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Nancy Soderberg expects to win the money race in CD 6.

New poll shows Nancy Soderberg, Michael Waltz statistically tied in CD 6

Democrat Nancy Soderberg and Republican Michael Waltz are tied in the race for Florida’s 6th Congressional District according to a new poll from Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research.

The poll, conducted Oct. 1 through Oct. 4, found both candidates pulling 45 percent among voters in CD 6, the seat recently vacated by Republican gubernatorial nominee Ron DeSantis. The remaining 9 percent are undecided.

The new numbers indicate there has been a bit of jockeying in the sprint toward Election Day — GQR’s prior measure of the race, released Sept. 6, found Waltz had a 2-point lead with only 7 percent of voters undecided. The pollster claims the Fox News personality’s slippage is due to weak support among Republicans.

“Waltz is failing to motivate his own base, earning just 75 percent of the vote among registered Republicans. Soderberg receives 82 percent of the vote among registered Democrats,” the polling memo says. “Soderberg also leads Waltz among self-ascribed independents by 20 percentage points and voters who are undecided more closely resemble Soderberg supporters than Waltz supporters.”

The GQR poll surveyed 400 voters via live telephone interviews with a 43 percent cell phone component. A third of the sample were registered Democrats, while 42 percent were Republicans and 24 percent were independents. The survey has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.9 percentage points at a 95 percent confidence level.

CD 6 covers parts of St. Johns, Putnam, Flagler and Volusia counties on Florida’s Atlantic coast. President Donald Trump won CD 6 by 17 points two years ago while DeSantis, who held the seat for three terms, won re-election by 17 points.

The Cook Political Report and Larry Sabato both rate CD 6 as “likely Republican,” while Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight puts the odds of a flip at less than 25 percent. Their forecasting model currently expects Waltz to win 52-48  in November.

Still, Soderberg had raised more than $1.7 million for her campaign through the pre-primary reporting period while Waltz had raised $1 million. She also held a nearly 4-to-1 lead in cash on hand thanks in part to Waltz having to get through a bruising three-way Republican primary.

Election Day is Nov. 6.

Utilities, state prepare for hurricane strike

Gov. Rick Scott and electric utilities say they are poised for a quick response to Hurricane Michael, which officials say could be the strongest storm to hit the Panhandle in decades, causing life-threatening storm surge and putting some areas in the dark for more than a week.

As rains from the powerful storm started to reach the Panhandle on Tuesday afternoon, about 15,000 workers lined up by Gulf Power, Duke Energy Florida, Florida Power & Light and public utilities have been positioned to respond to anticipated widespread outages.

The companies and the Florida Municipal Electric Association also reported having at least 2,000 more workers from companies throughout the South and as far away as Texas, Nebraska and Indiana.

“We train year-round for these types of scenarios,” Gulf Power spokesman Gordon Paulus said in a statement. “That training and developing of skills has really paid off in helping us quickly and safely get our customers’ power back on.”

Paulus said crews from the Pensacola-based utility restored power to 26,000 customers in less than two days of Tropical Storm Gordon in September. But Paulus added that Michael is expected to be much stronger and outages are expected to extend more than a few days.

“We’re going to do everything we can to get our utilities to share resources, to share materials, whatever the needs are,” Scott said Tuesday afternoon.

Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, the Democratic candidate for governor, said his city’s utility has called in “six times” its normal staffing through mutual-aid agreements with other utilities.

“Folks are ready from the government side, but we need our citizens to also be ready,” said Gillum.

In 2016, Scott clashed with Gillum over the city’s response to Hurricane Hermine.

In a lesson learned from Hermine, Gillum said city and Leon County officials met Monday with neighborhood leaders about keeping an eye on vulnerable residents.

“We had not done that before,” Gillum said. “My city was not practiced for about 30 years before Hurricane Hermine.”

Michael has the potential to be the strongest storm in the region since Hurricane Eloise swept across Bay County in September 1975 with 110 mph winds.

Hurricane Opal carried 100 mph winds when it hit Pensacola Beach in October 1995. Hurricane Ivan made landfall near Gulf Shores, Ala., at 105 mph in September 2004. And Hurricane Dennis was at 105 mph when it hit Santa Rosa Island in July 2005.

As of 2 p.m. Tuesday, Michael, the 13th named storm of the Atlantic season, was located about 335 miles south of Panama City, moving north at 12 mph with maximum sustained winds of 110 mph.

