Crist leads 13th District race in new poll
A new poll shows former governor Charlie Crist with a 12-point lead in the 13th Congressional District over incumbent Republican David Jolly.
Jolly had been running for Marco Rubio's U.S. Senate seat before Rubio decided to fight to keep it late last June. Jolly then announced he would defend his congressional seat.
The Anzalone Liszt Grove Research poll conducted 501 telephone interviews with likely voters in the November general election between July 12 and July 17.
The results showed Crist with a 50 percent to 38 percent lead over Jolly. Twelve percent remain undecided.
The poll, with a margin of error of 4.4 percent, found that Crist leads among independents and moderate by wide margins.
Crist also has a higher name recognition with 89 percent of voters in the district to Jolly's 61 percent.
The pollsters, commissioned by the Crist campaign, concluded that "Charlie Crist's brand makes him a very strong challenger for this Pinellas-based seat."
The Crist campaign didn't offer any comment on the poll, but the Jolly campaign fired back quickly.
"Leave it to Charlie to try to own two sides of the same issue. On one hand his Washington puppet masters just had to reserve $2.5 million to protect him but on the other he's touting a J.V. poll trying to convince his supporters he has a strong lead, despite the majority of polling that has Jolly in the lead," said Sarah Bascom, a Jolly spokeswoman.
Jolly, who faces an Aug. 30 primary against retired Marine brigadier general and commercial pilot Mark Bircher, announced the endorsement of the National Federation of Independent Businesses, a small-business group, earlier Tuesday. His campaign also noted that the Rothenberg &Gonzalez Political Report had revised its assessment of the race last week from "Safe Democrat" to "Democrat favored."