ST. PETERSBURG — A University of North Florida poll shows a potential rout in the 13th Congressional District race with former governor Charlie Crist opening up a big lead over incumbent David Jolly.
The poll of 611 likely voters showed Crist leading Jolly by 54 percentage points to 36 percentage points.
Recent polls have showed Crist leading Jolly, but UNF's Public Opinion Research Lab's survey shows a bigger margin in Crist's favor than even a recent internal poll undertaken by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, which had him leading Jolly by 11 percentage points.
Crist is winning the black and Hispanic votes handily, but is also beating Jolly (47-42) with white voters, who make up the majority in the Pinellas County district, the UNF poll found.
Crist's long career in Florida politics is a big factor, said the pollsters.
"This relatively large lead for Crist is due, in part, to name recognition, and I think this will play out in other races as well. Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have dominated the media, making it a struggle in this environment for candidates without highly recognized names," said Michael Binder, the Public Opinion Research Lab's director.
The poll had a margin of error of 4 percentage points.