A new poll out this morning, September 24, 2014, by Quinnipiac University finds Libertarian Party of Florida candidate Adrian Wyllie with 8 percent of the vote to be Florida’s next governor. With a 3.1 percent margin for error, it brings him at 11 percent which is consistent with other polling and is just shy of the changing criteria to be included in the upcoming Florida gubernatorial debates. It’s an impressive number, especially when the poll reveals 86 percent of the respondents had not heard enough about Wyllie to form an opinion. This is mostly due to the general media failing to report Wyllie alongside Scott and Crist in their news reports.
Republican Rick Scott garnered 44 percent in the poll, while Democrat Charlie Crist was at 42 percent. The poll found 6 percent of the respondents either did not know who they were going to vote for or were voting for someone besides the top three candidates. Another interest statistic to draw from the poll is that 18 percent of those polled said their mind could be changed between now and the November 4, 2014 general election.
Even when polled excluding Wyllie, the race is too close to call as Floridians have a strong dislike of Scott and Crist. Forty-nine percent have a dis-favorable opinion of Charlie Crist and 48 percent do not like Scott. It has many wondering if Wyllie will gain from the 18 percent of Floridians who are not strongly committed to Crist or Scott.
Interestingly, a full 49 percent of those polled do not trust Charlie Crist and 51 percent found Rick Scott untrustworthy. Even 25 percent of Republicans do not find Scott trustworthy and 16 percent of Democrats find Crist untrustworthy.
“When fewer than four in 10 voters think both the Democratic and Republican candidates for governor are honest, you know this has been one of the nastiest races in state history,” said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll. “They have been throwing so much mud that they both are covered in it.
“The two voter groups that will tell the tale of the election are independent voters and those who are backing Libertarian candidate Adrian Wyllie. Gov. Rick Scott and former Gov. Charlie Crist are doing about the same with their respective party bases and former Republican Crist is not having any trouble being accepted by members of his new party.
“Wyllie voters are the bigger unknown because there is little way of predicting if they will stay with the third-party challenger or decide to switch to Scott or Crist in order to be with a winner,” Brown added.
“At this point, neither major party candidate is doing markedly better as a second choice of Wyllie voters. It is also worth considering that there is a consensus that negative campaigning tends to be a turnoff more to the very people who seem to hold the keys to the kingdom – independents and third-party voters.”