MIAMI (CBS4) – All eyes are on the race for Florida’s next Governor.  The most recent poll released Thursday morning shows a possible change in leadership for the State’s top job.

The poll conducted by Quinnipiac University shows that if the election was held today, former Governor Charlie Crist would once again get his old job back.

Crist has widened his lead over incumbent Governor Rick Scott by eight percentage points, 46 – 38.

“He was an excellent Governor as a Republican,” said Keith Waddington of Coral Gables.  “He’s going to be even better as a Democrat.”

“Crist vetoed the so-called education reform whereas Scott embraced it and so whereas Crist really acted as the protector of The state school system, Scott really embraced the idea of dismantling it – at least in many people’s minds,” said Associate Professor of Political Science George Gonzalez.

A similar poll conducted just two months ago had Crist with 47 percent to Scott’s 40 percent.

Male voters see the race pretty even, but the big difference in the election may lie in who women are endorsing.

Female voters are backing Crist 50 percent compared to just 34 for Scott.

“I think from the last time he was the Governor he did a good job,” said Bonnie Rodda of West Kendall about Charlie Crist.  “Not only that, since he left office the new Governor is not doing a good job in terms of insurance,” she added.

When it comes to the most important issues of the economy and unemployment, 47 percent said Crist will do a better job compared to 42 percent in favor of Scott.

“We have a unique circumstance here,” said Gonzalez.  “You have a former governor and a current governor, so people very well can compare and think about important ways of what was the governing style of one governor versus another governor.”

When asked about how he’s doing on the job, Governor Scott got a 49 percent approval rating.  Meanwhile, as Florida voters reflect on former Governor Crist’s days in office, 53 percent give him the thumbs up.

“Former Governor Scott’s stance on education is not forward thinking,” said Aline Hernandez of Coconut Grove.

She plans on lending her support to Charlie Crist.

When asked who’s the stronger leader, both candidates split down the middle with 43 percent each.  The poll has a 2.5% margin of error.  Five percent of those surveyed said they’d either vote for someone else or not vote at all while 10 percent were undecided.


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