Doug Holder would come out on top in Senate District 23 if the Republican primary were held today.
A new survey from St. Pete Polls found Holder would receive nearly 29 percent of the vote, besting a crowded Republican field. The study — commissioned by FloridaPolitics.com and conducted July 26 — found Greg Steube would come in second with 23 percent of the vote, followed by Nora Patterson with 20 percent.
Ray Pilon comes in fourth with 9 percent, while Rick Levine received 3 percent. The survey found 16 percent of likely Republican primary voters were still undecided.
The five Republicans are vying to replace Sen. Nancy Detert in the newly drawn Senate District. Detert — who has represented the Sarasota area in the state Senate since 2008 — announced in September she was running for county commission. Detert was elected without opposition to the Sarasota County Commission in June.
Her decision shook up the delegation, and opened up several seats throughout the area.
Steube and Pilon both decided to forego re-election bids in the Florida House to run for the seat. Both of their seats are on the ballot this year.
While Holder may lead the pack, he doesn’t have the highest favorable rating among voters. The poll found 41 percent of respondents said they had a favorable opinion of Holder, while nearly 24 percent said they had an unfavorable opinion of him. The survey found 35 percent of respondents were unsure.
Steube has the highest favorable ratings, with 43 percent of respondents saying they have a favorable opinion of the Sarasota Republican. The survey found nearly 23 percent said they had an unfavorable opinion, while 34 percent said they were unsure.
Despite serving in the Florida House for six years, voters don’t appear to have a positive or negative opinion of Pilon.
The survey found nearly 50 percent of respondents said they were unsure when asked if they had a favorable or unfavorable opinion of the Sarasota Republican. The survey found 28 percent had a favorable opinion, while 22 percent said they had an unfavorable opinion.
The poll found 37 percent of respondents said they had a favorable opinion of Patterson, a former member of the Sarasota County Commission and Sarasota City Commission. One in four respondents said they had an unfavorable view of Patterson, while 38 percent said they were unsure.
Levine remains largely unknown: 67 percent of likely Republican primary voters polled said they were unsure when asked whether they had a favorable or unfavorable opinion of him. Just 9 percent of respondents said they had a favorable opinion; while nearly 24 percent said they had an unfavorable opinion.
The poll of 576 likely primary voters was conducted July 26. The survey has a margin of error of 4.1 percent.