Former President Donald Trump’s preferred candidate to replace Rep. Charlie Crist, D-Fla., Air Force veteran Anna Paulina Luna, is leading the GOP field, a new survey by St. Pete Polls shows.
Crist is making a run for Florida governor.
Luna — who Trump endorsed last month — has 36.7 percent support among likely Republican voters in Florida’s 13th Congressional District.
No other candidates vying for the GOP spot broke double digits, the survey, posted by The Hill, shows.
Amanda Makki, a former aide to Rep. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, got 6.4 percent; ex-Florida state House candidate Matt Tito 2.7 percent, and Audrey Henson, a nonprofit founder, 2.1 percent.
However, 52.1 percent of those polled are undecided.
Luna beat Makki to secure the GOP nomination to represent the 13th District last year, but lost to Crist by 6 percentage points, the Hill reports.
But her support shot up among voters in the St. Petersburg-based district when reminded she’s backed by Trump, the poll found, including that:
- When telling likely GOP voters that Luna is the only candidate endorsed by Trump, she raked in 62.4 percent support, and the undecided bloc of voters also dipped, falling to 22.2 percent.
- In a head-to-head matchup between Luna and Makki, Luna brought in 60.6 percent compared with Makki’s 13.9 percent, with just over 25 percent of voters remained undecided in that scenario.
The poll’s margin of error is plus or minus 4.3 percent points.
The strong polling numbers for Luna come more than one month after Trump threw his support behind her, calling her a “great fighter” and a “warrior.”
On Tuesday, Trump also took a bow for backing winners in GOP races.
"120 to 2 in Congressional Republican Elections in 2020 and 11 to 0 in Republican Elections this cycle, endorsed by President Trump," he said in a statement distributed by his Save America PAC. "The Fake News hates to talk about the power of the most meaningful ever endorsement, but the people know and fully understand!"
The GOP candidates are vying for the nomination to flip from blue to red Florida’s 13th Congressional District; Crist announced in May that he was mounting a challenge to GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis to win back the job he held from 2007 to 2011.
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