A new poll from the University of North Florida’s Public Opinion Research Lab asserts that U.S. Rep. Al Lawson of Florida’s 5th Congressional District is headed toward a blowout win over Democratic primary challenger Alvin Brown.
The UNF survey of 402 likely Democratic primary voters shows Lawson has the support of 48 percent with just 29 percent backing Brown. Meanwhile, 22 percent of those surveyed are undecided.
UNF polling director Michael Binder notes that “Brown supporters might point to the large number of undecided voters as potential supporters, but late deciders never swing entirely for one candidate.”
Brown simply hasn’t gotten it done in Duval County, according to Binder, when it comes to amassing the kind of voter share that would overcome Lawson out west.
“Roughly half of Congressional District 5 voters are in Duval County, and even though Brown is ahead by 18 percentage points in Duval, that isn’t nearly enough. Lawson is ahead by nearly 60 percentage points in the counties west of Duval,” Binder said.
Alvin Brown’s margin, the survey shows, is underperforming former U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown, who beat Lawson in 2016 by 40 percent in Duval, yet lost by 9 percent overall.
In Duval, Alvin Brown is up 48 to 29 percent. Outside of Duval, Alvin Brown enjoys an anemic 10 percent level of support, remarkable given Brown’s claim to have been campaigning districtwide.
Binder notes Brown “needs to be +40 or +50 in Duval to have a chance and it’s not close.”
Alvin Brown has been hamstrung by Jacksonville endorsements, including from the Florida Times-Union, the local police and fire unions, and Rep. Tracie Davis, going Lawson’s way. As another vouchsafe of Lawson’s position, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi came to Jacksonville on his behalf.
Interestingly, both Brown and Lawson supporters back Andrew Gillum for Governor. Districtwide, the Tallahassee Mayor enjoys 31 percent support, essentially doubling Gwen Graham at 16 percent.
The UNF poll jibes with the only other public poll of this race: a St. Pete Polls survey of the race released earlier this month.
A survey of 445 likely Democratic primary voters showed Lawson with 50 percent of the vote, with Brown at 28 percent.