A new poll released today by the University of North Florida (UNF) includes polling for someone who has not filed to run for public office, however excludes at least one who has filed. The poll is relatively small as it did not include the best barometer of 1,000 participants and included only 526 voters. The poll included former Florida Governor Charlie Crist even though he has not filed to run for the office of Florida Governor and excluded Libertarian candidate Adrian Wyllie. To its credit UNF did include two candidates who have filed to run for the office, incumbent Republican Rick Scott and Democrat Nan Rich. The poll was clearly biased against libertarians running for the office and against libertarians trying to take the poll.
Former chairman of the Libertarian Party of Palm Beach County, John Thompson, may have been one of those called for the poll only to be hung up on when he told them he was a registered Libertarian. The young person taking the poll via telephone seemed perplexed when Thompson didn't fit in the 'Republican', 'Democrat' or 'Independent' categories. Here is Thompson's description of the call he received on October 7, 2013 (within the poll taking range):
Today at about 7:10 while driving home I received a unlisted call. Curious I answered (hands free) and was greeted with a survey.
Pollster: Is there a man or woman over the age of 18 available who is registered to vote?
Me: Yes. I am.
Them: Are you a registered Democrat, Republican, or Independent?
Me: None of the Above.
Them: May I please speak to someone who is registered to vote.
Me: I am registered to vote. I am not a Democrat, Republican, or Independent.
Them: *silence* ... Okay...
Me: I am a Libertarian.
Them: Thank you for your time today. *click*
Since the poll has such a small sample and deliberately excludes candidates (there are 21 Floridians who are running for the office), it is hard to give the poll much weight, however the mainstream media is running with it. Some of the 21 candidates will be shaken out when candidates will need to qualify in June, 2014 to be on the November, 2014 ballot, so polling will have more influence when qualifying ends.
The UNF poll found Crist and Scott in a statistical dead heat within four percentage points of each other and the poll has a margin of error of 4.27%. Scott leads Nan Rich among registered voters 43 to 28 percent.