Final poll of GOP primary in CD 13 shows David Jolly well ahead; Kathleen Peters slips to third

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The final poll of the GOP primary in the special election for Florida’s 13th Congressional District finds that the race is no longer about David Jolly versus Kathleen Peters, but rather it is David Jolly versus Mark Bircher.

According to a survey by St. Pete Polls commissioned by this blog (full report below), David Jolly is ahead of his closest rival by eleven points, just as he was in a poll taken ten days ago; only instead of him leading state Representative Peters, it is General Bircher who is in second place. 

Among Republican voters in the district who have already cast their ballot or said they intend to vote on or before Tuesday’s primary, Jolly commands 37% of the vote, followed by Bircher at 26% and Peters at 24%. Fourteen percent of voters say they are still undecided.

Jolly’s position in the polls is relatively stable, while Peters appears to be slipping just as Bircher is surging. Ten days ago, Jolly was at 39%, Peters 28%, and Bircher 18%.

These latest numbers are a dramatic shift from a poll taken a month ago when the race was deadlocked between Jolly and Peters. Since that time, Peters’ negative attack on Jolly’s lobbying career failed to connect and may have actually backfired against her. Meanwhile, many voters are getting their first look at the capable Bircher, who was recently endorsed by Tea Party icon and former congressman Alan West.

Going inside the poll’s numbers, Jolly has a lead with both voters who say they have already cast a ballot and those who said they plan to vote before or on Jan. 14.

Among those who have voted early, Jolly takes 39% of the vote, followed by Bircher at 29% and Peters at 25%.

Among those who have yet to vote, but say they will, Jolly is at 35%, Bircher at 24% and Peters at 23%.

The poll was conducted December 9 and has a margin of error of +/- 3.8%.

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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,,, 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.