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


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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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