Reporter William March has covered state and national politics since 1994. Email
Reporter Mike Salinero has covered Hillsborough County government since 2007. Email
Reporter James L. Rosica covers state government from the Tribune's Tallahassee bureau. Email
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Another poll shows Jolly leading Sink
Posted Jan 21, 2014 by William March
Updated Jan 22, 2014 at 11:04 AM
A second poll, commissioned by the David Jolly campaign and done by the Republican firm McLaughlin & Associates, shows Jolly leading Democrat Alex Sink in the race to fill the Pinellas County U.S. House seat replacing the late Rep. C.W. Bill Young.
According to a memo from the polling firm to the campaign, the poll showed Jolly ahead 43-38 percent, with Libertarian Lucas Overby pulling 4 percent and 15 percent undecided. No link available—the campaign released only the short memo with highlights written by pollster Jim McLaughlin.
The poll has a fairly small sample, 400 likely voters, and a correspondingly high error margin, 4.9 percentage points.
Pollster Jim McLaughlin said in the memo that President Barack Obama “is clearly hurting the Sink campaign as his disapproval rating within the district is at 57%, with the intensity focused on strongly disapprove at 46%.”
It’s been assumed that Sink was the frontrunner in the special election set for March 11—the district has voted Democratic on top-ticket races in the past several election cycles, including narrowly for Obama in 2008 and 2012. Political prognosticator Larry Sabato of the University of Virginia lists it as “leans Democratic.”
However, two polls have now shown Jolly with a small lead, although Sink backers might question their accuracy. Last week, a poll by StPetePolls, which uses automated dial or “robopoll” methodology and no cell phone sample, showed Jolly ahead 47-43 percent.