Lizbeth Benacquisto is GOP voters’ top choice to replace Radel, new poll finds

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State Senator Lizbeth Benacquisto is the top choice of Republican voters in Florida’s 19th Congressional District to replace disgraced former U.S. Rep. Trey Radel in Congress, according to a new poll taken on the day of Radel’s resignation. 

Benacquisto leads a four-way field of possible candidates, all of whom are reportedly interested in running in a prospective special election to replace Radel. Among active Republican voters in CD 19, Benacquisto receives 33 percent of respondents’ support, former U.S. Rep Connie Mack 22 percent, Chauncey Goss 15% and former state Representative Paige Kreegel 10%. Twenty percent of voters say they are undecided.

The survey was taken by St. Pete Polls and commissioned by SaintPetersBlog.

Driving Benacquisto’s numbers is a strong favorability rating among CD 19 Republicans. Fifty-two percent say they have a favorable opinion of Benacquisto, the current Majority Leader of the Florida Senate. Mack’s favorability rating is upside down at 40 percent favorable/45 percent unfavorable. Goss is at 36/22 favorable to unfavorable, while Kreegel is at 26/25 favorable to unfavorable.

No timetable has been set by Gov. Rick Scott for a special election.

Congressional District 19 is solidly Republican — Mitt Romney won the district with 61 percent of the vote.

The poll has a margin of error of 2.7%. 

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Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.