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Saturday, Nov 22, 2014

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Competing polls: Scott up 1, or Crist up 7

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Two new polls show sharply different results in the Florida governor’s race, and each side is criticizing the poll that shows it losing.

A new Public Policy Polling survey shows Democratic former Gov. Charlie Crist leading Republican Gov. Rick Scott 49-42 percent, while a poll commissioned by the Sunshine State News agency shows Scott leading by a point, 45-44 percent -- the first published poll to show Scott leading in the race.

The responses:

Republicans note that Public Policy Polling, a North Carolina-based polling and political consulting firm, serves mainly Democratic candidates and that this poll was commissioned by the liberal advocacy group MoveOn.

The poll sought to sample voters’ opinions on whether states should expand their Medicaid programs under the Affordable Care Act, as the Florida Legislature and Gov. Rick Scott have failed to do. It suggested that governors in states that haven’t could face political backlash in November.

“A Democratic pollster, working for a Democratic attack group, not only found Charlie Crist winning in Florida, but also claims Republicans are losing noncompetitive races in Kansas and Georgia,” said Scott campaign spokesman Greg Blair in an email.

Sunshine State News, meanwhile, is a news web site based in Tallahassee that covers state government and politics heavily, and is known for its conservative orientation. The editors of the site have refused to identify their corporate owners or investors.

Democrats contend the poll over-sampled elderly voters -- 40 percent of the respondents were 65 or older.

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