A new poll of House District 5 voters shows incumbent Republican Rep. Brad Drake with a 32-point lead over his primary challenger, former state Rep. Bev Kilmer.
The survey revealed that, in a head-to-head matchup, Drake leads Kilmer 40 percent to 17 percent. Among the most likely to vote Republican primary voters Drake leads 61 to 20 percent.
Drake is even winning in Jackson County, where Kilmer recently moved, after returning from living in Texas.
The poll — from Data Targeting — also found 39 percent of likely Republican primary election voters had a favorable opinion of Drake compared to 6 percent of respondents who said they had a negative view of the Panhandle Republican.
Respondents had a favorable view of Drake’s performance, with 45 percent saying he was doing a good job in office, compared to 14 percent who felt otherwise
Of the 302 like Republican Primary voters polled, two-thirds stated that they had heard of Drake while 60 percent said they had never heard of Kilmer.
While only 35 percent of respondents said Drake should be re-elected, Kilmer picked up support from less than half of those who want someone new representing them in Tallahassee. Drake also beats Kilmer 3-to-1 among voters who were unsure whether Drake should be re-elected.
Drake, who qualified for the ballot by petition Monday, also leads his primary challenger in campaign finance. Through the end of April, the incumbent had about $123,000 on hand compared to just under $4,000 for Kilmer. No party candidate Jamey Westbrook, who kicked off his campaign in November with a $25,000 loan, has about $9,000 in the bank.
The poll was conducted from May 12 to May 15 and used live phone interviews to gather responses from registered Republican voters within House District 5. The voters were included in the sample based on their likelihood of voting in the 2016 primary and based on past voting history among other indicators.
The results are weighted to proportions of voter turnout in the 2012 Republican primary elections in August 2012 by age, race, county and gender and have a margin of error of +/- 5.7 percent with a 95 percent confidence interval.