Julio Gonzalez “virtually unelectable” in HD 74, says internal polling for Richard DeNapoli

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Internal polling for GOP hopeful Richard DeNapoli confirms a double-digit lead over Julio Gonzalez, who is seen by pollsters as “virtually unelectable” in Florida House District 74.

The numbers are similar to a July 15 survey released by StPetePolls.

In this latest numbers, DeNapoli, an attorney and financial planner, leads by a 44-12 margin percent over Venice orthopedic surgeon Gonzalez in the GOP primary for the district covering South Sarasota County. HD 74 includes cities of Osprey, Venice and parts of North Port and Englewood. In the StPetePolls survey, DeNapoli leads his primary opponent by 49-26 percent.

The internal survey, released on Friday, was conducted by Susquehanna Polling and Research, based in Harrisburg, PA, a sister company of GOP pollsters Voter Survey Service.

Also posting strong numbers are DeNapoli’s positive name recognition with Republican voters in HD 74. According to the survey, he enjoys an 8:1 positive/negative ratio and combined total name awareness of 67 percent. In comparison, Gonzalez is viewed positively by only 13 percent of those polled while 9 percent hold negative opinions of him.

It suggests that even among base Republicans, Gonzalez is “virtually unelectable,” pollsters say.

And for Gonzalez, the numbers only get worse.

If the election were held today, DeNapoli leads 48-14 among self-described, “very” conservative voters — a key demographic in the HD 74 GOP primary. DeNapoli also leads in all areas of the district, as well as among those “super voters,”  and senior citizens who cast ballots in nearly every election.

When respondents were given a choice between the simple backgrounds of the two candidates, Republicans prefer — by 52-12 percent margin — a candidate like DeNapoli, who has “a background in finances and served as a former prosecutor” versus a candidate described as “practicing physician.”

Once voters receive more information on the backgrounds and qualifications of both candidates, DeNapoli’s lead over increases to 60-12 percent.

The poll’s sample size is 300 randomly selected Republican voters in District 74, and those saying they will cast ballot in the August 26 Republican Primary were included.  Interviews used both landline and cell phone exchanges. The margin of error for  is +/- 5.6 percent at the 95 percent confidence level.

Poll Memo-FLHD74-July14

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, 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.