A new poll in Tampa's District 18 Senate race shows a virtual tie between Sen. Dana Young, R-Tampa, and Democratic challenger Rep. Janet Cruz. There's a one-point edge for Cruz.
That's better for Cruz than the last StPetePolls survey, which showed Young up by nine points. This may be because the new poll used Cruz's ballot name, just "Janet Cruz," instead of the married name she filed under — Janet Cruz Rifkin.
Cruz led 44-43 percent in the automated-dial poll, with a sample size of 855 and a 3.4-point error margin.
Cruz led among black voters, younger voters and women.
Young is maintaining a big money lead as both sides continued heavy fundraising in what's expected to be the state's hardest-fought and most competitive Senate race. A win by Cruz could bring the minority Democrats within a couple of votes of Republicans in the Senate.
Cruz has about $390,000 in cash. She raised about $62,000 in her campaign account and PAC during the first three weeks of June, but had to return about $10,000 in contributions.
Those donors, including some Republicans, had given to her earlier bid for Hillsborough County Commission, where she faced no incumbent opponent, but didn't wish to contribute to her Senate race against Young, a sitting senator.
Young has around $1.36 million in cash. She raised $87,916 in her campaign and PAC in the first three weeks of June, and another $77,000 to the PAC in the final week.