A new poll of Florida’s 16th Congressional District shows Republican U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan with a double-digit lead over Democratic state Rep. Margaret Good.
The Data Targeting survey found that Buchanan, currently in his seventh term, would earn more than 50% of the vote if the election were held today.
Most of that is hard support — 46% said they would definitely vote for the incumbent. Another 5% said they would probably vote for him, while 2% said they were leaning that way.
His combined support of 53% outperforms the poll’s generic ballot query, where voters leaned toward a nameless GOP candidate by a 50%-39% margin.
Good, meanwhile, underperformed compared to a no-name Democrat. The poll shows she would snag about 37% of the vote. Of that, 32% said they would definitely vote for her, 4% said they probably would and 1% said they were leaning toward good.
The bottom line: Buchanan leads 52%-37%, with 9% undecided and 1% refusing to answer.
Those polled were also asked about their vote at the top of the ballot. As he did in 2016, President Donald Trump holds the advantage in CD 16 with 51% support to Biden’s 41%.
Similar to Buchanan backers, most Trump supporters in are firmly committed to their decision three weeks out from Election Day — 48% are definitely voting Trump and 3% are probably voting for him.
The Data Targeting measure comes a couple of days after Good released an internal poll showing her within striking distance of Buchanan.
Her poll, conducted by Change Research, showed Buchanan up 48%-45% among likely voters. It also showed independents breaking toward her 47%-41%, and found the two candidates each with 47% support among voters over 65.
The topline number falls within the survey’s 4.3 percentage point margin of error.
The same isn’t true of Data Targeting’s poll, which was conducted Oct. 6-8 and had a sample size of 403 likely voters. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.9 percentage points, meaning even at the extreme Buchanan would still hold a double-digit lead.
The stark difference mirrors that of the last round of CD 16 polling released by the two camps.
Last week, a memo from Global Strategy Group showed Buchanan with 49% support to Good’s 43%. But the Buchanan camp responded to the leaked poll with the release of its own internal measure, again from Data Targeting. It put the incumbent up 53%-37%.
Despite optimism on the Democratic side, past election results in the district more closely resemble Buchanan’s numbers than Good’s.
In 2018, the Buchanan fended off a nationally backed challenge by Democrat David Shapiro, winning by 10 percentage points. That’s a good bit tighter than in 2016, when he defeated Democrat Jan Schneider by 20 points.
Still, Shapiro had higher name ID than Good and managed to outspend Buchanan, so a further tightening seems like a stretch given the district’s decidedly pro-Trump lean.