Poll shows Laurel Lee has a healthy lead on CD 15

Republican Laura Lee holds a good lead over the Democrat Alain Cohn in the running to represent Florida’s new congressional district. But a quarter of voters remain in the game.

This is according to a survey published by the Floridians for Economic Progress political committee.

Survey results released by the committee show that 41% of likely voters in Florida’s 15th congressional district favor Lee, who comes from won the Republican nomination in a costly primary. By comparison, 34% plan to vote for Cohn, who comes secured the Democratic nod.

That leaves 24% of voters listed as uncertain. This signals that Lee remains a clear favorite in the district, but things could still get close.

The survey, conducted September 19 and 20, includes responses from 352 voters. Pollsters report a margin of error of 5.2 percentage points, which means Cohn is within range of beating Lee.

That’s no shock given the history of voters in the newly drawn seat.

A new congress map finds room for an additional congressional district assigned to Florida based on 2020 census results. This landed in East Hillsborough, West Polk and South Pasco counties.

Pollsters rate the Republican donald trump would have won the district in the 2020 presidential election with 51% of the vote in favor of the Democrat that of Joe Biden 48%. Watching the last Midterms, Republican Ron DeSantis won the gubernatorial election by a narrower margin, winning 50% to the Democrat by Andrew Gillum 49%.

Dating back to 2016, Republican Marco Rubio won the Senate race in the district by 52% more than the Democrats by Patrick Murphy 43%. But the district appears to break down the same way as the state as a whole when it comes to voter preference.

Current voter registration data shows Republicans and Democrats each make up about 35% of voters in the district, making them the most tightly divided congressional district in Florida.

But pollsters found general discontent in the electorate that could be a deciding factor in the Nov. 8 results.

About 70% of CD 15 voters believe the nation is still on the wrong track, while only 23% believe it is moving in the right direction. This suggests a consensus against Biden’s performance since winning the presidency. Indeed, 50% of voters disapprove of the job the president is doing.

Meanwhile, 47% think Florida is on the wrong track and only 39% say things are going well. It’s not as high a level of frustration as reflected in national sentiment, but it does show that the views of DeSantis and Republican leaders in Tallahassee aren’t exactly warm. The committee, however, did not release job approval numbers on DeSantis in the district.

It may be a while before this race is won for sure. About 40% of voters plan to wait to vote on Election Day, Nov. 8, compared to 36% who plan to send votes by mail and 24% who plan to participate in early voting.

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Jack L. Goldstein