Andrew Learned holds narrow lead in HD 59, but it may not be all good news
Andrew Learned and Michael Owen are battling it our for the political makeup of HD 59.

learned owen
More Republicans are left to vote than Democrats and Learned's lead is within the margin of error.

Andrew Learned holds a nearly 2 point lead over Michael Owen in House District 59, according to the latest survey from St. Pete Polls.

The survey shows the Democrat leading his Republican opponent 44% to 42%. The lead is just three tenths of a point behind incumbent Adam Hattersley’s 2018 victory in the district over Republican Joe Wicker.

The poll, conducted Saturday and Sunday, found 14% of voters are still undecided.

Learned’s lead is within the poll’s 5.5% margin of error, signaling a razor thin race as Democrats seek to hold onto the East Hillsborough seat they only just flipped two years ago.

While Learned holds the edge, the poll still could spell bad news for his campaign. His less than 3 point lead is less than the Democratic voter advantage in the district. Of the district’s 123,617 voters, 37% are registered Democrats while just 32% are Republicans.

Typically Republicans show up more at the polls, but that might not be the case in HD 59 this year. Of the districts Democratic voters, 40% are active, meaning they’ve voted at least once in the last four years. Only 35.5% of Republicans are active.

Learned’s small edge comes as Owen is drawing more cross-party appeal with nearly 18% of Democrats signaling support for the Republican. Meanwhile, only 14% of Republicans said they have voted or plan to vote for Learned.

Owen leads among White voters 50% to 38%, but Learned leads among Black voters 64% to 20%. Owen also leads among male voters 44% to 41%, but trails among women 41.5% to 46%.

In more potential bad news for Learned, Republicans have more likely voters yet to cast a ballot. More than 78% of all respondents said they have already voted. More than 84% of Democrats said they have already voted while only 75% of Republicans said the same.

Learned’s lead is also less than former Vice President Joe Biden’s in the district at 51% to 47%. HD 59 independents are only slightly breaking for Biden at 49% to 48%.

While that’s a potentially bad sign for Learned’s momentum in the district, it’s good news for Biden. President Donald Trump carried the district in 2016 by less than a point, which shows a 5 point shift away from the President compared to four years ago.

That’s a trend showing up in local polls throughout the area where Trump is underperforming compared to his 2016 results.

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

  • Katie

    October 27, 2020 at 7:38 pm

    Learned is a child modester.

Comments are closed.


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