Election eve poll gives Alex Sink narrow 3-point lead in #CD13 race

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Democrat Alex Sink maintains a tight 3-point lead over Republican David Jolly in the final Public Policy Polling survey before Tuesday’s special election for Florida 13th Congressional District.

In the race to replace the late U.S. Rep. C.W. Bill Young, Sink leads Jolly 48 to 45 percent, with Libertarian Lucas Overby receiving 6 percent. Two percent remain undecided.

The former Democratic state CFO broke out with an early lead, getting 52 percent of those who already voted, compared to 45 percent for Jolly. The PPP survey also found that 60 percent of those who say they will vote have already done so.

Independents have balanced out the registered Republican advantage in CD 13, where Sink receives strong support from independent voters — 61 percent, compared to 27 for Jolly.

Of the 702 respondents surveyed, 53 percent were female and 47 percent male.

Favorability ratings are also close, where Sink plays out a bit better than Jolly. Half of respondents (an even 50 percent) give thumbs up to the Democrat, compared to 48 percent for Jolly.

One of the issues playing an important role in the CD 13 race is climate change. The PPP study found that 69 percent of Pinellas County voters say it is necessary for the new Congress member to address climate change, with 44 percent saying it’s “very important.” 

Sink is the candidate more trusted than Jolly to address climate change, say respondents, by a 17-point margin.

The poll follows a $350,000 combined media buy from the LCV Victory Fund/Sierra Club Political Committee — who commissioned the study — attacking Jolly for “denying the facts” on climate change.

Both candidates touched on the issue in a recent debate, leading to a Tampa Bay Times editorial calling Jolly “wrong on climate change.” The Times said both Jolly and Libertarian candidate Lucas Overby “go back to their science books and learn some facts, not just talking points.”

PPP interviewed likely voters from March 7-9. The margin of error is +/-3.7 percent. 

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 HRNewsDaily.com. His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for Patch.com, 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 phil@floridapolitics.com and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.