St. Pete Polls had it mostly right about CD 19, but PPP polls nailed Curt Clawson’s win

in Uncategorized by

Curt Clawson defeated Lizbeth Benacquisto, Michael Dreikorn and Paige Kreegel to win a Republican primary Tuesday in Florida’s 19th Congressional District.

With 96 percent of the precincts counted, Clawson had 38 percent of the vote, Benacquisto had 26 percent, Kreegel had 25 percent and Dreikorn had 11 percent.

Based on these final numbers, St. Pete Polls had it mostly right about CD 19, while Public Policy Polling nailed Clawson’s win.

In one St. Pete Polls survey — a March 4 poll commissioned by this blog — it also had Clawson winning 38% of the vote. That was the first public poll showing Clawson with the lead (hence the headline about it being a “shock poll”), so it’s fair to say St. Pete Polls was the first outfit to publicly take notice of Clawson’s rise.

In fact, an earlier, private poll this blog commissioned St. Pete Polls to conduct also showed Clawson in the lead.

An April survey by St. Pete Polls still had Clawson in the lead, but that poll had Clawson winning just 30% of the vote. It also had Benacquisto in much better shape than she would finish, while slightly undervaluing Kreegel’s support.

Taken together, the two St. Pete Polls surveys show a slight directionality of the race — that Benacquisto had closed the difference with Clawson to four points instead of six — that obviously did not exist.

As for the PPP survey of the race, it was spot on that Clawson commanded 38% of voters’ support. Published April 21, the poll had Benacquisto at 19%, Dreikorn at 18% and Paige Kreegel at 17%.

Obviously the PPP poll overvalued Dreikhorn and underestimated Kreeegel, but who cares, it nailed the only number that really matters.

For supporters of Charlie Crist, PPP’s accuracy in CD 19 should give them some confidence about the April 8 PPP poll showing Crist leading Rick Scott by seven points.

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