The latest forecast projected landfall Wednesday afternoon somewhere between Pensacola and Apalachicola as a Category 2 or Category 3 hurricane.

A storm-surge warning was in effect from the Okaloosa-Walton County Line to the Anclote River near Tarpon Springs, and a hurricane warning had been issued from the Alabama state line to the Suwannee River in Dixie County.

The AAA Auto Group reported that Michael isn’t expected to cause a “significant” spike in pump prices as its path remains east of most energy infrastructure such as oil rigs and refineries. But “long lines at gas stations in the Panhandle” have left at least some stations empty as fuel trucks rush to meet demand.

“Gasoline outages in the Panhandle are spotty, but not widespread,” said AAA spokesman Mark Jenkins. “There continues to be plenty of fuel supply in the state, but getting a tanker truck to a gas station — before it runs out of fuel — can be a challenge during a time of such high demand.”

Scott dismissed reports of “widespread” fuel outages, while appearing Tuesday afternoon at the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office in Eastpoint.

“The state Emergency Response Team has been holding regular calls with the fuel industry and ports in Florida to ensure they can get gas to the area safely,” Scott said. “I was just on a call with them, and they’re working hard to make sure we keep getting gas in the state.”

Fuel deliveries will be suspended when winds reach 45 mph.

Tallahassee International Airport announced that flights would be suspended Wednesday, with commercial flights expected to resume at 8 a.m. Thursday.

Scott has activated 2,500 members of the Florida National Guard, while the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has 150 law enforcement officers positioned for search-and-rescue missions and the Florida Highway Patrol has 350 troopers in the region on 12-hour shifts as a response to the storm.

Scott has lifted tolls across the Panhandle to help with mandatory evacuations. Such evacuations been ordered for coastal and low-lying areas of Bay, Dixie, Franklin, Gulf, Jackson, Levy, Okaloosa, Wakulla and Walton counties. Voluntary evacuation orders have been issued for areas of Calhoun, Gadsden, Hernando, Jefferson, Leon, Liberty, Pasco, Santa Rosa and Taylor counties, according to the state Division of Emergency Management website.

Scott said he has discussed federal assistance with President Donald Trump, who was in Orlando on Monday to address a convention of police chiefs.

Trump on Tuesday signed a pre-landfall emergency declaration that ensures federal resources are available before and after the storm in the 35 counties where Scott declared state of emergency.

Trump also tweeted his own warning to Floridians on Tuesday.

“It is imperative that you heed the directions of your State and Local Officials. Please be prepared, be careful and be SAFE!” Trump tweeted just after noon.

“Hurricane on its way to the Florida Pan Handle with major elements arriving tomorrow,” Trump continued. “Could also hit, in later stage, parts of Georgia, and unfortunately North Carolina, and South Carolina, again… …Looks to be a Cat. 3 which is even more intense than Florence. Good news is, the folks in the Pan Handle can take care of anything. @fema and First Responders are ready – be prepared!”

The misspelling of Panhandle was Trump’s.

Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam noted the Florida Forest Service has three “chainsaw strike teams” ready to respond, along with a team mobilizing to support urban search-and-rescue operations.

Putnam’s department also reported more than 500,000 U.S. Department of Agriculture meals, and at least 20 truckloads of ice, would be available for shelters after the storm.

Bill Nelson

FiveThirtyEight says Bill Nelson’s re-election odds are on the upswing

A month after claiming U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson was the most vulnerable incumbent nationwide, Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight says his odds of defeating Gov. Rick Scott are improving.

Based on polls alone, the political forecasting website currently lists the third-term Democrat with a 57 percent chance of earning another six years in Washington. He fares a little better in the site’s “Classic” model, which accounts for x factors such as incumbency, fundraising and historical trends.

Despite the improved odds, the vote tally is expected to be as close as ever: FiveThirtyEight currently predicts Nelson will take 50.5 percent of the vote on Election Day while Scott, a Republican, will get a 49.5 percent share.

Still, the new forecast shows a marked improvement over FiveThirtyEight’s mid-September assessment, which predicted Nelson would eek out another term by just one-tenth of a percentage point.

“It might seem surprising that the fundamentals calculation regards Florida’s Bill Nelson as the most vulnerable Democratic incumbent since Florida is quite purple and there are Democrats up for re-election in some genuinely red states,” Silver wrote a month ago.

