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Crist tops Florida Dem primary poll

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Former GOP Florida Gov. Charlie Crist holds a commanding lead in a poll testing potential candidates in a hypothetical matchup for the 2014 Democratic primary for the state’s governor.

The Republican-turned-independent would win 61 percent of the vote, followed by Alex Sink — who lost to current Republican Gov. Rick Scott in the 2010 general election — who mustered only 25 percent, a StPetePolls survey of Florida Democratic voters showed.

Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer was third with 7 percent, while two other candidates got less than 4 percent apiece.

A whopping 73 percent of survey respondents said they have a favorable opinion of Mr. Crist, while 16 percent rate him unfavorably. Mrs. Sink, a former Florida chief financial officer, held a favorable rating of 55 percent and an unfavorable rating of 21 percent.

Mr. Crist, who spoke at last week’s Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., has not declared his candidacy.

The ex-Republican, considered a rising star in the party early in his sole term as governor from 2007 to 2011, ran for U.S. Senate as an independent in 2010 after polls showed he was significantly behind now-Sen. Marco Rubio in the GOP primary. Mr. Crist finished second in the contest with 30 percent of the vote to Mr. Rubio’s 49 percent. Former Rep. Kendrick Meek, a Democratic candidate, placed third with 20 percent.

The StPetePoll automated telephone survey of 1,689 active Democratic voters was conducted Saturday and has a margin of error of plus-or-minus 2.4 percent.

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