Poll: Democrat Patrick Henry holds slight edge over Republican Elizabeth Fetterhoff in HD 26 grudge match
Patrick Henry, Elizabeth Fetterhoff..

Meanwhile, Joe Biden leads in the district by 6 points.

Former Rep. Patrick Henry may well be on his way back to Tallahassee.

A new St. Pete Polls survey, commissioned by Florida Politics, shows the Daytona Beach Democrat beating Republican Rep. Elizabeth Fetterhoff. About 48% of voters in House District 26 plan to vote for Henry, while around 46% want to stick with the incumbent.

But neither candidate has won over a majority of voters, and the 2-percentage-point margin between them falls well within a 4.8% margin of error. It all goes to show, this grudge match remains one of the hottest races of the election cycle and a contest still too close to call.

That’s likely a shock to no one when the matchup between the same two candidates came down to a 61-vote margin after a recount in 2018.

While the poll gives cautious hope to Henry, Democrats in the region overall will likely celebrate signs Joe Biden leads in the district with 51% of the vote to Donald Trump’s 45%. That’s in a jurisdiction where Trump beat Democrat Hillary Clinton by 2 percentage points in 2016, the pollster said.

But there’s also signs GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis holds political sway with voters. About 47% approve of the Republican’s job performance while fewer than 45% disapprove. That’s in a district where he lost to Democrat Andrew Gillum, albeit by just 0.6% of the vote.

A closely divided electorate reflects the seemingly perpetual state of HD 26. Henry beat Republican Michael Cantu there in 2016 with 53% of the vote but lost in a nail-biter to Fetterhoff after a single term in office. The 2018 cycle showed a razor thin divide in the district for the House race, Governor’s race and U.S. Senate race, where Democrat Bill Nelson led Republican Rick Scott by 0.6%.

Fetterhoff has raised substantially more money this year, though Henry, since securing the Democratic nomination, enjoyed a surge in donations.

The St. Pete Polls results show Henry holding onto 82% of Democrats and Fetterhoff taking 83% of the Republican vote. Notably, it also shows the Republican incumbent winning more than 52% of independents compared to Henry’s 41%. But the pollsters’ sample indicates significantly more Democrats in the district’s pool of likely voters, swinging the top lines Henry’s way.

Ironically, results show Henry winning more than 50% of women voters to Fetterhoff’s 42%, while Fetterhoff takes 51% of the male vote to Henry’s 45%.

StPetePolls 2020 HD26GEN October5 B53ND by Jacob Ogles on Scribd

Jacob Ogles

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at [email protected].

One comment

  • Sonja Fitch

    October 6, 2020 at 2:13 pm

    There is no Republican Party! There is only the goptrump cult sociopath racist sexist liars! Vote Democrat up and down ballot for common good!

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