A new poll suggests Democratic Rep. Loranne Ausley holds the advantage over Republican Marva Preston in the race for Senate District 3.
According to a survey of 948 likely voters by St. Pete Polls, 51% said they voted or plan to vote for Ausley. Meanwhile, 44% said they voted or intend to vote for Preston.
Notably, 5% described themselves as “undecided” in the contest.
The race’s narrow margins underscore what has become one of the most contentious and expensive races in the state. For months, the parties have pummeled voters with negative television ads, mail flyers and radio commercials.
Historically, SD3 has long stood as a Democratic stronghold and Ausley was considered a natural successor to term-limited Sen. Bill Montford. However, the Florida Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee has spent thousands to try to steal the district.
While the race between the longtime lawmaker and GOP newcomer may be narrowly decided, polling suggests that SD3 favors former Vice President Joe Biden over President Donald Trump.
According to St. Pete Polls, 53% said they voted or will vote for Biden. On the other hand, 44% said they voted or plan to vote for Trump.
Only 2% described themselves as undecided and 1% planned to vote third party.
SD3 covers all of Calhoun, Franklin, Gadsden, Gulf, Hamilton, Jefferson, Leon, Liberty, Madison, Taylor and Wakulla counties in North Florida.
In 2016, the district reelected Montford over Republican Nancy Miller with 67% support. That same year, Hillary Clinton was also favored at 52% support in the district.
The district also went blue in 2018 for Democratic gubernatorial candidate and former Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum. In that race, 55% of the district voted Gillum over now Gov. Ron DeSantis.
Presently, 43% surveyed within the district approve of the job DeSantis is doing while 48% did not, according to St. Pete Polls. 9%, meanwhile, described themselves as “unsure.”
Early voting closes Nov. 1 before Election Day on Nov. 3.