Crist’s lead is buttressed by a Democratic-leaning Public Policy Polling survey released Tuesday that showed Scott trailing by 12 points.

Crist — who ran for the Senate in 2010 as an Independent against Sen. Marco RubioMarco RubioRubio: 'I hope' Mexican elections won't end partnership against cartels Election hacking fears turn heat on Homeland Security Will Republicans stand up to the NRA's insurrection rhetoric? MORE after losing to him in the GOP primary — backed President Obama in 2012. He registered as a Democrat last December, tweeting a picture of himself with his registration form at the White House.

He has not announced his candidacy but is strongly considering a run.

Seventy-five percent of Democrats approve of Crist, as well as 48 percent of Independents. That's compared to 64 percent of Republican voters who hold a favorable view of Scott and 30 percent of Independents.

"The fact that voters think it's an asset that former Gov. Charlie Crist moved from conservative Republican to a Democrat with very different political views will be a key metric to watch between now and the 2014 voting," said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

Only 32 percent of voters said Scott deserves a second term in office.

The survey polled 1,000 registered voters from March 13-18. It has a 3.1 percentage point margin of error.