Mitch Perry Report 2.13.14: Conflicting polls keep Sink-Jolly a toss-up

Posted by Mitch Perry on Thu, Feb 13, 2014 at 8:30 AM

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The (sort of) big news this morning in the CD13 race is the Tampa Bay Times poll that shows Democrat Alex Sink with a relatively comfortable lead over Republican David Jolly 42-35 percent. The Times reports that their pollster, Braun Research of New Jersey, has weighed the numbers to reflect age, gender, race and political party affiliation. But we don't know how many more Republicans than Democrats were used in the poll of 603 likely voters.

However a new St. Pete Polls survey out today shows David Jolly up by two points over Sink, 46-44 percent. Of the 1,130 CD13 voters surveyed, 547 were Republican, 403 were Democratic, and 180 were Libertarian.

This is important, because as the Times' Adam Smith reports in his column today, GOP voters historically have come out in larger numbers than Democrats in the district. And that's something that everyone in this race is aware of. Certainly Sink is, as she tells Politico "In a special election like this, Republicans are more disciplined about voting, and they’re more frequent voters."

There's plenty more on this race to report.

Over the past couple of days we've spent some time reading a used paperback copy of Unsustainable:How Big Government, Taxes and Debt are Wrecking America.. It's written by a St. Pete-based conservative businessman named James MacDougald who basically thinks the country is going to hell in a handbasket. The reason it's relevant is that MacDougald is the founder of Free Enterprise Nation, a group that David Jolly has lobbied for on a number of occasions. MacDougald also is the co-chair of Jolly's finance team.

Lots of charges and countercharges in the latest ads smearing, er, contrasting the candidates' stances. A Democratic-based group out of Washington uses AARP in an ad accusing Jolly of supporting privatizing Social Security. The Jolly team cried foul however, especially since AARP says they haven't and won't be endorsing anybody in this campaign.

The Obama administration is hailing the news that of the 3.2 million people having signed up for the ACA so far, nearly one-fourth of them are young adults, a crucial factor in whether this health care reform plan will be sustainable. But the perception about the ACA is still pretty low, which is why the National Republican Campaign Committee once again hit Alex Sink in a new ad yesterday for supporting the measure.

And when Marco Rubio made a campaign appearance for Jolly on Monday, their brief news conference was dominated by the pair's differences on immigration reform. In a sense, that fissure is emblematic of the party as a whole not being able to come together on what to do with the 12 million undocumented people living in the U.S. today.


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Pinellas County District 13 voters should be asking themselves this question: What candidate is most qualified and possesses core convictions that will represent our district in the US house effectively?

The newly elected CD13 House Member will be number 435 of 435. In a very complex Washington environment how will he or she navigate the halls of the Capital/Rayburn building and have an impact? The new house member won't reside on committees that will decide issues on military spending or headline issues. They will have to work up from the lower rungs of the house's ladder.

Pinellas County should be represented by an individual who knows Pinellas. A resident that brushes shoulders with his/her own. We all become mired in the tv ads, mailers and phone calls from Pollster's. Strip all that away and look at the candidates for who they really are. Their intellect, track record, homestead filing and ability to get things done in a complex political USA.

This special election should provide a clear indication about voter turnout out for a very serious and special decision on CD13 representation. It will show if we are red, blue or purple. What I hope occurs is that the election results sends a resounding message that Pinellas County constituents will make the best choice. I'm confident we will.


Craig Zurman

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Posted by Craig Zurman on 02/14/2014 at 12:47 PM
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