October 24, 2020

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Democratic poll shows neck-and-neck race brewing in Florida House district

An internal poll shows a tight race brewing in Florida’s 16th Congressional District between Democratic state Rep. Margaret Good and seven-term Rep. Vern BuchananVernon Gale BuchananMORE (R).

The internal poll from Good’s campaign, which was obtained exclusively by The Hill, shows Buchanan with a 48-45 advantage over Good among likely voters, a difference that falls within the survey’s margin of error. Another 7 percent remain undecided.

Good has a 47-41 lead among independents, and the two contenders are deadlocked at 47 percent support among seniors.

The result is a marginal improvement from the same poll conducted last month, which showed Buchanan with a 6-point advantage.

Buchanan’s favorability rating is even with 43 percent of voters saying they have a favorable view of him and 43 percent saying they have an unfavorable view. Thirty-nine percent of voters rate Good favorably, while 33 percent view her unfavorably. Twenty-eight percent of voters say they have not heard of her.

Good is also boosted by a strong showing in the poll by Democratic presidential nominee Joe BidenJoe BidenFederal judge shoots down Texas proclamation allowing one ballot drop-off location per county Sanders endorses more than 150 down-ballot Democrats Debate commission cancels Oct. 15 Trump-Biden debate MORE, who trails President TrumpDonald John TrumpFederal judge shoots down Texas proclamation allowing one ballot drop-off location per county Nine people who attended Trump rally in Minnesota contracted coronavirus Schiff: If Trump wanted more infections ‘would he be doing anything different?’ MORE by 4 points in the district. Trump won the district by 11 points in 2016.

Good first gained prominence after flipping a state House district in 2018, ousting Sarasota real estate agent James Buchanan (R), Vern Buchanan’s son, in a race Democrats said was a sign of burgeoning party strength in the state. 

“In 2018, I won a special election to the state house that no one thought was possible because voters were ready for change and we are feeling that same energy on the ground in Florida this year,” Good told The Hill. “Voters want a representative who actually represents them, not special interests, and is committed to strengthening our economy, solving our water quality issues, and lowering healthcare costs.” 

“Our message is resonating, and we are committed to continuing to make sure it reaches every voter during the last weeks of the campaign.” 

Democrats are hopeful that the Sarasota-area district is in play this cycle after Buchanan’s margin of victory tightened in recent years. He won reelection by 24 points in 2014, 20 points in 2016 and 10 points in 2018. However, Buchanan remains well-known in the district and has the advantage of incumbency.

Florida House races have suddenly been thrust into an under-the-radar, yet important role in the presidential race.

Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiLoeffler unveils resolution condemning Pelosi for comments on 25th Amendment On The Money: Trump fuels and frustrates COVID-19 relief talks | Trump proposes .8T coronavirus relief package | Vegas ties helped Trump score M windfall in 2016 Trump fuels and frustrates COVID-19 relief talks MORE (D-Calif.) has reportedly begun mobilizing Democrats to prepare for the House to decide the election in the scenario that neither Trump nor Biden wins an outright electoral college victory. Should such a rare scenario arise, every state’s delegation gets a single vote, and that vote will reflect which party controls the majority of districts in a state. Republicans hold a one-seat edge in Florida’s House delegation. 

The Cook Political Report, a nonpartisan election handicapper, rates the race in Florida’s 16th District as “likely” Republican.

The internal poll, which was conducted by Change Research, surveyed 527 likely voters from Oct. 5-8 and has a margin of error of 4.3 percent.

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