Thanks to a brutal Republican primary battle between Attorney General Bill McCollum and billionaire Rick Scott, Democrat Alex Sink has been able to take the lead for the first time in Quinnipac’s newest poll.

Quinnipac (8/11-16)
Alex Sink (D) 31
Bill McCollum (R) 29
Bud Chiles (I) 12
Someone else 2
Wouldn’t Vote 5
DK/NA 21

Alex Sink (D ) 33
Rick Scott (R ) 29
Bud Chiles (I ) 12
Someone else 1
Wouldn’t Vote 4
DK/NA 20

This represents modest but significant improvement since July when Quinnipiac last polled the race. At the time, they found Sink trailing both potential Republican opponents slightly. I also suspect that Sink is currently in better shape than this poll indicates. Bud Chiles in the son of popular former Democratic governor Lawton Chiles, and is drawing much more of his support from Democrats than Republicans. If Chiles remains trapped in the low teens going into November, and, as a result, is viewed as having no chance of winning, I suspect Sink’s numbers would go up somewhat as some of Chiles Democratic support switches to Sink.

Sink’s rise in the polls reflects her all-time high net-favorable numbers. Both of her potential Republicans opponents have spent the summer tearing each other down. Their brutal primary has pushed them both into net-unfavorable territory. Even the RGA is has stepped in to try to tone down an attack ad from Scott.

Quinnipiac also polled the Senate race, which for now remains stable with independent Gov. Charlie Crist holding onto a modest plurality, Republican Marco Rubio in second, and the Democrat stuck in the low teens. There has been little change since last month:

Quinnipac (8/11-16)
Kendrick Meek (D ) 16
Marco Rubio (R ) 32
Charlie Crist (I ) 39
Someone else 1
Wouldn’t Vote 3
DK/NA 10

Jeff Green (D) 15
Marco Rubio (R) 32
Charlie Crist (I) 40
Wouldn’t Vote 3
DK/NA 10