TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami) – Former Florida Governor Charlie Crist currently enjoys a seven-point lead over incumbent Republican Governor Rick Scott in the 2014 gubernatorial race, according to a new Quinnipiac University poll.

The poll pegged Crist’s lead at 47-40 percent, which is down slightly from a Q-poll taken in June that gave Crist a 47-37 percent lead in a then-hypothetical matchup with Scott.

While the new poll showed the margin narrowing, it also indicated that voters continue to have a generally negative view of Scott. For example, 42 percent of the people in the poll said they approved of the way Scot is handling his job, while 47 percent disapproved.

The poll shows voters split 46 percent to 46 percent about whether Crist’s party-switching is a positive or negative thing. Also, it showed that 53 percent of voters approve of the job Crist did as governor.

“To catch Crist, Scott is going to have to convince Florida voters that Crist was a bad governor and a political opportunist,” Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, said in a prepared statement. “And he is planning on spending tens of millions of dollars on television adds to make that argument. This will be an intensely negative campaign on both sides. The survivor will be the candidate voters dislike least on Election Day.”

In other words, get ready for a long, ugly campaign as Crist, as a Democrat, tries to oust the tea party favorite Scott.

(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The News Service of Florida contributed to this report.)

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