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Mitch Perry Report for 10.13.15 — Hillsborough Dems in denial about the Joe Redner factor in SD 18 race?

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

A St. Pete Polls survey released this morning shows Republican Dana Young with a six-point lead over her Democratic challenger, Bob Buesing, 38 percent to 32 percent. Independent candidate Joe Redner is in third place with 16 percent. Sheldon Upthegrove is at 3 percent, and 11 percent are undecided.

A survey taken earlier this summer showed Young and Buesing essentially tied, but that poll did not ask voters about Redner.

Although Redner has run many times for office, he’s actually putting some of his considerable financial resources into this campaign and, with his already well-established name recognition in Hillsborough County, is a definite factor in this race.

The adult club impresario and social activist dismisses any notion of dropping out of the contest to make way for Buesing, who he’s certainly in much more in agreement with on the issues than Young. Redner says he’s the best candidate in the race, so why should he get out?

As mentioned above, he’s also much better known than Buesing at this point. When asked earlier in the campaign about his relatively low name recognition considering he’s never previously run for office, Buesing countered that internal polling showed Young actually wasn’t that well known in Senate District 18 either. But Redner could very well be better known than either candidate. That doesn’t mean he’s going to win (this poll shows he’s not), but it does mean he’s having a serious effect on the ultimate outcome.

Democrats — including Buesing himself — say they’re not concerned Redner will take votes that might otherwise have gone to the Democratic nominee, insisting “Donald Trump Republicans” will back him. The polling shows Redner does garner GOP support. Just not as much as he does from Democrats.

The survey finds Redner gets 19 percent support from Democrats, 14 percent from independents and 14 percent from Republicans.

Young is getting more support from her Republican base than Buesing is from his Democratic base. The survey shows 58 percent of Republicans are backing Young, while 49 percent of Democrats are backing Buesing.

It certainly is relevant to note that St. Pete Polls does not poll cellphone users. However, before you write this survey off as out of touch with contemporary voters, you should note that it polled fairly accurately in several of the August primary elections.

In other news …

Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn is calling on Republicans to drop their support for Donald Trump and get on the Hillary Clinton campaign. 

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is using doctored photos to suggest David Jolly and Donald Trump are allies in a new ad, the Jolly campaign said Wednesday, and they wrote to local television stations, asking them to stop airing the ad.

Patrick Murphy says he’s now ready to debate Marco Rubio on Univision affiliates later this month.

A new report says Hillsborough and Pinellas Counties are two of the most eager state attorney’s offices in the nation in having their prosecutors ask for the death penalty.

HD 63 Democratic candidate Lisa Montelione is so busy helping constituents, she didn’t have time to appear in her first TV ad of the election cycle.

Mitch Perry has been a reporter with Extensive Enterprises since November of 2014. Previously, he served as five years as the political editor of the alternative newsweekly Creative Loafing. He also was the assistant news director with WMNF 88.5 FM in Tampa from 2000-2009, and currently hosts MidPoint, a weekly talk show, on WMNF on Thursday afternoons. He began his reporting career at KPFA radio in Berkeley. He's a San Francisco native who has now lived in Tampa for 15 years and can be reached at mitch.perry@floridapolitics.com.

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