Insider Poll: David Jolly favorite in GOP Senate primary
Florida's Republican U.S. Senate primary looks unpredictable with five little-known candidates in the mix, but more than 140 seasoned watchers and players in Florida politics give a slight edge to Republican U.S. Rep. David Jolly. The latest Tampa Bay Times Florida Insider poll has 36 percent predicting Jolly will be the nominee, 28 percent predicting Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera, 24 percent saying U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis, 11 percent predicting Carlos Beruff, and 2 percent saying Todd Wilcox.
"While Carlos Beruff is portraying himself as an outsider, similar to Rick Scott and Donald Trump, his self funded campaign will go far -- but will fall short of becoming the GOP nominee," said a Republican. "If Beruff does squeak by, he will be defeated by Patrick Murphy in the general election.
"Republican US Senate race is totally wide open at this point. Very hard to forecast a winner since no one seems to be distinguishing themselves as a frontrunner," another Republican said.
From a Democrat: "In a race between five nobody's on GOP side, the nobody with money will win."
On the Democrat side, 85 percent of those surveyed predicted U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy will be the nominee, and 15 percent said U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson. That's actually an improvement for Grayson compared to past Insider Polls.
"Alan Grayson can not escape the congressional ethics issue," a Democrat said.
Republicans seem pessimistic.
"Doesn't matter who the Republican nominee is, Patrick Murphy will win. No strong general election Republican in the primary," said one.
"Senate race will be largely overshadowed by Presidential debacle, and slate of candidates is virtually unknown...if Trump nominee, all bets are off on which candidate can find a message that plays off of his strengths and weaknesses. Trump likely a noose around their necks," another Republican said.
These polls are unscientific opinion surveys, and many of our Florida Insiders are actively helping one or more candidate. Votes are still trickling in, so the numbers could change slightly before voting ends this afternoon.
This week's Florida Insider include:
J.C. Planas, Anthony Pedicini, David Rancourt, Susie Wiles, Towson Fraser, Stephen Bittel, Joe Gruters, Pablo Diaz, Sarah Rumpf, Wayne Bertsch, Alex Patton, Sam Rashid, Ryan Duffy, Robin Rorapaugh, Slater Bayliss, Rich Ramos, Trey Traviesa, John Konkus, Seth McKee, Rodney Barreto, Nikki Lowrey, Roly Marante, Jack Seiler, Stebe Uhlfelder, Rick Wilson, Ryan Tyson, Bill Lee, Gayle Andrews, Steven Vancore, Jim Cherry, Steve Schale, Eric Zichella Tony Hill, Jason Rosenberg, Ron Gunzburger, Tom Scarritt, Jamie Miller, Chris Hartline, Stafford Jones, Jason Altmire, Richard NeNapoli, Peter Wallace, Ron Bilbao, Steve Geller, Tom Lewis, Chip Lamarca, Rich Heffley, Mike Fasano, Darrick D.McGhee, Peter Antonacci, Jason Unger, Robert Wexler, Fred Karlinksy, Mike Hightower, Chris Hand, Scott Arceneaux, Jon Ausman, Mark Zubaly, Bob Sparks, Ann Herberger, Bob Poe, Gus Corbella, Andrew Gillum, Brian Crowley, Bud Shorstein, Barry Edwards, Shannon Gravitte, Clarence McKee, Brad Coker, Pat Neal, Mark Ferrulo, Kevin King, Nick Hansen, David Johnson, Jim Rimes, Karl Koch, Brian Ballard, Aubrey Jewett, Christina Johnson, Jim Davis, Greg Turbeville, Jeff Johnson, Doc Dockery, Eric Jotkoff, Marc Reichelderfer, Jeff Wright, Frank Tsamoutales, Joe Perry, Paula Dockery, Ana Cruz, Andrew Weinstein, Darryl Paulson, Cory Tilley, Greg C. Truax, Nancy McGowan, Adam Goodman, Travis Blanton, Allan Bense, Kathy Mears, Kevin Cate, Dan Gelber, Christian Ulvert, Brett Doster, Jamie Wilson, Paul Mitchell, David Bishop, Michael Hamby, Lanny Wiles, Eric Eikenberg, Pete Mitchell, David Bishop, Michael Hamby, Eric Eikenberg, Pete Mitchell, John French, Jon Mills, Husein Cumber, Marty Fiorentino, Matthew Isbell, Ryan Wiggins, Donald Hinkle, Dave Aronberg, Bernie Campbell, Andy Ford.Karen Unger, Ron Klein, Alan Clendenin, Henry Kelley, Kirk Fordham, John Wehrung, Caren Lobo, Susan Smith, Marion Hammer,Jeff Hartley, Brian May, Alan Stonecipher, Susan Goldstein, Christian Camara, Abel Harding, Meredith ORourke, Jeff Kottkamp, Ron Greenstein, Monica Russo, Ron Pierce, Chris Korge, Jason Roth, James Harris, Geoffrey Becker, April Schiff, Justin Day, Bill Bunkley, Doug Kaplan, Josh Geise, Scott Barnhart