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Poll: Democrat Sink Leads In Florida Special Election

Memo Pad Politics

Poll: Democrat Sink Leads In Florida Special Election


Democrat Alex Sink holds a slight lead over Republican David Jolly in Florida’s hotly contested special election for U.S. House, according to a new Tampa Bay Times/Bay News 9/WUSF Public Media poll of likely voters in the state’s 13th congressional district.

The poll finds Sink with a 42 to 35 percent advantage over Jolly; 4 percent support Libertarian candidate Lucas Overby, and 14 percent are undecided.

Those undecided voters are likely to swing the election; 81 percent of them say they are not leaning towards any candidate.

Unsurprisingly, the Affordable Care Act is serving as a dividing line between the candidates. Voters who support the law favor Sink by an 81 to 14 percent margin, while Jolly wins voters who oppose it, by 84 to 9 percent. Overall, 43 percent of those surveyed support the Affordable Care Act, while 47 percent oppose it, and 10 percent have no opinion.

Although health care reform has dominated headlines throughout the campaign — both Jolly and outside groups have trained their fire on Sink’s support for the law — it may not prove decisive in the election; 39 percent of respondents said the law’s impact on their voting preference is “very important,” while 33 percent said it is “somewhat important,” and 26 percent said it is “not at all important.”

This should alarm Republican strategists across the nation, who have seemingly decided to put all of their eggs in the “Obamacare is a train wreck” basket. Florida’s 13th district has a reputation as a national bellwether; if a quarter of voters across the nation don’t consider Obamacare to be any sort of factor in their 2014 voting decisions, then Republican candidates could be in big trouble.

As the March 11 election draws nearer, the deeply negative campaign has increasingly become a proxy battle between liberals and conservatives across the country. Outside groups have spent a staggering $1.1 million on the race in the past nine days alone, with much more expected to follow in the coming weeks. Overall, outside groups have spent $3.5 million on the campaign — $2.6 million of it in support of Jolly — making it among the most expensive races of the cycle.

The Tampa Bay Times/Bay News 9/WUSF Public Media poll surveyed 603 voters by telephone between February 4 and February 9, and has a +/- 4.0 percent margin of error.

Photo: Village Square via Flickr

Henry Decker

Henry Decker was formerly the Managing Editor of The National Memo. He is currently an Online Associate at MRCampaigns.

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  1. howa4x February 14, 2014

    As more people learn about the laws benefits and begin to take advantage of insurance subsidies the republican message begins to loose meaning. One rallying cry should be that the Koch’s have the best insurance but want to take away yours.

  2. Sotoi7 February 14, 2014

    http://brother-jeff.blogspot.com/ It is time to get real about Racial Reconciliation in America! All of our nonsense is tied up in the matter of race. Let us overcome race division and let us at the same time make certain that equality exist; in all things let there be equal access!

  3. dpaano February 14, 2014

    Maybe if we continue to work hard….we can not only turn Texas into a BLUE state, but we might even be able to turn Florida into one!!! Let’s keep our fingers crossed!!!

    1. daniel bostdorf February 14, 2014


    2. ThomasBonsell February 14, 2014

      We’re almost there.

      Florida and Texas are the only two states in the union with predominately Republican leanings that produce more tax revenue to the nation than they get back in federal spending. But they are just barely in the provider-state category.

      All other GOP-majority states are in the moocher category.

      So there’s hope Florida and Texas can come to their senses and oust the freeloading right-wingers who keep their states’ hands out to Uncle Sam for more money because they can’t pay their own way.

  4. DAK27 February 14, 2014

    In my opinion, no $$ should come from outside the candidate’s district. NONE. Not a dime from anyone, anywhere that the politician won’t be representing.

    1. DezJimmar February 14, 2014

      I agree! We need to re-examine the 501(c)(4) policies.

      1. RobertCHastings February 16, 2014

        I agree with both of you guys. The federal government should provide ALL funds to elections on the federal level, and require ALL media outlets to provide equal time to candidates in their area. ALL political advertising should be screened for veracity by a national review board. I would love to see a limited number of mandatory candidate debates, and a serious limiting of the campaign season. And our voting process MUST be changed to allow ALL who are legally eligible the opportunity to easily cast their ballot.

        1. DurdyDawg February 16, 2014


  5. DurdyDawg February 16, 2014

    Damn! I wish they would stop equating money in relation to ‘win’.. Why can’t they go on their own merits and own up to any past mistakes.. This money race is as corrupt as the lies and mud that’s tossed at their opponents in hopes that their lies and mud won’t be as bad thus the “lesser of two evils” campaign. I’m so sick of hearing Joe Blow is ahead because he spent X $$millions$$ to get there.. It’s pathetic in the reasoning that those who provided the cash will want re-pay once in office through ‘favors’, meanwhile the ‘inney’ will make up for his/her investment’ ten-fold totally forgetting or ignoring why they were elected to begin with.

    1. Allan Richardson February 17, 2014

      To paraphrase Wayne LaPierre: the way to stop a bad guy with a checkbook is (a bunch of) good guys with checkbooks!


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