MIAMI (CBSMiami) – His recent switch of political parties may have rankled Republicans, but if a new Public Policy Polling poll is accurate, Charlie Crist is being well-received by Florida Democrats and would be a major threat to defeat Governor Rick Scott in 2014.
According to the PPP poll, in a hypothetical race between Crist and Governor Scott, Crist would win 53 percent of the vote to Scott's 39 percent of the vote.
"Rick Scott continues to be one of the most unpopular Governors in the country and most Democrats are embracing Charlie Crist now that he's officially joined the party," said Dean Debnam, President of Public Policy Polling. "It's early but Crist looks like the favorite if he tries to get his old office back next year."
Among Democratic primary voters, Crist had a favorable rating of 73 percent to an unfavorable rating of 17 percent. Additionally, a majority of Democratic voters (52 percent) favored Crist over other Democrats including Alex Sink and Pam Iorio.
Governor Scott's job performance numbers remain strongly negative. According to the poll, 33 percent of voters approved of his job performance while 57 percent disapproved.
The news is a little better among Republican primary voters with Scott receiving a 56 percent approval rating to 32 percent disapproval rating. But, if former Congressman Allen West decided to challenge Scott, the incumbent governor is currently behind him by a point (37-38 percent).
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