Today, Rasmussen released a poll which showed RickScott and Alex Sink in a statistical dead heat. As usual, the punditocracy overreacted. Here's why.
First, Rick Scott has been on statewide TV and radio for a month, to the tune of $4-6 million. At this level, voters in every market in the state--including the very expensive Miami market, have seen his ads 7-10 times a week.
On the flip side, Alex Sink has not been on TV, which for this time of year, is very normal for gubernatorial voters. Alex Sink will undoubtedly run a robust and easily largest paid media program of any Florida Democratic gubernatorial candidate in history. So he will not communicate in a vacuum forever. And almost no voter has learned that as a hospital CEO, his company got slapped with a $1.7 billion fine for committing the largest Medicare fraud in American history.
But back to the poll: Scott's one point lead is fueled by an important stat: he is getting 76% of Republicans, compared to Sink getting 68% of Democrats. In the latter camp, they just don't know her yet. But considering Jim Davis got 85% of Democrats, one can fairly assume that Sink will do at least as well.
Sink, despite her relative lack of name ID, is still beating Scott among NPA (voters not registered with one of the two major political parties) voters by 3 points. Again, noting that Davis beat Crist, according to the exit polls, by a point, it is a reasonable notion that Alex Sink will do at least as well.
So, if you fast forward and based on this poll, make the following assumptions:
1. Alex Sink gets not a single vote out of the remaining 13% of GOP undecideds. In other words, on election day, she gets 11% of GOP voters, which is one less than Obama in 2008.
3. She only gets 1 in 5 of the remaining undecided NPA voters in the Rasmussen survey.
If you do this, Sink beats Scott by 2 points on election day, 51-49, a virtual landslide in Florida. And that is before a single point of television communication by Sink.
Quite frankly, that is a pretty strong place to start.