Big spenders surge in Florida

Wealthy upstart candidates are threatening to overtake their party-backed rivals in Florida.

In the race for the Democratic Senate nomination, real estate mogul Jeff Greene is now in a "statistical dead heat" with Rep. Kendrick Meek (D-Fla.), according to a new Quinnipiac University survey.

Greene is a billionaire and has spent aggressively on TV advertising since entering the race in April. He's now polling within the margin of error against Meek.

The South Florida congressman got 29 percent to Greene's 27 in the June 2-8 poll of 785 likely Democratic primary voters. There were, however, still 37 percent undecided.

"Jeff Greene is skyrocketing in the polls, because voters are hungry for an outsider like Jeff Greene who is independent of the special interests and knows how to create jobs and get results," said a spokesman for Greene.

Another self-funder, Republican Rick Scott, is also getting some good numbers in the Q-poll released Thursday. Scott now has a 44 to 31 percent lead over state Attorney General Bill McCollum in the race for the Republican gubernatorial nomination.

A lot can change before the vote. Florida's primary is Aug. 24.

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