Florida's David Jolly Leads in GOP Congressional Primary Polls

Friday, 10 Jan 2014 07:08 PM

By Cathy Burke

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Two final polls released ahead of Tuesday's GOP primary to fill the seat held by the late Florida Rep. Bill Young shows his former staffer, David Jolly, leading two other Republican contenders.

A survey by St. Pete Polls for SaintPetersBlog.com gives Jolly an 11 point lead over Mark Bircher, showing Jolly with 37 percent of the vote, Bircher at 26 percent, and state Rep. Kathleen Peters trailing with 24 percent.

The blog noted the results illustrated a big shift from a survey a month ago, when the race appeared deadlocked between Jolly and Peters.

The poll was conducted Thursday and has a margin of error of 3.8 percent.

Meanwhile, a poll by Gravis Marketing gives Jolly the lead with 34 percent of those surveyed, ahead of Peters with 28 percent, and Bircher, who trailed behind at 25 percent. The survey has a margin of error of 3 percent.

The polls are bad news for Peters, who The Hill reported was the pick of many Washington Republicans, including a handful of GOP women in the House.

The Hill wrote that Peters' waning support seemed to coincide with her attack against Jolly, suggesting he profited off the passage of Obamacare. The Hill reported the assertion was widely debunked.

Bircher, on the other hand, may be benefiting from a mailer sent by the Allen West Guardian Fund touting him as "a Marine to lead the fight against Obamacare," The Hill reported. The group is affiliated with former Florida Rep. Allen West.

The good news from the polls may be heartening for Jolly on another level as well: Revelations about the late lawmaker Young's secret family were thought to threaten not only his legacy but also to take away votes from Jolly — Young's handpicked choice.

Alex Sink, the former chief financial officer for Florida, heads the Democratic ticket and will likely challenge the GOP winner of Tuesday's primary.

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