“Nelson has a very good challenger in Florida Gov. Rick Scott; one way our model accounts for candidate quality is by looking at the highest elected office the opponent has held, with races against current or former governors or senators falling into the top category.”

Nelson one of 10 Democratic U.S. Senators running for re-election in a state that voted for Donald Trump two years ago, and his battle against Scott has been lopsided, spending wise, since the term-limited Governor entered the race in April.

Scott’s media blitz and high name ID translated into polling leads in the early phase of the race, but recent polls have seen Nelson bounce back.

A recent St. Pete Polls survey, commissioned by Florida Politics, found Nelson, Florida’s only statewide elected Democrat, and Scott essentially tied with 47 percent support apiece. Polls published by the University of North Florida and Public Policy Polling have also indicated Nelson has closed the gap since the general election began in earnest.

Florida’s U.S. Senate election is seen as a “must-win” by national Democrats, who are holding out hope they can flip both chambers of Congress in the fall. Republicans currently hold a 51-49 advantage in the Senate.

When it comes to Democrats’ chances of flipping the upper chamber, however, FiveThirtyEight says that possibility is rapidly waning as embattled Democrats in Indiana, Missouri, Tennessee and North Dakota have slipped in the polls.

“Republicans’ chances of keeping the Senate are up to about a 4 in 5 (79 percent), according to the ‘Classic’ version of the FiveThirtyEight forecast,” Silver wrote Tuesday. “Republicans have always been favored to hold the Senate, but that’s nevertheless a meaningful improvement from recent weeks, when their odds were generally hovering between 2 in 3 (67 percent) and 7 in 10 (70 percent) instead.”

President Trump signs emergency declaration for 35 Florida counties

President Donald Trump has signed a declaration of a pre-landfall emergency for Florida, setting the stage for federal agencies to mobilize into the Panhandle and north Florida and assure federal funding for preparations and recovery before Hurricane Michael arrives.

Trump’s action, requested by Florida Gov. Rick Scott and supported by Florida’s U.S. Sens. Marco Rubio and Bill Nelson, authorizes the Federal Emergency Management Agency to identify, mobilize, and provide, at its discretion, equipment and resources necessary to alleviate the impacts of the emergency.

The order also authorizes federal support for debris removal and emergency protective measures in 14 counties, and emergency protective measures to another 21 counties, according to an announcement released Tuesday by the White House.

Debris removal and emergency protective measures, including direct federal assistance, will be provided at 75 percent federal funding in the counties of Bay, Calhoun, Franklin, Gadsden, Gulf, Hamilton, Jackson, Jefferson, Leon, Liberty, Madison, Suwannee, Taylor, and Wakulla, according to the release.

Emergency protective measures, limited to direct federal assistance will be provided at 75 percent funding in the counties of Alachua, Baker, Bradford, Citrus, Columbia, Dixie, Escambia, Gilchrist, Hernando, Hillsborough, Holmes, Lafayette, Levy, Manatee, Okaloosa, Pasco, Pinellas, Santa Rosa, Union, Walton, and Washington, according to the release.

FEMA Administrator Brock Long, Administrator named Thomas J. McCool as the federal coordinating officer for affected areas.

Scott’s office expressed the importance of those federal resources to help Florida prepare for anticipated impacts from Hurricane Michael, including the threat posed by the forecasted 12 feet of storm surge.

On Sunday Scott declared a state of emergency in 26 Florida counties and expanded it to include 35 counties total Monday.

Donna Shalala ad hits opponent over previous Donald Trump praise

A new Spanish language ad from Democratic candidate Donna Shalala is going after her opponent in Florida’s 27th Congressional District over previous tweets praising President Donald Trump.

Former broadcaster Maria Elvira Salazar earned the Republican nomination in the heavily Hispanic district back in August. Now, Shalala is attempting to tie her to the President in a new ad titled, “The Trump Cheerleader.”

“Maria Elvira Salazar: Trump’s greatest cheerleader,” the ad’s narrator begins.

“Praising him…”

That’s when a woman’s voice, imagined to be that of Salazar, pops in reading out her tweet to Trump.

“Bravo, Trump!”

“…an ally of his.”

“Bravo, Trump!”

“Meanwhile, Trump attempts to eliminate millions’ access to health care and raise our premiums. Maria ‘Bravo, Trump!’ Salazar encouraged him. Enough with Trump’s cheerleaders. We need a leader.

“Donna Shalala. Working to improve health care. Shalala has the strength to face Trump and achieve big things for us.”

