Jeff Brandes with seven-point lead in SD 22, new polling shows

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State Sen. Jeff Brandes takes a seven-point advantage among likely voters in his re-election effort for Senate District 22, according to new polling by StPetePolls.

Commissioned by SaintPetersBlog, StPetePolls conducted a survey of 607 random voters within those registered in SD 22, which covers southern Pinellas and part of Hillsborough County. Only residents planning to cast votes in November were included.

Among likely voters, the St. Petersburg Republican maintains a solid lead over Democrat Judithanne McLauchlan, a USF St. Petersburg political science professor, by 48-41 percent margin. Eleven percent were undecided.

Each candidate gets strong support from all voters in his or her respective parties — Brandes at 73 percent and McLauchlan at 75 percent — with independents breaking to the Republican by 51 percent. McLauchlan seems to be siphoning slightly more GOP voters (19 percent) from Brandes than the opposite (only 13 percent of Democrats are for Brandes).

In the Florida Governor’s race, likely voters in SD 22 are split evenly between Democrat Charlie Crist and Republican Gov. Rick Scott, with each taking just under 44 percent. Libertarian Adrian Wyllie and “Someone Else” also get 5 percent apiece. A little under 3 percent are undecided.

Support for the November measure legalizing medical marijuana remains strong among SD 22 voters. With all voters, Amendment 2 — which needs 60 percent to pass — is at 73-23 percent approval and 5 percent undecided. Active voters are also for the amendment by the required margin, but with slightly lower numbers — 69-27 percent and under 4 percent undecided.

StPetePolls took the poll on July 14 using a sample size of 574 likely SD 22 voters. The margin of error is +/- 4.1 percent, with 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 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.