban refugees would take actual changes in Federal law, and foreign policy. Are you suggesting that we sever diplomatic ties with the Mexican government, as we have with the Cuban one? Perhaps an embargo on Mexican goods?

There’s already plenty of sympathy among most conservatives I know for the plight of Mexican citizens. And I’ve heard of dozens of ideas about US policies that would improve their lives (as well as our own.) I wouldn’t count severing ties with the Mexican government and bringing millions of Mexicans here as refugees as among the 2 or 3 dozen best of those ideas….

notropis on June 10, 2010 at 11:45 AM

Didn’t see Anderson Cooper on this? Well, Mccollum paid a gay adoption “expert” 90,000 to testify in his professional capacity about the evils of gay adoption. This expert recently returned from Europe with a paid gay-boy toy and they caught the Focus on the Family guy at the airport. Now this has been all over lib web sites and on various show such as Maddow. Well McCollum can’t even keep his Facebook up without it being bombblasted. War has been declared on him. Believe me, he doesn’t want to talk about it.

Marcus on June 10, 2010 at 11:53 AM

Btw, the “gay adotion expert” is a Focus on the Family minister and is not (openly) gay, just testifies against gay adoption.

Marcus on June 10, 2010 at 11:56 AM

Mccollum paid a gay adoption “expert” 90,000 to testify in his professional capacity about the evils of gay adoption.

Marcus on June 10, 2010 at 11:53 AM

His own money, or the Florida taxpayers’?

notropis on June 10, 2010 at 11:57 AM

? Can a newly elected Gov with tons of business experience avoid the “trappings of power” long enough to make a difference?

I may talk to Rick Scott on Friday. Maybe I’ll ask him that very question.

McCollum reminds me too much of my old boss. (He also dedicated his lifes work to one “corporation/profession) and in the end they dumped him like a bag of old clothes.

AnthonyK on June 10, 2010 at 11:57 AM

The commercials Scott has been running against McCollum have proven to be effective.

Scott backs AZ’s immigration law. The commercials have a recording of McCollum, in his own voice, saying “We don’t need that law in FL. That’s not what’s gonna happen here.” Since that sound byte aired, Billy Mac has been cratering in the polls. He has yet to respond or “clarify” his position.

crushliberalism on June 10, 2010 at 12:00 PM

We know Rick Scott personally – my husb worked with him in HCA. My spouse is not easily impressed with people but thinks Rick Scott is amazingly brilliant and extremely ethical.

The whole “scandal” about the billing fines his company had to pay was nothing less than Hillary & Bill thuggary because Scott opposed Hillary-Care.

stenwin77 on June 10, 2010 at 12:02 PM

I’m with Angle on both those issues. Fluoride is not in most water systems already. Our County is one. ADHD is misdiagnosed quit a lot. Yes it does exist, but it has been attributed to a lot of Children with behavioral problems.Treating Children with drugs is not always the best approach.

sandee on June 10, 2010 at 11:30 AM

Those views come off as conspiracy-theory-ish to me, especially given Angle’s relationship with the Scientology.

Illinidiva on June 10, 2010 at 12:08 PM

I’d rather see McCollum remain as our A.G. so he can focus on the suit he filed against the ObamaCare crap sandwich. I’ve met McCollum, really nice guy…

Key West Reader on June 10, 2010 at 12:10 PM

Mccollum paid a gay adoption “expert” 90,000 to testify in his professional capacity about the evils of gay adoption.
Marcus on June 10, 2010 at 11:53 AM
His own money, or the Florida taxpayers’?
notropis on June 10, 2010 at 11:57 AM

Taxpayers. His Republican opponent will benefit from the pink Operation Rush going on here.

Marcus on June 10, 2010 at 12:11 PM

Given the completely legal Cuban and Puerto Rican influence, I think it would be pretty hard to paint the AZ law in Florida as racist.

John Deaux on June 10, 2010 at 12:12 PM

For all those that are going to rip Sharon Angle for any “crazy” ideas ( not AP, I’m sure), I think any rebut needs only be 3 words.
Senator Al Franken

jjshaka on June 10, 2010 at 12:25 PM

When Chris Cristy was running there were lots of folks from NJ calling this guy a RINO and did so until the election. Turns out he isn’t. Now we have comments like the tea party elects “crazies”. Unbelievable!
First the tea party is not a political party. Learn it, live it, love it. We cannot elect or nominate anyone. However, what we do is to gather information about candidates and if we like what we see we can support them individually if we want. We do not “run” anyone.
The tea party’s focus is the Constitution! That’s it. We are looking for good people who actually will support and defend it, not pretenders. If we make a mistake, we vote them out. Hold their feet to the fire. If they pass we all win. It’s nothing more complicated than that and we will be around for a long time because polititians sometimes “forget” that they swore and oath to the Constitution.