A request for comment from the Salazar campaign regarding the new ad is pending.

The Shalala campaign also released a statement bolstering their efforts to tie the two together.

“Salazar claims to be a moderate, but regularly sides with Trump and his Republican enablers,” said Mike Hernandez, a campaign spokesperson.

“The ad underscores that while Donald Trump pushed terrible policies, such as pushing Congress to repeal the Affordable Care Act, which would have resulted in increased premiums and eliminated access to health care for millions of Americans, including those with pre-existing conditions, Salazar encourages him.”

It’s true that Salazar has used the phrase, “Bravo #Trump” two times in the past on Twitter. Both were in 2017.

One tweet thanked Trump for calling for the release of Venezuelan political prisoner Leopoldo Lopez.

The second stems from Trump’s 2017 speech to Congress, in which he called for “real and positive immigration reform.” Salazar echoed those comments, adding, “Looking forward to concrete details.”

As of yet, no comprehensive immigration plan has been settled on, as Trump has often continued his harsh rhetoric on the subject.

The ad attempts to tie Salazar’s “Bravo #Trump” phrase to the issue of health care, arguing Salazar “encouraged” Trump’s failed efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act. But Salazar never used those words in a statement on ACA repeal, according to a search of her Twitter account.

On health care, Salazar has called to “repeal crushing Obama-era taxes and needless regulations.” However, according to the Miami Herald, Salazar opposed the GOP’s ACA repeal absent the proposal of a “viable alternative.” Salazar also said she would “not support removing pre-existing conditions from coverage options.”

Andrew Gillum

‘Don’t come to my state and talk trash about my city’: Andrew Gillum pushes back against Donald Trump

It took less than a day for Hurricane Michael to make partisan sparks fly.

Democratic candidate for Governor Andrew Gillum took to Twitter Monday evening to respond to vague criticisms offered by President Donald Trump earlier in the day at a stop in Orlando.

“Don’t come to my state and talk trash about my city while we are preparing for a Category 3 hurricane,” Gillum wrote in a tweet addressed to Trump. “We need a partner right now, not a partisan.”

Gillum was referencing comments made by Trump during an exclusive interview with WFTV’s Christopher Heath following the president’s remarks at the International Association of Chiefs of Police Annual Convention.

Trump, who endorsed Republican gubernatorial nominee Ron DeSantis and rallied alongside the former congressman in Tampa ahead of the primary election, praised DeSantis and criticized Gillum, along with his tenure as Mayor of Tallahassee — all without directly mentioning Gillum or the capital city.

“[DeSantis’] opponent runs a place that has a lot of problems and I know it very well, but it’s got a lot of problems, tremendous corruption, tremendous crime,” Trump told Heath.

Trump also suggested Gillum “runs an area and a city that’s got among the worst statistics in the country and certainly in the state.”

When it comes to crime, Trump may have been referring to reports released that have shined an unfavorable light on Tallahassee.

One report, which reviewed data from the FBI Uniform Crime Report, found Tallahassee had 767 violent crimes for every 100,000 residents in 2015, far more than in any of Florida’s 21 other metro areas observed by the FBI. Another report, which only examined FBI statistics on property crime, found Tallahassee had 52 property crimes per 1,000 residents, making it the tenth-worst city in the country for crimes such as burglary or larceny

Those stats are nothing new. Leon County, which houses Tallahassee, has had the highest crime rate in the state since 2014, although Gillum has recently pointed to 2017 — which saw the lowest crime rate in the county since 2013 —as evidence that the area is improving.

Hurricane Michael is currently tracking toward the Panhandle and Big Bend regions. It is expected to make landfall somewhere between Pensacola and Panama City, possibly as a category 3 hurricane on Tuesday night or Wednesday. Tallahassee is expected to be affected by the storm, and many state offices have closed their doors in preparation.

Gillum spent Monday in Tallahassee prepping residents for Hurricane Michael’s arrival.

Hurricanes have become a topic of contention in the race for Governor, with DeSantis hitting Gillum over the amount of time Tallahassee residents went without power in the wake of Hurricane Hermine in 2016 — Republicans claim the wait time could have been trimmed if outside workers waiting to help restore power to the city were allowed to pitch in on the effort.

Despite negative ads placing the blame on Gillum, he was not empowered to make that call.

MSNBC’s Ali Velshi in Tallahassee on Trump, lies and news

Newsman Ali Velshi defended his profession against complaints of bias against President Donald Trump Monday, but conceded that continually having to call out the president’s “lies” can give rise to the appearance of anti-Trump sentiment.

