Jeff Brandes widens lead to nine points over Judithanne McLauchlan in SD 22 race

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State Sen. Jeff Brandes is now enjoying a nine-point advantage among likely voters against Democrat Judithanne McLachlan in his re-election bid for Senate District 22, according to a new poll released today.

The Oct. 29 survey by StPetePolls shows the St. Petersburg Republican leading McLauchlan, a USF St. Petersburg political science professor, 53 to 44 percent, with just under four percent undecided.

These new numbers have only budged slightly since July, where a similar poll found Brandes ahead by seven points, 48 to 41 percent.

Unsurprisingly, Brandes polls strongly with GOP base voters in Pinellas County, with 84 percent. But he also siphons nearly 18 percent of Democrats. McLauchlan’s core support is now at 79 percent, up from 75 percent in July, and she takes 14 percent of Republicans.

Independents seem to lean a bit to McLauchlan, who gets 48 percent — three points more than Brandes (45 percent). However, nearly 7 percent of independents remain undecided.

In the Florida Governor’s race, likely voters in SD 22 are giving a five-point lead to Democrat Charlie Crist over Republican Gov. Rick Scott, 49 to 44 percent. Libertarian Adrian Wyllie gets just over 5 percent and under 3 percent are undecided.

SD 22 covers southern Pinellas and part of Hillsborough County.

Commissioned by SaintPetersBlog, the survey contacted 822 randomly selected voters within those registered in SD 22 as of Sept. 4. Only residents planning to cast votes Tuesday and who participated in the 2010 and 2012 general elections were included in the results. The margin of error is +/- 3.4 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.