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2020

Poll shows Patricia Sigman up 9 over Jason Brodeur in SD 9

It’s one of several districts where Democrats are over-performing.

Democrat Patricia Sigman may be on her way to grabbing the open seat long held by Republicans in the Seminole County-based Senate District 9, fresh polling shows.

A new survey conducted by St. Pete Polls finds Sigman leading Republican former Rep. Jason Brodeur 52% to 43% in SD 9.

The poll is one of several released by St. Pete Polls Monday suggesting that legislative battleground districts all around Florida may be breaking Democrats’ way, and in big ways.

Another poll shows Republican Rep. Chip LaMarca nearly deadlocked with Democratic challenger Linda Thompson Gonzalez in the House District 93 seat in Broward County that LaMarca won handily in 2018. Democrat Drake Buckman leads Republican Fiona McFarland in House District 72. Democratic Rep. Jennifer Webb leads Republican Linda Chaney in House District 69 and Democrat Julie Jenkins leads Republican incumbent Jackie Toledo in House District 60.

In all of those districts, and in SD 9, President Donald Trump is losing by even more than the Republican legislative candidates, suggesting an undertow effect. Also, Gov. Ron DeSantis is suffering from significant disfavor.

In SD 9, which covers all of Seminole County and parts of southern Volusia County, Republicans hold about a 2-point advantage in voter registration.

In the poll, Sigman holds a nine-point lead. Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden holds an 11-point lead over Trump, 55% to 43%. DeSantis’s job approval rating is 7 points under water, 44% favorable and 51% unfavorable.

SD 9 may be a poster district for trends seen among voters in suburban communities, moving toward Democrats and particularly moving away from Trump. Republicans have held the seat for generations. Brodeur, president of the Seminole County Regional Chamber of Commerce, announced in early 2017 he would run for it once Republican Sen. David Simmons was term-limited out this year. He quickly amassed an intimidating campaign fund, swept up traditional Republican backing that always has been critical in Seminole County, and was seen as hard to beat.

That was until late last year when Democrats recruited Sigman, a labor and employment lawyer from Altamonte Springs, who’d made a name for herself as an advocate for employees’ rights and other Democratic causes.

Democrats have poured money into Sigman’s campaign. Republicans also have invested heavily in Brodeur. The contest has become an expensive, highly contested race.

“From day one, Patricia Sigman has campaigned on her positive message of putting the people over the powerful in Tallahassee,” Anders Croy, communications director for the Democrats’ Senate Victory, said in a written statement. “This poll reflects what we’ve been hearing from voters who are fed up with shady backroom deal making and want elected leaders who will put their needs first. We’ll continue to share that message through Election Day to ensure that we are welcoming Patricia Sigman to the Senate this November.”

Replied Erin Isaac, spokeswoman for Brodeur’s campaign: “The only poll that matters is the one taken on Election Day.”

The St. Pete Polls survey was conducted Saturday and Sunday by automated phone calls to 490 likely voters. It has a margin of error of about 4%.

The poll finds Sigman comfortably leading Brodeur among both men, 51% to 43%, and women, 52% to 43%.

The two are tied among voters ages 30 or younger, while Sigman leads among all age brackets older than 30.

Brodeur has a slight advantage among White voters, 48% to 47%. Sigman has an 8-point lead among Asian-American and Pacific Islander-American voters, a 21-point lead among Hispanic voters, and a 70-point lead among Black voters.

The poll finds Sigman far more popular among Democrats than Brodeur is among Republicans, something that might also reflect a split in the Seminole County Republican Party, along a fault line between development and nature.

Democrats prefer her 87% to 7%. Republicans prefer Brodeur 77% to 20%. Sigman leads among independent voters, 52% to 43%.

The poll also finds about 20% of SD 9 Republicans plan to vote for Biden instead of Trump, and about 20% of SD 9 Republicans are unhappy with DeSantis’ job performance. Meanwhile,  Democrats are backing Biden by a 93-7 margin and just one in 10 approve of the Governor.

Additionally, St. Pete Polls found 52% of SD 9 voters plan to cast their ballot by mail while 48% will vote in person. Democrats prefer mail balloting 60-40, followed by independents at 56-44.  Republicans prefer in-person voting 57-43.

Written By

Scott Powers is an Orlando-based political journalist with 30+ years’ experience, mostly at newspapers such as the Orlando Sentinel and the Columbus Dispatch. He covers local, state and federal politics and space news across much of Central Florida. His career earned numerous journalism awards for stories ranging from the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster to presidential elections to misplaced nuclear waste. He and his wife Connie have three grown children. Besides them, he’s into mystery and suspense books and movies, rock, blues, basketball, baseball, writing unpublished novels, and being amused. Email him at scott@floridapolitics.com.

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