DCCC poll shows potentially competitive race in Florida’s CD 15

Scott Franklin_Alan Cohn
Cohn is down three points, but it's within the poll's margin of error.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee wants voters to know the race for Florida’s 15th Congressional District is competitive.

A new poll from DCCC Analytics shows Democrat Alan Cohn in a close race, down 3 points behind his Republican opponent, Scott Franklin.

The poll of 390 likely voters puts Franklin up 42% to 39% with 19% undecided. That’s an improvement from previous polling, which put Cohn 7 points behind Franklin.

The poll shows Cohn ahead among young voters and voters of color and competitive among seniors and independents.

Cohn leads among young voters in the survey 49% to 27% and among voters of color 52% to 22%.

Among informed voters, the DCCC says Cohn leads 56% to 46%.

Among voters with no party affiliation, the poll showed Cohn down 30% to 40%, but with 30% still undecided.

He’s also down 10% among older voters with 15% still undecided. The DCCC hopes that margin will narrow as voters learn more about the candidates, including DCCC messaging about Franklin’s stance on Social Security and Medicare, in which he is aligned with President Donald Trump on policies, such as Trump’s payroll tax cut, that Democrats say could jeopardize both social safety net programs.

The poll also put Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden in a statistical tie with Trump with Biden polling at 45% and Trump at 46%. Hillary Clinton lost the district in 2016 by 10 points, a data set that shows a tightening partisan gap within the once safe Republican district.

Likewise, Kristen Carlson, the 2016 Democratic nominee in CD 15, lost by 6 points, 3 points higher than Cohn’s current polling deficit.

The poll was conducted Sept. 30-Oct. 4 among voters in all three counties CD 15 encompasses using landline and cell phones. The margin of error was 5 points. Cohn’s campaign took its message to TV airwaves on Oct. 3, meaning its message since the poll may have reached more voters.

Half of the district’s voting population lives in Hillsborough County, 35% in Polk County and 15% in Lake County. While Cohn leads among voters of color, the district is made up of just 36% minority voters, which includes Hispanic, Black, Asian American or Pacific Islander and Native American.

Only a quarter of voters age 25 and older in the district are college educated, lower than both the state and national average.

Cohn is a former investigative journalist running on his background uncovering government corruption. Franklin is a current Lakeland City Commissioner. The seat is open after Franklin defeated incumbent Ross Spano in the Aug. 18 GOP primary.

The DCCC did not offer other details of its poll including the breakdown of demographic responses or which questions voters were asked, an omission that suggests taking the poll with at least a sprinkle of skepticism. Florida Politics requested the additional information and will update this story if it is provided.

The DCCC is heavily backing Cohn, including it in its Red to Blue Program, which seeks to flip GOP-held congressional districts.

Janelle Irwin Taylor

Janelle Irwin Taylor has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in Tampa Bay since 2003. Most recently, Janelle reported for the Tampa Bay Business Journal. She formerly served as senior reporter for WMNF News. Janelle has a lust for politics and policy. When she’s not bringing you the day’s news, you might find Janelle enjoying nature with her husband, children and two dogs. You can reach Janelle at [email protected].

One comment

  • Sonja Fitch

    October 12, 2020 at 5:15 pm

    Vote Cohn for the win! There is no Republican Party! There is only the goptrump cult trying to take away your health coverage including pre existing coverage! Vote Democrat up and down ballot for the common good!

Comments are closed.


Florida Politics is a statewide, new media platform covering campaigns, elections, government, policy, and lobbying in Florida. This platform and all of its content are owned by Extensive Enterprises Media.

Publisher: Peter Schorsch @PeterSchorschFL

Contributors & reporters: Phil Ammann, Drew Dixon, Roseanne Dunkelberger, A.G. Gancarski, Anne Geggis, Ryan Nicol, Jacob Ogles, Cole Pepper, Gray Rohrer, Jesse Scheckner, Christine Sexton, Drew Wilson, and Mike Wright.

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @PeterSchorschFL
Phone: (727) 642-3162
Address: 204 37th Avenue North #182
St. Petersburg, Florida 33704