Velshi, a veteran business and foreign correspondent and anchorman for MSNBC, told members of the Economic Club of Florida that Trump routinely misrepresents the facts in intentional defiance of the truth.

News organizations talk to the administration all the time, and fact check the president on the air and in print. Administration officials are aware of actual facts, Velshi said. And yet the president persists in his version of things.

“That rally in Mississippi the other day? There were 63 straight lies. This guy lies with a velocity we’ve never seen before. Is that a bias against President Trump to point out times when the president of the United States lies?” Velshi said.

“I don’t know. It shouldn’t be. Right? It should just be my work. But if there was anybody else I was covering who lied that often, it would create a bias — it would create an impression just so you know the likelihood of what he says next will probably be a lie.”

That’s different than the pattern under Barack Obama, whose aides sought to spin news in favor of administration policy.

“The White House was mad at us for doing that then, too. Is that a bias? No. That’s what we do. When journalists tell you that somebody who you are there to hold to account isn’t telling the truth, that’s what we do.”

Velshi was reacting to a question from a member of his Tallahassee luncheon audience about negative news coverage of Donald Trump. One recent study found that Trump coverage on ABC, CBS, and NBC ran 91 percent negative.

“Do you think there could be some improvement where the media come in and start delivering a little more unbiased news?” the questioner asked.

Velshi differentiated between untruth and bias in the news.

“News bias has been around forever. Newspapers were never objective. They were owned by partisans,” Velshi said.

But “I don’t know what bias against President Trump means,” he continued.

“At some point media organizations like mine and The New York Times decided that there are some things that are lies. And the reason we know they’re lies is because President Trump says them, we then correct it, we indicate what the real truth is — that the United States does not have a trade deficit with Canada — we lay it out there,” he said.

There remains a legitimate question, Velshi conceded: “At what point does my being a fact checker turn into bias. I’m going to leave and consider that.”

Velshi urged people to seek out diverse voices in the news media, and especially social media. He confessed to an early — now discarded — enthusiasm for the democratizing possibilities of social media.

“I’m probably now toward the other side, where I think it’s fundamentally dangerous by design. I’m beginning to think that Facebook actually thought this through and realized that bad stuff was more profitable than good stuff,” he said.

“I don’t think they thought through that this was going to possibly affect voter turnout and affect elections and things like that.”

What we can do about it, he wasn’t sure — except to “triangulate your sources of news.”

That means consulting multiple news sources representing a cross-section of the political spectrum. And distinguishing between news organizations that observe standards of fairness and responsibility — and those that don’t.

He mentioned Alex Jones as an example of the latter.

People get ensconced in their echo chambers and “end up believing stories that aren’t true. And that ended up with a guy going into a pizza parlor in D.C. to shoot up people who were running a pedophilia ring that didn’t have a basement — that apparently was where the pedophilia ring was being held,” Velshi said.

“He could have killed somebody. If the guy had just found another couple of sources of news, he might have said, ‘That’s weird.’ Like the Washington Post would have ignored that?” he continued.

“If things seem stupid, check them.”

He recommended reading a variety of political outlets.

“That’s the beauty of living in America. We don’t have to live in these enclaves. We don’t have to live with people who are only our faith or whatever our political persuasion.”

Regarding the business climate, Velshi was asked about agitation to boost the minimum wage. Amazon didn’t raise its minimum wage to $15 per hour out of altruism, but because it had to, he said — up from about $13 for top wage earners, or about $30,000 per year.

That — and similar hikes by Wal-Mart and Target — “were brought on mostly by market conditions, because they were not able to attract enough workers. And, in some part, by the pressure brought on by progressive movements.”

But support for higher wages extends beyond progressives, he said. In 2016, voters in four red states that voted in minimum wage hikes.

Additionally, Amazon understands that its planned second headquarters will “suck up all the labor in that market, and it alone will raise wages,” he said.

“The point is not just to match wages of your competitors, but to go back to Henry Ford’s thinking: Sometimes this is horrible work that people have to do. You kind of need to make it worth it for them to not keep moving (to another job). Because churn is expensive.”

Rick Scott expands emergency declaration, asks for federal aid

With Hurricane Michael expected to blast Florida this week, Gov. Rick Scott on Monday expanded a state of emergency to include 35 counties and asked President Donald Trump for a declaration that would help provide federal assistance.

