Jeb Bush leads challenger Bill McBride by just 3 percentage points -- 48 percent to 45 percent -- in the latest Zogby/MSNBC opinion poll of 500 likely voters. With its 4.5 percent plus/minus margin of error, results point to a dead heat.
McBride, a lawyer, is a political novice and beat out former U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno in the primary election.
A loss by the president's brother would no only be an embarrassment, it could hamper the president's own 2004 re-election effort in the state if Democrats control the state house.
The president was appearing with his brother at an educational event Thursday afternoon at New Smyrna Beach, and later at a private fundraiser in Daytona Beach, where he was expected to pull in some $900,000 for the party and candidates.
Bush raised about $5 million for GOP candidates and the party in the state through appearances earlier this year.
Earlier in the day, Bush was helping raise about $800,000 for Republican candidates in Georgia, among them Rep. Saxby Chambliss, who is running an uphill battle to win the Senate seat held by Max Cleland, and for gubernatorial hopeful Sonny Perdue.