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New poll show that Democrat Tracye Polson could take Jay Fant’s state House seat

A new poll commissioned by the campaign of Tracye Polson, a Democrat running in Jacksonville’s House District 15, shows a strong lead for the first-time candidate against a Republican opponent.

If this SEA Polling and Strategic Design survey translates to results, Polson may be able to flip a seat held by one of the most conservative legislators, Republican Jay Fant (currently a candidate for Attorney General).

The poll shows Polson up against Republican Wyman Duggan, the leading fundraiser among GOP candidates, 36-27. Among women, Polson leads 40-22.

The pollsters suggest that the recent special election win in Sarasota by Rep. Margaret Good, in which the Democrat won a Trump plus-5 district by 7 points, speaks to a political climate galvanized by a surge in female voters turning out and voting Democrat.

Polson is ahead in the district despite its Republican lean. The poll revealed 56 percent of those in the district support Republican Mayor Lenny Curry, that Rick Scott is up by 2 points in the U.S. Senate race against Bill Nelson, and that President Donald Trump is at a relatively robust 45 percent favorability rating.

“Dr. Polson begins her race for state house exactly where she needs to be – leading the field and with enthusiasm among Democrats and Independent minded voters high. We are excited that the polling confirms what Dr. Polson has been hearing every weekend in neighborhood after neighborhood while canvassing in Jacksonville. Voters want a change in Tallahassee, they want someone who will fight for them and not lobbyists or other Jacksonville insiders. Dr. Polson is that fighter,” said campaign adviser Scott Arceneaux.

Polson has confounded expectations of the political establishment regarding a seat that previously had been held by Republicans and unchallenged by Democrats.

Currently, she has the lead in cash on hand among all filed candidates. She reports a combined March fundraising total of $30,821. She’s raised $174,103 between her campaign and political committee accounts since filing in September, with $113,635 on hand.

Unfortunately for Duval Democrats, Polson’s momentum may not translate to other local state House races, where challengers to Republican incumbents struggle with fundraising and securing the campaign apparatus that money allows. However, there are at least early suggestions that the Blue Wave may splash onto Jacksonville shores.

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Written By

A.G. Gancarski has been a working journalist for over two decades, with bylines in national and local publications alike on subjects ranging from pop music to national and global politics. Gancarski has been a correspondent for FloridaPolitics.com since 2014, and has held a column in Jacksonville, Florida's Folio Weekly for two decades. In 2018, he was a finalist for an Association of Alternative Newsweeklies "best political column." Gancarski is a frequent presence on Jacksonville television and radio, including fill-in slots on WJCT-FM's award-winning talk show "First Coast Connect." He can be reached at a.g.gancarski@gmail.com.

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