A new St. Pete Polls survey shows Democratic challenger Jim Bonfiglio leading GOP Rep. Mike Caruso in the state House District that encapsulates Donald Trump‘s Mar-a-Lago resort. That resort now serves as the President’s primary residence.
Bonfiglio’s 2-point lead is well within the survey’s margin of error. But it shows Democrats should make this contest competitive once again after Caruso won the open seat in 2018 by just 32 votes out of more than 78,000 cast.
St. Pete Polls found 47% of House District 89 voters plan to support Bonfiglio this fall. Caruso earned 45% support while the remaining 8.5% of respondents were undecided.
The survey ran on Oct. 6 and sampled 409 likely HD 89 voters. It has a margin of error of 4.8 percentage points.
Those results show a good trend for Bonfiglio. He trailed Caruso by 3 points in a mid-September survey from Florida Watch and Progress Florida. That poll put Caruso ahead 45%-42%, a lead that was within the survey’s 4.9-percentage-point margin of error.
The Florida Watch and Progress Florida poll found Bonfiglio lagging behind Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden‘s performance by 11 points inside the district. Biden was up 8 points over Trump, while Bonfiglio trailed by 3.
That trend still holds, according to St. Pete Polls. But Biden now leads in HD 89 by 14 percentage points, topping Trump 56%-42%. Bonfiglio’s 2-point margin sits 12 points behind Biden’s lead.
The gap does show Bonfiglio has room to grow, as the district clearly has more voters willing to vote Democrat. That may not matter, however, if the mood inside HD 89 remains this rosy toward Biden. Bonfiglio can still finish well off his pace and still win the seat.
Bonfiglio has been besting Caruso in the money game since the General Election season began. Caruso entered the post-primary period with a $100,000 cash-on-hand advantage over Bonfiglio. Four weeks later, Bonfiglio held a $13,000 advantage.
St. Pete Polls also found 52% of respondents plan to vote by mail, while 48% say they’ll vote in person. HD 89 runs up the coast of Palm Beach County