Javier Fernandez is raising big, but latest poll suggests making it to November is no sure thing

Javier Fernandez
The Democratic primary is more competitive than it should be.

Florida Democrats’ best — and possibly only — chance for a flip is Senate District 39, and Rep. Javier Fernandez is the best equipped to make it happen.

He has proven he can win in a swing district, he has legislative experience, and he has raised enough money to go toe to toe with Republican Rep. Ana Maria Rodriguez.

If he makes the November ballot, it could come down to a coin flip.

And that is definitely an if, not a when.

A new St. Pete Poll’s survey shows that Fernandez has an edge over Democratic primary rival Dan Horton-Diaz, but not a big one. Just 24% of voters are behind Fernandez, while 16% say they’re voting for Horton-Diaz. Three-fifths are undecided.

There are some caveats: This was an English only IVR poll, the sample size was 203, and the margin of error is plus or minus 6.9 percentage points.

Still, even at the extreme of that margin, the Fernandez would be the pick for less than a third of voters. That’s being generous, too, considering St. Pete Polls is among the most reliable pollsters in the state.

It’s August. The election is less than two weeks away. Early voting has already begun. Mail ballots are being stamped and sent in daily — more than 10,000 have already been returned.

Yet, a poll taken this week shows a sitting lawmaker with party backing has an inside the margins lead over a tomato can.

Fernandez can raise all the money in the world and the Florida Democratic Party can keep saying SD 39 is ripe for the picking, but if their handpicked candidate ends up struggling through a what should be a warmup match … well, that doesn’t exactly inspire confidence, does it?

For Fernandez’ and FDP’s sake, here’s hoping St. Pete Polls called the 203 least knowledgeable voters in the district.

Peter Schorsch

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including Florida Politics and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. Schorsch is also the publisher of INFLUENCE Magazine. For several years, Peter's blog was ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.

One comment

  • John kennedi

    August 7, 2020 at 7:59 pm

    Dan Horton is the party’s best chance at winning that seat.

Comments are closed.


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