Scott on Sunday issued an executive order declaring a state of emergency in 26 counties in Northwest Florida, the Big Bend region and North Central Florida. That declaration stretched from Escambia County in the western end of the Panhandle to Columbia County in North Central Florida and Levy County along the Gulf Coast.

The expansion Monday added Bradford, Pasco, Hernando, Pinellas, Hillsborough, Manatee, Alachua, Union and Baker counties.

Also, Scott asked Trump to declare what is known as a “pre-landfall emergency” for the state. Hurricane Michael is expected to hit Northwest Florida or the Big Bend in the middle of the week as what the National Hurricane Center has described as a “major hurricane.”

The storm is expected to bring power outages, storm surge, rains, flash flooding and tornadoes.

Adam Putnam back on campaign trail for Matt Caldwell

Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam will hit the campaign trail once again this week, this time in support of potential successor Matt Caldwell.

Caldwell, the Republican candidate for Agriculture Commissioner this year, announced he will appear alongside Putnam at a grassroots barbeque in O’Brien.

Putnam, who will soon wrap up his second term as Agriculture Commissioner, recently lost the Republican primary for governor to Ron DeSantis.

Putnam long seemed the favorite to win the primary, leading in polling until after President Donald Trump endorsed DeSantis and changed the race.

Caldwell, meanwhile survived a tough four-way primary to win the Republican primary for Agriculture Commissioner in August.

The tough primary took a financial toll on Caldwell’s coffers, but he’s since led Democrat Nikki Fried in fundraising leading toward the general election.

Putnam, meanwhile, all but dropped from public view after his difficult primary defeat.

The last political post on his Twitter account, for example, came on Aug. 28 as he made a last ditch effort to rally voters to polls to support his gubernatorial bid.

That is until this weekend.

The Friday message marked a re-entry into politics in the race for the Cabinet post that first out him on the ballot statewide.

And it may come at a moment Caldwell could use a boost. While he maintains the lead in the money race, some publicly released polls, including one from St. Pete Polls, show Fried with an edge largely thanks to her outspoken support of medical marijuana.

Caldwell had tried to showcase his traditional agricultural bona fides by traveling to numerous events focused on the industry, tracking his campaign trail on Twitter with the hashtag #2lanetravels.

New PPP survey shows Janet Cruz with 3-point lead over Dana Young

A new poll shows Democrat Janet Cruz defeating Republican incumbent state Sen. Dana Young in a Tampa Bay district that historically leans right.

A Public Policy Polling survey of voters in state Senate District 18 shows Cruz winning 42 percent of the vote compared to 39 percent who favor Young.

Partisanship in the district plays heavily in Cruz’s favor, according to PPP.

The poll found half of voters would vote Democrat in state senate races without specifying the candidates, while only 39 percent of voters said they would vote for the Republican. The poll found respondents had a 54 percent disapproval rating for President Donald Trump’s job performance with a 43 percent approval rating for the Republican leader.

But the negative tone of the race takes a toll on both candidates, who hold low favorability ratings in the survey. Cruz holds a 29 percent unfavorable from respondents with a 26 percent favorability rating. Young’s favorability is 28 percent with a 32 percent unfavorable rating.

Voters show enthusiasm to weigh in at the polls. According to the poll, 68 percent of respondents indicate being “very excited” to vote in this November’s mid-term election. Only 14 percent said they weren’t that excited while 14 percent said they weren’t sure.

Young in 2016 won this district with 48 percent of the vote to Democrat Bob Buesing’s 41 percent, with independent Joe Redner, a prominent strip club owner in Tampa, pulling in almost 10 percent of the vote.

But district in many ways already showed problems for Republicans then. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton won the district with 51 percent of the vote to Trump’s 45 percent, even as Trump went on to win Florida statewide.

Clinton voters made up 49 percent of those surveyed in the PPP poll, with Trump voters making up 43 percent.

Trump remains underwater in terms of voter approval within the district. Some 54 percent of those surveyed disapprove of the president’s job performance, and just 43 percent approve.

The sample included women as 53 percent of respondents and men 47 percent.

That said, PPP is a Democratic polling outlet, and there’s some reason for skepticism. Democrats make up 41 percent of the poll sample and Republicans make up just 38 percent, but Republicans had a 1-percentage point edge in turnout in 2016 within the district and 6-percent advantage in 2014, a solid Republican year.

poll results – sd18

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