Alex Sink holds five point lead with early voters over David Jolly, new poll shows

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Democrat Alex Sink holds a five-point lead with early voters over Republican David Jolly, according to a new poll of the more than 81,000 early voters who have already returned their ballot in the special election in Florida’s 13th Congressional District.

Sink is receiving 50% of the early vote, while Jolly takes 45%. Libertarian Lucas Overby is polling at 5% among early voters.

Sink’s lead with early voters may come as a surprise to some political observers because, to date, Republicans are returning their ballots at a slightly higher margin than Democrats, according to data provided by the Pinellas Supervisor of Elections.

There is still a path to victory for Jolly. Likely voters who say they still intend to vote in the special election favor him 45 to 39 percent over Sink, with nine percent of likely voters saying they support Overby and six percent saying they are undecided. 

All told, the race for Congressional District 13 is razor-close. Adding together the numbers from early voters and likely voters, the race is deadlocked at 46% for each candidate.

As for whom the undecided voters may vote for, a closer examination of the early voters gives the slightest of edges to Sink, with 46.4 percent leaning towards Sink and 45.9 percent going to Jolly. Overby remains at 6 percent.

Among undecided voters who say they are likely to vote on Election Day, 46 percent prefer Jolly, and 41 percent favor Sink; 4 percent of likely voters remain firmly on the fence, as does 1.4 percent of all those who have not yet voted.  

The StPetePolls survey was commissioned by SaintPetersblog and was conducted Tuesday, February 25 using an automated phone call polling system. Results were weighted to account for relative differences between respondents’ demographics and the demographics of the early and registered voter population for Florida’s 13th Congressional District. The demographics used were by political party, race, age and gender.

Voters were polled randomly within the registered voter population of the district. Only voters stating they had already voted or were planning to vote in the March 11 special election were included in this survey.

The sample size of 1269 respondents has a margin of error of +/- 2.8 percent at a 95 percent confidence level.

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Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing and management experience, Phil produced material for both print and online, in addition to founding HRNewsDaily.com. His broad range included covering news, local government and nightclub reviews for Patch.com, technical articles and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine and advice columns for an online metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as a contributor and production manager for SaintPetersBlog since 2013 and lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul and can be reached at phil@floridapolitics.com and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.