Scott narrowly edging Sink in new FL poll

With the Senate race all but over in Florida, more attention has turned to the gubernatorial race, where another outsider Republican faces an establishment Democrat.  Unlike Marco Rubio’s big lead in the polls, this race has stayed competitive, with Scott struggling to unite Republicans and Sink fighting a losing battle against anti-establishment fervor in these midterms.  According to the latest from Sunshine State News and voter survey service, the race has begun to break in Scott’s favor:

Republican Rick Scott has taken the lead over Democrat Alex Sink in Florida’s tight gubernatorial contest, according to a new Sunshine State News Poll.

Though Scott’s 44-42 advantage, with 14 percent still undecided, is within the margin of error, the Republican holds wider leads with voters most likely to cast ballots, the poll shows.

“Based on this poll, Scott has to be favored to win this,” said Jim Lee, president of Voter Survey Service, which conducted the sampling. “His margin is even better among ‘excellent’ voters, or those most likely to vote (a 3-point advantage), as well as among voters who voted in both the ’08 and ’06 general elections (a 4-point lead).

Four points is still pretty close, and Democrats are hardly without resources in the race.  If Kendrick Meek doesn’t make a move on Charlie Crist for second place in the next few days, whatever resources remain will probably go to Sink and her efforts to hold one statewide office away from the GOP.

Lee’s analysis looks more solid when considering the rest of the numbers.  After a bitter primary fight against Attorney General Bill McCollum, Scott had trouble uniting his Tea Party supporters with the rest of the GOP.  That tension appears to have dissipated, however, with Scott holding Republicans by a 74/11 margin and improving his favorability from 49/28 to 62/28 with the base.  He’s also flipped the independents since SSN’s last poll, leading 42/37 instead of trailing 36/47, a big switch and an indicator of momentum in the race.  Sink’s overall unfavorable number has jumped from 28% to 47%, equaling Scott’s numbers.

In order to win, Scott needs to woo the undecided independents and Republicans who have not quite rallied to his banner yet.  Sink, though, could win this with a big Democratic turnout — and bet on a splashy GOTV effort, if not explicitly for Sink, then at least for Meek to keep from finishing third behind both Rubio and Crist.  This one will likely go down to the wire.