A new poll shows Democrat Chief Financial Officer candidate Jeremy Ring holding a 6-percent lead over Republican incumbent Jimmy Patronis.
The survey by Democrat-leaning Public Policy Polling finds 40 percent of voters supporting Ring, compared to 34 backing Patronis, with 26 percent of voters still undecided.
More striking, the polling sample included a plurality of voters who supported Republican Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential election. Of those surveyed, 46 percent voted for Trump compared to 45 percent who voted for Democrat Hillary Clinton. The remaining 9 percent voted for another candidate in the race or did not vote.
While PPP advertises itself as a Democratic polling outfit, FiveThirtyEight gives the outlet decent marks. The poll aggregating site issued PPP a grade of “B” and says the pollsters historically call races correctly 80 percent of the time.
Patronis, appointed to his position by Gov. Rick Scott, stands as the only incumbent running for a Cabinet post this year. He’s raised $1.9 million in contributions to his campaign, compared to less than $400,000 raised by Ring.
In recent days, the candidates largely attacked one another.
Patronis last week launched a website attacking the criminal history of many Ring donors and highlighting a recent incident of a Ring consultant allegedly impersonating Patronis to access personal records.
Ring returned volley days later with a website attacking Patronis donors and alleging favoritism on the part of the CFO.
The new PPP survey included an equal number of Republicans and Democrats, with each party’s voters making up 41 percent of those surveyed.
As far as gender, women make up 53 percent of the sample, men the other 47 percent. In terms of race, 68 percent identified as white, 15 percent as African-American and 13 percent Hispanic or Latino. About 45 percent of voters fell between age 45 and 65, with 35 percent older than that and 20 percent between age 18 and 45.
The poll found a high level of energy among voters. A full 68 percent of voters said they were very excited to cast ballots and another 15 percent were somewhat excited, with another 15 percent not excited and 2 percent unsure.