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Poll: Vern Buchanan leads Margaret Good by double digits in CD 16

Survey obtained by Florida Politics shows Buchanan up 51-35.

A new poll obtained by Florida Politics shows Republican U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan with a strong lead over Democratic state Rep. Margaret Good in Florida’s 16th congressional district.

The survey, conducted by Data Targeting, one of the top analytics firms in the state, shows 51% of voters are backing Buchanan compared with 35% who are lined up behind Good.

Even better news for Buchanan — the poll finds him outperforming a generic Republican running for Congress while Good trails behind a generic Democrat. With no names involved, CD 16 voters say they’d go with a Republican 48% to 39%.

His lead holds across most demographics, with voters over 65 preferring the eight-term Congressman over Good by a 51-38 margin. His majority share outpaces that of President Donald Trump, whom 47% of CD 16 seniors say will be getting their vote.

Independents, meanwhile, favor the incumbent by 16 points, 44-28.

Possibly the most dour news for Good is her middling name recognition within the district. Data Targeting found 58% of voters were unaware of her. In Manatee County, she was unknown to 62% of respondents. And in Hillsborough more than four-fifths of voters said they hadn’t heard of her.

Data Targeting said that puts Good behind 2018 Democratic nominee David Shapiro, who had 75% name recognition at the same point in the cycle two years ago despite not having the benefit of three years in the state House.

Even with his broad name recognition, Shapiro lost to Buchanan by a wide margin.

The Data Targeting poll was conducted Aug. 27-29 and took responses from 400 voters via live telephone interviews. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.9 percentage points at a 95% confidence level.

Florida Politics obtained the polling memo from a source outside the Buchanan camp. The Buchanan campaign declined to discuss details of the internal poll when contacted by Florida Politics.

August was a difficult month for Good.

Last week, Florida Politics broke a story that went viral revealing Good’s vote in the Florida House against a ban on sex dolls resembling children. Child advocates and local community leaders lambasted Good for being the only legislator to oppose the measure. She later claimed she made the vote by mistake.

August also saw Good’s former campaign manager, Kevin Lata, guide Democrat Alan Cohn’s campaign to an impressive primary victory over Rep. Adam Hattersley in a neighboring congressional seat that is likely to garner national attention.

Written By

Drew Wilson covers legislative campaigns and fundraising for Florida Politics. He is a former editor at The Independent Florida Alligator and business correspondent at The Hollywood Reporter. Wilson, a University of Florida alumnus, covered the state economy and Legislature for LobbyTools and The Florida Current prior to joining Florida Politics.

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