Just 110 days away from Election Day, Florida Democrats are well-positioned in the battleground Tampa Bay area. Democratic incumbents in Pinellas continue to lead their Republican opponents, while Republican incumbents are on the ropes, with Rep. Kathleen Peters tied with Democrat Scott Orsini.
New polling in several key races by StPetePolls shows that Tampa Bay voters know who is on their side.
The one Democratic gubernatorial candidate included in these polls continues to demonstrate strong popularity, beating or tying Rick Scott in three of four races. Tampa Bay voters have seen what Rick Scott’s vision for the state of Florida looks like and are soundly rejecting his policies. It’s clear that after 4 years of handouts to big business, denial of access to affordable healthcare, and draconian cuts to education, Floridians are ready for a new direction in Tallahassee.
Although our Democratic candidates will be out-raised by the special interest fueled GOP money machine, they are raising the funds it takes to compete. These elections will be decided by the people of Tampa Bay. No amount of money can hide that the Florida GOP’s policies are hurting working Floridians.
Tampa Bay Democrats are in a strong position because they truly share their constituents’ values. Judithanne McLauchlan is a clear example of this. With no spending on her part, McLauchlan is highly competitive with incumbent Jeff Brandes. As the people of Pinellas and Hillsborough Counties get to know Judithanne, a working mother, educator, and leading member of her local PTA, I have no doubt she will be their choice over an incumbent that has consistently put the needs of his campaign donors over the needs of his constituents.
These recent polls leave no doubt: the upcoming elections will be close, but Floridians are rejecting the Florida GOP’s misguided priorities. This fall, the unfinished business that Republicans left in Tallahassee during session – failing to expand access to healthcare, failing to raise the minimum wage, failing to guarantee equal pay, and failing to properly fund education for our children – will haunt Republicans at the ballot box.
Christian Ulvert is Political Director of the Florida Democratic Party.