BetseyRoss on June 10, 2010 at 12:55 PM

…his favorability numbers are high despite a large percentage of people who have not yet known him.

Man, they’ll do anything to get elected in Florida. How Biblical. ;-)

irishspy on June 10, 2010 at 12:57 PM

I worked for HCA when it was bought by Rick Scott’ Columbia healthcare. It broke my heart to see how he destroyed that company and it’s reputation in a few short years. I was never happier when he was forced out and the Frist family came back in control of the once again HCA (Hospital Corp. of America.

bopbottle on June 10, 2010 at 1:00 PM

Scott has been buying alot of airtime here in South Florida and the spots are every effective. While he speaks about the issues in his ads, McCollum slings mud in his. Let’s hope FL voters start paying more attention to this race and to Rick Scott specifically.

Redneck Woman on June 10, 2010 at 1:09 PM

rubber republicans beware …

Scott is the real deal.

tarpon on June 10, 2010 at 1:35 PM

McCollum is a lifelong career politician. He’s the ultimate insider of the worst kind. He talks the talk to get elected, and then does the typical go along to get along D.C. dance. He’s a drain on the taxpayer and needs to be defeated. I want fresh blood from the PRIVATE SECTOR in the Governors office. Rick Scott knows all too well how businessmen and women struggle with taxation, regulation, and litigation. He’ll be more in the mold of a Chris Christie, whereas McCollum is in the mold of a McCain/Graham.

roninacreage on June 10, 2010 at 11:38 AM

Except McCollum isn’t running to go back to Washington, he is running for Governor! Remember, he is LEADING the group of state AGs suing to stop ObamaCare.

McCollum may not be the most exciting guy on the campaign trail, but he will be more of a Mitch Daniels or Jeb Bush as Governor – a solid fiscal conservative. Florida isn’t in bad shape and doesn’t need a a slash-and-burn guy like Chris Christie. McCollum already said he would have signed the education bill that Charlie Crist vetoed too. I don’t know how you can possibly call him a RINO like McCain/Graham.

rockmom on June 10, 2010 at 1:36 PM

It looks less like a reflection on McCollum than a distrust of establishment candidates

I am filled with such distrust.

I think the anti incumbent sentiment is correct. The parties are so decadent it will take a change of the representatives in office first, to crowbar the leeches and toads out of the back party offices.

If these new outsiders turn out to be Party plants, we retain the status quo, but some of them have to be free agents

Precinct captain battles are also needed but time is too short for this sinking nation

entagor on June 10, 2010 at 1:44 PM

What this article fails to mention that Scott was ousted by the corporation as CEO from HCA Hospitals because of MEDICARE FRAUD perpetuated by this company. It was doctors who were fraudulently billing Medicare by falsifying records and adding labs on that were never done. They stole from you, the taxpayer, over $100 million.
Scott wasn’t charged, however, HCA plead guilty to several charges and agreed to pay a fine of $1.7 billion by the federal government, the largest in history for this. In case you don’t recognize HCA, used to be Columbia, but changed their names after this case.
It is interesting that Ed’s article fails to mention this. Lets assume he didn’t know, fellow Floridians, do you really want a leader whose right hand didn’t know what the left hand was doing??????? Was he that ignorant and blind?
All you have to do is Google “Rick Scott HCA Medicare Fraud” and find out the facts before you vote for him.
I have rarely voted Democrat, but it this is who will win the Republican primary, I will have to bite the bullet and punch “D”.

LadyGator88 on June 10, 2010 at 2:03 PM

I’m with Angle on both those issues. Fluoride is not in most water systems already. Our County is one. ADHD is misdiagnosed quit a lot. Yes it does exist, but it has been attributed to a lot of Children with behavioral problems.Treating Children with drugs is not always the best approach.

sandee on June 10, 2010 at 11:30 AM

I’m no medical expert, but have known many parents who say their child is adhd. By observation, I’d say a lot would do better, without that all sugar diet they have their kids on, and others would do well, with a controlled smack on the bum every now, and then. Parents just want a magic pill to make it all better, so they don’t have to…you know….parent!

As for flouride, isn’t that bad for the elderly? I’m not really up to date on it, but I remember years back reading that it wasn’t good for the elderly to consume. Also, flouride by consumption can’t do much for the teeth, when it’s in the stomach, can it? Isn’t that why we have flouride rinses now, and almost every toothpaste has flouride?

capejasmine on June 10, 2010 at 2:39 PM

Good for Scott!

McCollum is a pompous douche who has been a politician for 25 years.

JohnBG on June 10, 2010 at 3:18 PM