GOP incumbent Kathleen Peters in tight, tight race with Dem opponent in HD 69

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State Rep. Kathleen Peters is in a virtual tie with her Democratic opponent for House District 69 seat, according to the latest polling of likely voters by StPetePolls.

Both the freshman Republican from South Pasadena and attorney Scott Orsini each receive 44 percent of voters in the survey commissioned by SaintPetersBlog. Almost 13 percent are undecided.

House District 69 is a swing district covering the beach areas of Pinellas County, including Madeira Beach, Treasure Island, Gulfport and St. Pete Beach. As of the 2012 booking, registered Democrats outnumber Republicans by less than one percentage point — rounded to 36 percent each — with those claiming No Party Affiliation running at nearly one–quarter of all registered voters.

Peters and Orsini, unsurprisingly, have robust support from their base voters, each getting in the low-to-mid-70s. They also take about the same number of likely voters from the opposing party (both around 16 percent). Of Democrats and Republicans, undecided are at 12 percent.

Independent voters here may make all the difference in November; Peters does slightly better with independents, with 46 percent compared to 40 percent for Orsini, and 15 percent undecided.

As close as the race is in HD 69 for the State House, the Florida Governor’s contest is much clearer.

Likely Democratic candidate Charlie Crist leads incumbent Gov. Rick Scott by double digits — 51-40 percent, well beyond the margin of error. Libertarian Adrian Wyllie receives only 3 percent, while “Someone Else” polls at nearly 4 percent; 2 percent remain undecided.

Crist, a former Republican governor who hails from nearby St. Petersburg, also takes 23 percent of Republicans in HD 69, while Scott only siphons 11 percent of Democrats. Independents, again the possible decision makers in November, are breaking for Crist, by a margin of 51-41 percent.

Crist also outpolls the incumbent in every demographic category, as well as with both men and women.

Legal medical pot is also popular with likely voters in HD 69.

Florida Constitutional Amendment 2, the proposed legalization of medical marijuana, continues its strong backing by a margin of 71-23 percent support; much higher numbers than the 60 percent approval needed for the measure to pass. Just under 6 percent of likely voters remain undecided.

StPetePolls randomly selected survey respondents within registered voters of HD 69, with only those voters saying they were planning to vote included in the results. The sample size was 470, with a +/- 4.5 percent margin of error at 95 percent confidence level.

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.