Poll: Alex Sink 42, David Jolly 35
Curtis Krueger reports:
Democrat Alex Sink narrowly leads Republican David Jolly in Pinellas County's hotly contested congressional race, according to a new poll that also shows district voters deeply split over Obamacare.
In the hard-fought and nationally watched campaign, 42 percent would vote for Sink, 35 percent for Jolly and 4 percent for Libertarian candidate Lucas Overby, according to an exclusive Tampa Bay Times/Bay News 9/WUSF Public Media poll of likely voters in Congressional District 13. The margin of error was 4 percentage points.
The poll also reveals how the Affordable Care Act has become a virtual litmus test for voters.
Of those who support Sink, 81 percent also support Obamacare. Of those who support Jolly, 84 percent also oppose Obamacare.
Supporters of both candidates felt passionately about the issue.
More than two-thirds of Sink and Jolly supporters said their candidate's position on the law was a "very important" or "somewhat important" reason for their support.
My take - that David Jolly is still poised to win - is here:
....There are two ways of viewing this special election, and Republican newcomer Jolly seems to be paying attention to both.
• The winner will be determined by the motivation level of Republican voters, who at least appear to be highly motivated to send President Barack Obama a message about the Affordable Care Act.
A lot of people were taken aback by how Jolly positioned himself as an arch conservative in last week's televised debate — overturn Roe v. Wade, deploy the military into Syria, repeal Obamacare entirely, reject federal high speed rail money, reject $50 billion to expand Medicaid access, oppose a minimum wage increase. Don't forget that Jolly needs Republicans to turn out in huge numbers to win what is really a moderate, swing district.
• The winner will be determined by non-partisan independent voters; Sink will win if she pulls enough of the independent vote to overcome the Republican turnout advantage. (Our poll shows her leading Jolly among independents, 33 percent to 27 percent, and Libertarian Lucas Overby with 9 percent).
Nearly 1 in 4 of the district's voters are independents not registered to either party, but based on past elections they will at best account for 1 in 5 votes cast....