Bill Young gains in new poll, still faces tough road against Dwight Dudley in HD 68

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Republican Bill Young II has regained some of the ground lost to Democratic state Rep. Dwight Dudley in the hard-fought race for House District 68, according to new polling.

The survey of likely voters taken Oct. 28 by StPetePolls found incumbent Dudley still leads Young by five points, 51 to 46 percent, with less than three percent undecided. That is just outside the poll’s margin of error.

But the nature of weighted polling using previous turnout models, as well as the possibility of higher than expected Democratic participation this year, could spell trouble for Young’s chances of victory next week.

Nevertheless, the recent poll does show significant improvement for the Republican versus a similar survey on Oct. 14. Then, the trend favored Dudley by nearly thirteen points, 54 to 41 percent, and more than 5 percent undecided.

StPetePolls pollster Matt Florell said both polls were weighted with a slight Republican edge since they used the same participation models from the 2010 midterms. Final numbers are likely to change, particularly if Democrats are successful in their improved push for a higher turnout.

“In cases like HD 68,” Florell said in an email, “where Dudley has consistently been ahead, there isn’t much chance Young will win, because this is such a slanted Republican turnout model.”

The poll “represents a best-case scenario for Republicans,” he added, “but I don’t think turnout is really going to be that slanted in the end.”

In the same survey, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist maintains an 11-point lead over incumbent Republican Gov. Rick Scott. That is down from a 20-point advantage on Oct. 14.

Scott receives 41 percent of likely voters, versus nearly 52 percent for former Gov. Crist.

Libertarian Adrian Wyllie dropped a point to 6 percent, and a single percent remain undecided.

Commissioned by SaintPetersBlog, pollsters randomly selected survey respondents within registered voters of HD 68, with only those voters saying they were planning to vote included in the results. The sample size was 451, with a +/- 4.6 percent margin of error and a 95 percent confidence level.

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 His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for, technical articles and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine and advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as a contributor and production manager for SaintPetersBlog since 2013. He lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul and can be reached at and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.