Two new automated polls out ahead of Tuesday's GOP primary to replace the late Rep. Bill Young (R) give his former staffer, David Jolly, a lead for the nomination.
One, conducted by Gravis Marketing for conservative outlet Human Events, gives Jolly a 6-point lead, while the other, conducted by St. Pete Polls for SaintPetersBlog.com, gives him an 11-point lead.
She’s fallen to third place in the St. Pete survey, a loss of 4 points from the last survey, conducted 10 days ago. Peters has maintained his lead in that poll, while veteran Mark Bircher appears to be surging. He now has 26 percent support, up 8 points from 10 days ago.
The Gravis poll indicates Jolly already has 21-point lead among those who say they’ve voted early in the primary, and the support of more than 50 percent of those polled, and he leads Peters by 8 points among those voters who haven’t yet cast their ballots.
The St. Pete survey gives Jolly a 10-point lead over Bircher among those who have already cast their ballots, with 39 percent of the vote.
Peters, Republicans in the district say, has seen her support wane in part because of an attack she launched against Jolly that suggested he profited from the passage of ObamaCare, which was widely debunked.
And Bircher could be benefiting from a campaign mailer sent on his behalf by the Allen West Guardian Fund, the group affiliated with former Florida GOP Rep. Allen West, that touts him as “A Marine to lead the fight against ObamaCare.”
Jolly, for his part, has significantly outspent his opponents and maintained an on-air presence since December, while the other two candidates haven’t been advertising.
The Gravis robopoll was conducted among 976 registered GOP voters in the district and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.
The St. Pete automated survey was conducted among 653 Republican primary voters in the district on Jan. 9, and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.