Larry Ahern holds 12-point lead over Democratic newcomer Lorena Grizzle in HD 66

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Republican Larry Ahern takes a solid 12-point advantage over Democratic newcomer Lorena Grizzle in the race for Florida House District 66, according to a July 14 survey of likely voters from StPetePolls.

Incumbent Ahern leads Grizzle, a Largo special education elementary school teacher and daughter of the late Florida legislator Mary Grizzle, by a margin of 50-37 percent. More than 12 percent of respondents say they are undecided.

SaintPetersBlog commissioned the survey asking 442 likely voters in the district covering much of central-western Pinellas County.

Ahern, the two-term representative from Seminole, receives strong backing from base voters (80 percent) as well as 16 percent of Democrats. Grizzle gests 72 percent of the base, and 12 percent of likely GOP voters. Only 8 percent of Republicans say they are undecided, while the number is more than 12 percent for Democrats.

Exactly half of independents say they support Ahern, while 33 percent go for Grizzle; more than 17 percent are undecided.

In the Florida governor’s race, likely Democratic nominee Charlie Crist, who hails from Pinellas, has a slight statistical advantage over incumbent Republican Gov. Rick Scott. Accounting for rounded numbers, each candidate gets 43 percent — Crist a little more, and Scott a little less.

Libertarian Adrian Wyllie could be the spoiler in November, getting nearly 6 percent of the vote, while “Someone Else” gets just about the same. More than 2 percent of likely voters say they are still undecided.

District 66 voters are also firmly behind the legalization of medical marijuana. November’s Amendment 2 receives support by a 72-24 margin, with only 4 percent undecided. Most of the approval comes from Democrats (87 percent) and independents (76 percent), with support a little weaker from Republicans, but still a majority (57 percent). The proposal needs 60 percent voter approval to pass.

Respondents for House District 66 were selected at random from registered voters as of June 6, and only those voters who said they were planning to cast ballots were included in the results.

For the sample size of 442 voters, the poll has a +/- 4.7 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.